TUTORIAL: DIY Balloon Tie Fighters

by Dana on August 7, 2013

Got a little Jedi at home?
We’ve got one too, we do.

And for his birthday a while ago I came up with an easy way to make those awesome dual winged fighting ships from Star Wars…..or….Tie Fighters!  At least that’s what I hoped they looked like.  I hung them up and waited for Owen’s reaction when he came from school.
“Tie Fighters! Cool!”
And then he schooled me on the difference between black tie fighters and grayish/silver ones, and bent wings vs. straight wings.  Apparently I’d made a bunch of Darth Vader ships.

If you’re more of a Rebel Alliance kind of crafter, just replace these instructions with gray materials and let’s make:

For one ship you need:
• 4 pipe cleaners
• 1 balloon
• 2 pieces of cardstock (construction paper can be used also but cardstock will hold shape better)
• tape

And you’ve got two wings, with a fold in the middle:

Now let’s make the body, wing connectors, and put it all together:
• Blow up a balloon and keep it on the small side.  Tie a knot in the top and set it aside.
• Take two pipe cleaners and twist them together at the ends to create one extra long pipecleaner.  Do the same thing with the other two pipe cleaners.  And now you have two long wing connectors.
• Take the first connector and wrap around the middle of the balloon.  Twist the ends together on the other side so the pipecleaners are snug around the balloon and won’t fall off.  Then twist the ends together so they look like one fused pipecleaner.

• Take the other wing connector and wrap it around the balloon as we did above, but wrap it from the other side.  You should have two pipecleaner connectors sticking out from the sides of the balloon.
• Bend the ends of the connectors down at a 90 degree angle.
• Then tape the pipecleaner ends to the wings, at the fold in the paper.  Black tape is ideal.  But I didn’t have any so I used transparent Scotch tape.

Then tie a yarn string around the top, tape it to the ceiling with Scotch tape….and your Tie Fighter is ready for battle!

This is gonna get ugly.

May the force be with you, and all that Jedi stuff.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Louise August 7, 2013 at 11:46 am

Great idea – you’re very imaginative.
My son thought these were Star Wars Piñatas… He said it would be very cool if they were. I wonder how many sweets you could get into a balloon…


2 Dana August 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

ooo that’s a great idea!
I’m gonna have to try that next time….or with something that will break easily.


3 Phaedra August 8, 2013 at 12:43 am

You could also make a Death Star pinata.


4 palak August 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

A geek after my own heart!!! Love ‘em! My son also likes to get super technical about his passion– dinosaurs. “No mom, that’s a terrasaur!”


5 Sarah Wade August 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

How fun!! You are so smart :)


6 Katie Seitz August 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Cute!! Wait, is that a pool noodle light sabre? (Is light sabre two words?! Haha)


7 Dana August 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

yep! I don’t have a tutorial for them, but you basically take a pool noodle and wrap it with tape at the end to create the handle


8 chantelle August 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Ah! Love it! We trained 30+ young jedi (younglings) at my sons 5th birthday this past May! Pool noodle sabers and coloured duct tape =’s awesome-ness boy fun!


9 Lightning McStitch August 8, 2013 at 12:17 am

This is brilliant!
(is it really wrong of me that I’d want to do this on the back porch and fill those balloons with water?!)


10 Kelley August 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Woot! Thanks so much for this post. I have a Star Wars themed party tomorrow for my son, and this fits perfectly without a ton of effort. Yay!


11 bestblogs August 14, 2013 at 6:12 am

star wars 4 life!


12 Jewell Tanner October 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I love this. Great idea! So glad you pointed out the difference between the Darth Vader tie-fighters and the Jedi ones. I plan to make the black ones like you demonstrated then use silver or white balloons to make the Jedi tie-fighters with wing modification.


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