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How to make a balloon-powered hovercraft

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.



  • 1 4-by-7-inch foam board (A thoroughly cleaned foam meat tray works great.)
  • 1 large flex drinking straw
  • Average size balloon
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch or pencil
  • Glue gun
  • Pin
  • Tape


Step 1. Cut out the bottom of a foam tray. Be careful not to bend it.

Step 2. Place the flat foam under the body template and trace it by poking holes with a pin along the outline of the template. Also trace the straw slot. Trace two fins and the balloon ring using the same method. Cut out the foam shapes with the scissors. Make a center hole in the balloon ring with a hole punch or a sharp pencil point. To download a template to trace click here.

Step 3. Cut a sharp angle on one end of the straw and make a flat cut on the other as shown.

Step 4. Stretch and bend the straw, then glue the balloon ring to the flat end. Stretch the balloon over the circle. Carefully glue this assembly over the straw slot so that no glue is inside the straw and none of the straw or glue is below the bottom of the body.

Step 5. Glue the two fins to the rear sides of the body.

Step 6. Make an inflating straw by taking the leftover half of the straw and cutting two 1/2-inch slots in it. Roll the end into a taper with your fingers and tape together. Use the inflating straw to blow up the balloon from the bottom.  Pinch the neck of the balloon and release on a smooth, clean floor.


The hovercraft will work properly only on a smooth, clean floor. The bottom of the hovercraft should also be smooth and clean.

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34 Comments on How to make a balloon-powered hovercraft

  1. it will never work

  2. cool!

  3. aswome cool!!!!!!! :-),

  4. this seems like a very interesting project i will for sure have to try it out once i get the materials! 😀
    <3LOVE ME

  5. this seems like a very interesting project i will for sure have to try it out once i get the materials

  6. did nt work fr me

  7. cool man it worked for me

  8. i cant.i dont have the stuff

  9. this is sick thx for the help

  10. lego man 22222222222221 // November 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm // Reply

    i’m going to try it

  11. i have built it with my cub scouts and they did work with time and patience!!!!

  12. I do not have the matireals

  13. i tried it it did,nt work

  14. i like this… it is to bad i do not have what i need. 😦

  15. dos it even work

  16. I got all the materials and cut everything to size, i just have to assemble it.

  17. has anyone actually tried this and have it work??

  18. I don’t get the inflating straw

  19. ithink im gonna try it

  20. Who thinks the hovercraft will work or won’t work?

  21. I think making a hovercraft would be so cool!

  22. Wood a elmer’s glue work insted?

  23. what is the balloon powerd hovercraft all about

  24. pony girl // May 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm // Reply

    i love hovercraft

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