GOP Piggy
The first try at an inflatable:

GOP Piggy
Piggy uninflated Piggy inflating Piggy from the back

Note:The Piggy is made out of plastic, the kind used for trash bags. It is sold by the roll by Bear Packaging (1-800-527-7189). The seams were heat-sealed with a household iron, with a sheet of paper laid over the plastic so that it doesn't melt. It was then turned so that the seams are inside, as in sewing. It is painted with oil markers; for some reason, they are the only paint I know of that sticks to plastic. It is inflated by four battery-operated fans, one in each foot. The ones I used are Windchaser fans from
Inflatables like Macys' are filled with helium, but I decided not to try that, not only because of the expense, but because one would need to have a completely airtight 'balloon', and I don't think that I could do that with my materials. With the fans, one only needs to have enough air pressure to hold up that amount of plastic, which is not much. Every ounce counts.
Notice that it doesn't like to get vertical; it will need to be held up, even with such short legs. It is more difficult to do vertical inflatables than horizontal ones. You will need to figure out some way to hold it in the wind.

Inflatable Flowers

flowers uninflated flowers inflated

Note:The flowers are also made of plastic; the seams are sealed with colored duct tape, clear packing tape, and heat. All seem to work well.
The shapes were too complicated. It was fun to see them rising out of the floor, but there were chronic leakage problems.

The Inflatable Sun


The Sun had an intrepid puppeteer (Cavan Meese, to be exact) inside. He bounced it around, and sometimes ran it down the road like a hamster on an exercise wheel. We were worried about air supply, and had him refresh the air every 15 minutes. This seemed OK. Anyway, we didn't notice significant brain damage.

The pattern for the next: The Fat Cat.
paper pattern

The Fat Cat Funeral
The Village Halloween Parade, NY 1009
The cat is on an inflated cushion, on a bamboo platform.
cat.... cat

The Green Dragon
The Dragon has a second skin, cut in scales, too make it less plasticy.
It is carried by loops set into the seams. It could wave up and down in a nicely lifelike way, but people waved it around a bit too enthusiastically, and it developed leaks - it had to be reinflated in flight, through a umbilical tube, using a fan attached to a camping battery mounted on a backpack.
Fan Setup
fan setup

The Sorrowful Cod
The Cod was made of heavier tranparent plastic dropcloth (still put together by ironing with a household iron with a paper interface), with colored plastic attached with hot glue, and illuminated by a light walking under it. It was converted to a Happier Cod for the First Night Grand Procession in Boston by the addition of colored dots.
fish..... fish
Light Setup
light setup

Plus they float!

floating dragon

Thumbnail Sketches
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