How to Make Gelatin Bubbles

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Step by Step Instructions for making Gelatin Bubbles

List of Materials

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Gelatin mixture: 2 parts cold water to 1 part unflavored gelatin (like Knox). Start by putting your cold water into a microwave safe bowl. Add a little luster dust, the amount will depend on how translucent you want your bubble,
I normally did about 1/8 tsp or less. Food color can also be used, but remember the gelatin is a little yellow so will change your color slightly. I used super pearl but have used many others.

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Stir and then sprinkle your gelatin over the water so it will all get absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes to ‘sponge’.

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During this time, blow up your water balloon, I only blow mine up half way or less to get the size bubble I want. If there is a nipple on the end of your balloon you will need to pull the nipple to where the knot is. Twist the two together and tape with duct tape. See the series of photos below.

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You should have a nice round balloon shape now. Coat your balloon thinly with shortening, and then wipe off the excess. If you have too much, the gelatin won’t stay on.
Note ** You can also add a toothpick to the knot of your balloon as a sort of handle to hold and use later to stick into Styrofoam for drying

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Put your gelatin mixture into the microwave for about 10 seconds (depending on your microwave). You want the gelatin to heat up but not boil. Stir gently when it comes out, to make sure the gelatin is dissolved; remove any foam or un-dissolved gelatin. Be careful not to incorporate any air bubbles when you stir. Let
cool for a minute or two so it is only lukewarm.

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Stir the mixture again gently as the luster dust will settle, and using tweezers or clamps grab the balloon by the duct taped knot and dip into the gelatin; rotating the balloon around to coat the entire surface except around the knot.

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Hold upright (knot on the bottom, round balloon on top) and tap to remove excess gelatin. You can also use a flat brush to paint the balloon and remove excess gelatin. The balloon will need to sit a few minutes to set before dipping again.

The balloon will need 3 or 4 layers of gelatin to be thick enough once dry so repeat the previous two steps, two or three more times. If the gelatin mixture cools too much you can pop the bowl back into the microwave for 4 seconds to re-heat.
Note ** Gelatin shrinks as it dries so we need a fairly thick layer so the gelatin won’t collapse when the balloon is popped.

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Place the balloon onto a holder with the knot side down to dry completely. I have a plastic plate with a slit in it. The gelatin won’t stick to the plastic when dry. If a toothpick was used as a holder, it can be placed into Styrofoam to dry.

The balloon can be placed in front of a fan to speed up drying time, or let the dry on its own. Without the fan it could take a full 24 hours to dry, possibly more, with the fan, only a few hours or overnight.

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Once dry, place your thumb or finger into the opening by the knot and press the balloon to help it separate from the gelatin.

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Then place scissors next to the knot and poke the balloon and it will deflate and release from the gelatin. If some balloon does stick, usually you can get a finger inside to rub the excess away.

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At this point you can cut the opening of the bubble with scissors to smooth it out, but this is the underside and the bubble will sit on your cake on this part so it won’t show.

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Comments (67)

on

Oh WOW!!! How clever are you!! thank you so much for this tutorial, I'm going to try this out for a fish shape cake I'm baking this month. Could you please say how many bubbles does one quantity of the mixture of gelatine and lustre make. Thank you again for sharing, you're awesome!

on

Wonderful tutorial...thank you! How far in advance can you make these bubbles, and how do you recomment storing them? Do they need those packets of silica gel that you use for storing blown sugar bubbles?

on

Love it! Love it! Love it! I can see me doing this for an appreciation day cake I have to do in June. Yeesss.... Thanks very very much

on

Thank you soooo very much!!! and I also like to know how to store these bubbles and for how long can you save them.

on

this is so wonderful! Ii have a question though...how do you stick gelatin bubles to cake, with royal icing or?

on

That is very cool looking but you need to be really careful with using balloons due to the latex that they are made out of. So if you have somebody that is allergic to latex this could be enough for them to have a serious reaction.

on

Wow oh Wow this is amazing, thank you for showing and sharing your beautiful gelatin bubbles with us, definitely going to give it a try I love it xxx

on

trying this for son gradution cake . How many can you make per box? Please tell me what the life span of these bubbles. Can this be made ahead of time and keep? Can I use basic butter cream to stick to cake or royal icing? Thanks for sharing! This is so GREAT!!! :) please email me at kburke2006@att.net

on

Thank you for sharing this! I have been trying to find someone who will teach me how to blow sugar to make bubbles and other things like it. I'm so happy to know I can use this technique and get the same effect. AWESOME!

on

These bubbles last for years, literally. Just don't get water on them. I attach them to cakes with icing or piping gel. Thanks everyone.

on

Hi Sweetflowers. Thank you soo very much for the HowTo. You write that the balloon will need 3 or 4 layers of gelatin and you write that the balloon can dry overnigth. For how long shall the balloon dry between the layers? shall the balloon dry overnigth for every layer? (if you don’t have a fan). If that i right, it will take 3-4 days to make a balloon ;-& Best regards Tine, Denmark

on

Hi All... I tried this recipe for making the balloons. It took me three different tries to get it right but it finally worked. The first couple times the balloons were just too messy or they didn't dry evenly. I waited about 10-20 minutes between coats because I was in the middle of doing other stuff as well. Don't give up too soon. My third time worked so much better and they look great.

on

tine65, if you read carefully, you only need to wait a few minutes for the gelatin to set up between coats. After the last coast (3 is usually good), then wait overnight for it to dry completely. This tutorial was modified by CC for space issues I'm sure, the full tutorial is on my site found in my signature line.

on

I bought the 4 packet (1 oz) box of Knox gelatin. It does not simply list the basic mixing recipe, what amount of water for just 1 packet of gelatin? (2 parts cold water to 1 part unflavored gelatin (like Knox)

Thanks

on

Hello everyone. I finally had a reason (like a cake) to use this technique and started working on the balloons. I do had to try a few times to make it work for me. I allowed my gelating mixture to cool to the set up stage, It is thick enough at this point to really coat the balloons well. But when it got clumpy I popped it the microwave for a few seconds. Not more than 5. I allowed each coat to dry thoroughly. But now just love it, love it.

on

I love this technique. It is very easy:) I also found another way to use the gelatin bubble. I used one to make the helmet for my Sandy Cheeks fondant figure. Turned out Great. Thanks bunches.

on

You sure can.  I use artificial sweetener and candy oil to flavor.  These are pretty hard though so I wouldn't recommend eating them.


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