How do I make a mylar balloon?
June 27, 2005 1:33 PM   Subscribe

How do I make a mylar balloon?

I'd like to make my very own thin film balloons. (I'm not stuck on mylar per se, and I know there are electrical hazards using it). What methods can I use to seal the seams? melting them together with an iron? RF welding? Ultrasonic welding (assuming I had the equipment)? Tape? What are the relative benefits of the different types of seals?
posted by daver to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For the record, I know nothing about ballon making, but we sailors repair mylar sails with sail tape. Maybe you could use something like this?
posted by Count Ziggurat at 2:05 PM on June 27, 2005

How foil balloons are made. This should give you some starting points. With helium, you'll be able to make your own floating silver pillows like Andy Warhol.
posted by driveler at 3:23 PM on June 27, 2005

RF welding is great, but yeah.. most people don't have the equipment laying about. It takes some patience to work on a large project with a small set of jaws, you're limited to bonding a certain length of material per weld.

I've had moderate success in bonding thin plastics using a soldering iron, but it never had to hold air. I suppose you could use a tacking iron too, which have adjustable temperatures.

A friend of mine bought a bag sealing device off of late night television, something like this, but I'm pretty sure it didn't seal a specific length, but instead fed the material through, more like this. I can't recall what the sealer he bought was called, or the maker. The Eurosealer isn't limited to fixed widths, but his was a flat unit, so it operated more like a sewing machine.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 4:40 PM on June 27, 2005

Driveler's site lead me to here: (not entirely sure how I missed this with google!). This not only provides complete instructions, but supplies as well. THanks for the lead driveler!

I'd still love information on why RF or ultrasonic welding is better than heat sealing if you've got it Jack K.
posted by daver at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2005

I don't know that it is better, and didn't mean to give that impression. It's clean, very easy/safe, and dependable. Both processes may work only on specific plastics, so the choice may be a pragmatic one, based on your material choice.

I think that RF weldable mylar is in fact not mylar.. but another metalized plastic.

The balloonkits site seems to have it all wrapped up anyway. RF welding would be a major pain in the butt for the organic forms he has done, and much slower for just about anything. The equipment is cheaper too.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2005

« Older Garnishing BAAAAAD   |   Is there a computer workstation out there for me? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.