99 Luftballons Tutorial

ok, so maybe it's just 2 Red Balloons, not 99...

Created by: Summer Melaas and Polly Nobbs-LaRue

Designer Tips

  • Punch a 1/16" hole in each blank, directly opposite the existing loop or hole.
  • Clean the blanks with Penny Brite to remove all oils.
  • Spray each blank lightly with Klyr Fire before sifting enamel evenly onto each blank: red on the balloons, and foundation white on the strips.
  • Carefully transfer a blank to torching basket (in tripod, over a heat-resistant work surface), and torch fire. Strips may need to be torched on the mesh (allow to cool between batches).
  • Begin heating from the back, and carefully move flame to the top, so you don't blow the enamel off.



  • Watch closely: when the enamel begins to melt, you'll see a glossy "orange peel" stage where the enamel beads up before slumping to a smooth fired sheen. Fire a bit more, but don't overheat - some colors will scorch.
  • Use fiber-grip tweezers to carefully grasp fired piece by edges (don't damage the fresh enamel). Set aside and allow to cool in a warm pan of vermiculite.
  • After cooling, scrub firescale off back with Penny Brite.
  • Use 5mm gunmetal jump rings to connect the enameled components. For instructions opening and closing jump rings and loops, see Jewelry Basics 101 (PDF)
  • Open the loop on an ear wire and add to the top of the enameled disk.

Suggested Supplies

  • 2 each #44-780-21 Copper Stamping Blank, Round with Loop, 30x26mm
  • 1 dozen [use 2] #44-722-50-0 Brass Stamping Blank, Long Bar with Hole
  • 1 ounce [use 2] #37-100-9 5mm gunmetal jump rings
  • 1 gross (72 pair) [use 1 pair] #34-840-01-0 Titanium Earring Hook Findings, Plain
  • 1 each #81-500-1880-02 Thompson Opaque 80-mesh Enamel for Metals - Flame Red, 2-oz.
    81-500-1881-S (sample size) also available ... but you'll need the whole 2 oz for 99 Red Balloons!
  • 1 each #81-500-1030-02 Thompson Opaque 80-mesh Enamel for Metals - Foundation White, 2-oz.
  • #86-220-07 Penny Brite Copper Cleaner
  • #81-510-001 Klyr Fire, Holding Medium


  • #69-235 EURO TOOL Metal Punch, Two Hole
  • #69-650-S Small 80-Mesh Screen Sifter
  • #65-153 Torching Basket for Enameling by Eugenia Chan
  • #69-354-9 EURO TOOL Tripod with Mesh Screen, 9"
  • Fire-Resistant Work Surface: #69-182 Fire Blocks, 12"x12" Ceramic Tiles and/or Cement Tile-Backer Board
  • #69-613 Handy Flame II Propane/MAPP Torch - or -#69-620 Handy Flame Butane Torch
  • (Both of these torches give you a larger flame than the butane micro torches. You need the larger flame for torch enamelling anything except tiny pieces. It's also great for annealing!)
  • #69-428 EURO TOOL Fiber-Grip Cross-Locking Tweezer
  • #69-275-02 Wubbers Round-Nose Jewelry Making Pliers 
  • Safety Gear: Dust Mask, Protective Eyewear and Nitrile Gloves
Additional Supplies:
  • Small spray bottle (cosmetics/travel aisle or craft store) for Klyr Fire
  • Fuel Tank Holder: Large can 1/3 filled with rocks (coffee can size works well to secure fuel tank)
  • Vermiculite in warm bread pan or small crockpot

For more information about enameling: see the Enamels & Enameling Supplies section of our website.


Jan 1st 2021 Polly Nobbs-LaRue

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