Balloon Button Bowls

With creativity and time, turn a balloon, glue, and buttons into a masterpiece.

Suggested for ages 5 and up.

What you will need:

  • Flat buttons of desired colors and sizes (smaller buttons stick better and slide less) 
  • Balloon 
  • White glue (we used an entire 7.625 oz bottle of Elmer’s white glue but anything that dries clear will do; amount of glue will depend on the size of bowl and number of coats you do) 
  • Large paintbrush (we used a 2” paintbrush but, if you don’t mind getting your fingers sticky, you can use them instead!) 
  • Scissors 
  • Newspaper 
  • Cup to stand the balloon on while you work 
  • Time (lots of it! This was a 2-day project for us but it’s something you can start and come back to.) 


See instructional video.

Step 1: Inflate balloon to the desired size of bowl. Set it on a cup with the tied end at the bottom.  It’s recommended to work inside or in an area that wind will not blow the balloon over.

Step 2: At the top of the balloon, squirt a thick layer of glue. Use a paintbrush (or finger) to brush it down to the desired depth of bowl, making sure to evenly coat the layer of glue. Our glue came about 1/3 of the way down our balloon. We recommend stopping before the halfway point of the balloon. Keep in mind, the glue will drip some.

Step 3: Let the balloon sit until completely dry (our balloon took around four hours to dry). If using white glue, note it will dry clear. Optional: Repeat this step for an extra sturdy bowl.

Step 4: Apply a second coat of glue over the first coat, following the same method used in step 2.  

Step 5: While the glue is still wet, add the buttons starting at the top of the balloon. This will ultimately be the bottom of the bowl. Keep the buttons as close together as possible. We did a blue and yellow pattern for a Go Blue salute but free to apply randomly or create your own pattern! NOTE: Smaller buttons will stick better and be less likely to slide down your balloon.

Our buttons stopped around ¼ of the way down the balloon for a more shallow bowl but it can be adjusted for preference.

Step 6: Once all of the buttons are applied, flip the balloon over so the tied end is in the air. Rest the balloon back on the cup so that the buttons are now on the cup and the tie is still in the air. This will prevent the buttons from sliding down the balloon.

Step 7: Let the balloon sit until completely dry (again, our balloon took around four hours to dry).

Step 8: Turn the balloon back over so the tied end is at the bottom and buttons are at the top. Rest the balloon back on the cup. This is a good time to spot-check that your buttons did not move around. We found one area that a small button was able to squeeze in to fill a gap. Apply a third coat of glue over the buttons, following the same method used in steps 2 and 4. If your glue goes past the end of the buttons, it can be cut off after it’s dry.

Step 9: Let your balloon sit until completely dry (again, our balloon took around four hours to dry). It’s optional (and recommended) to apply a fourth coat of glue in the morning to strengthen the glue bond.

Step 10: Once the glue is completely dry, use the scissors to cut near the tie of the balloon and slowly release the air out of the balloon. Remove the balloon from the bowl. Use the scissors to cut away any unwanted glue from your bowl.

Step 11: Enjoy the new bowl!  Keep in mind, these bowls are not water-resistant (unless using a water-resistant glue) and should be used for decoration. Do not store food in your bowl.

Inspired by Crafting Secrets DIY

Instructional Video:

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