The Basic Balloon Dog
If you’re trying to entertain kids at a party there are few better ways to do so than to teach yourself to twist balloon animals. Twisting balloons are cheap and it’s easy to learn how to make several different designs. A traditional basic beginner’s balloon animal is a dog - which can be easily changed into a wolf or a horse by adjusting some of the sizes and steps, and all three can be fancied up into other related animals. For example, a brown balloon might be a horse, but a white balloon with black permanent marker changes into a zebra. So the basic recipe for a twisted dog is a great place to start!
260 pencil balloons are the most popular and versatile for twisting balloons. Choose one in a color you want and blow it up almost completely, leaving about three inches uninflated. Tie the nozzle shut.
Twist three bubbles sized at about two inches in diameter each. One is the head, and two are the ears. Bring them together and twist the ears atop the ‘head’ bubble.
Twist three more bubbles at about three inches in diameter next, one for the neck and two for the legs. Bring them together and twist the legs onto the neck.
Twist a much larger bubble - 6 or 7 inches - and then two more three inch bubbles to be the back legs. Twist the legs onto the body, leaving a long ‘tail’.
Decorate the eyes, mouth, and nose with a Sharpie or other permanent marker.
Once you’ve practiced this enough, you can easily adjust the size of the ears, legs, body, and tail to customize whatever “breed” of dog you want to make! Dachshunds are a popular alternative, made by shortening the legs and lengthening the body. You can also lengthen the ears and legs and shorten the body to make a wolf - and for added points, curl the tail by wrapping the end of the balloon around your hand while you’re inflating it.
To make a horse out of the twisted dog, make the head longer, the ears much shorter, the neck, legs and tail longer, and curl the tail downward. Voila! Horse!