Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Steampunk Airship Balloon takes you Up, Up and Away for a Fantastic Voyage!

Happy 4th of July!!! I hope you are enjoying your holiday! Susan here bringing you a project to get your creative muse ready to sparkle like fireworks!!!

Today I am sharing how to create a Steampunk Airship using Sakura Crystal Lacquer and Terri Sproul Mixers, complete with a wired basket made of bottle caps from the Bottle Cap Company.

I used the old-fashioned papier-mâché technique that we all used when we were kids...white glue and strips of newspaper over a balloon. Who remembers making masks like this??? I do and I have brought this technique up-to-date by using Sakura Crystal Lacquer and paper napkins.

Step one:  Coat balloon with vegetable oil to act as a resist.

Step two:  Adhere balloon to a base to hold it up for paper maché.

Step three:  Using Sakura Crystal Lacquer, adhere pieces of napkin
torn in small sections to balloon - overlapping to cover gaps.

Paint on Sakura Crystal Lacquer to completely saturate napkin pieces.

Completely covered balloon with 4 layers of napkins
adhered using Sakura Crystal Lacquer.

After drying for several hours. Pop balloon and gently peel away from interior of paper maché form. I also trimmed edge with scissors. I let this sit for several more hours to continue curing and harden.

I inflated a balloon inside paper maché form to hold up while painting. I mixed up Sakura Crystal Lacquer with Silver Terri Sproul Mixers and painted the entire base layer of the balloon. When dry I brushed on Gold Mixer and Copper Penny Mixer randomly and set aside to dry. 

Detail of painted balloon surface has a real steampunk feel, and is slightly translucent. This is perfect as I will be adding an LED tea light to the center. Now the fun part...embellishing. Gather up some wire, eyelets and other metal doo-dads and decorate away!

With silver wire, I made a cage around a bottle cap basket and affixed a whirlygig for propulsion. Additional wire is wrapped to secure basket to base of balloon through holes set with silver eyelets.

Presenting ... Steampunk Airship Balloon

I hope you have enjoyed today's post and that you are inspired to go and create something. Please take a look around through the projects from my other Sakura Hobby Craft Design Team members for some great projects, tips and ideas! Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. I'll be back in two weeks on July 18th with another how-to.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment, select receive e-mail follow ups on comments and I will respond. If you would like to see more of my creations, please visit my blog sbartist : painting in the dark by clicking here.

Have a wonderful Wednesday : )


  1. Fabulous project! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Susan, this is absolutely amazing!

  3. this is so beautiful, I'd love this to hang in my office,your metal work and finish on the balloon are incredible. you are just so talented, so glad you share, thanks Susan

  4. I remember someone doing the paper mache technique on a Carol Duvall show years ago. Forgot all about it. This is absolutely fantastic. Would look great hanging in my studio. :) May have to try my hand at one myself. Thanks for the instruction and inspiration. Now, where to get me some balloons.

  5. Wow! This is just fantastic! You really did a great job and it is very inspiring.

  6. what a fun Steampunk Balloon!!! love it!

  7. Super Fantastic Awesome Ms. Brown!!