Rouse Home




Custom Catalog




Unique Frameworks


Subscribe to Rouse Mail List




RMS Product Directions


Layout Graph Paper




Project Plans


By Decor Function


By Event Theme


By RMS Product




Design Consulting


Photo Enhancement


Presentation Art

  Issue 2003.04      TOY  LAND          Soldier
Toy Soldiers stood left and right of the large mural shown on the cover of this issue of RouseAbout. These 6' tall figures were free standing with a simple base plate and vertical pipe between the front and back layers of Matrix and balloons.

The soldiers make great photo opportunities for guests!

Notes below outline how you can make  your own soldiers in a variety of sizes.


Basic Directions
Layout - Layout your design on RMS, honeycomb graph paper.  You may download the graph paper from  You may use our design instead your own if you like, or use ours as inspiration for your own.  You may download our design from .

Our design uses one RMS Banner (2, half Banners come in a package) for a single layer soldier.  Use 2 Banners for a double layer Soldier.

Basic Directions - For a single layer Soldier, simply follow the basic directions that come with the RMS  Banners.  Just arrange the balloon colors to match your design.  You may download a copy of those basic instructions from:

If your design includes many details, as ours does, then you will want to load more than one balloon into some openings (apertures) in the framework.  There are several possible techniques for this.  Download our suggestions from:  

Shape - AFTER you have loaded the balloons for your design, cut away the excess Matrix with scissors .  This will give you the overall shape you want.
Support - Usually, a simple base plate with a vertical pipe on the back side of the soldier will be satisfactory support.  Wrap a cable tie around the pipe and around a section of Matrix strap.  Tighten the cable tie until the balloon is snug against the pipe.  DO NOT force the pipe directly against the strap.  This will usually knock one or more balloons out of position in the Matrix.  Attach the pipe to the Matrix several places along the height of the Soldier.
Double Layer Design
Increased Impact - You can greatly increase the impact and the physical strength of your soldier by making it in twin layers.  You will double the balloons and the Matrix framework, but still need only one base and pipe to make a Soldier that people may walk around and view from both sides.  You will also gain freedom in placing the Soldier at your venue.  
Reorient Balloons - You still use doublets of balloons for a double layer design.  In this case, however, the doublets are normally made up of balloons of the same color and are oriented to stand out perpendicular to the Matrix rather than lie down parallel to the framework.

Insert the first balloon of the doublet into the Matrix with the neck of the balloon in the air rather than against a Matrix strap.  The second balloon of the pair may flop over for now, but that is OK.  

Download this file for a closer look at a double layer arrangement.

Close The Sandwich - Once you have loaded a number of balloons, take the second Matrix and press it down onto the several second balloons.  Just make sure that the second Matrix is oriented the same way as the first and is positioned directly in front (or above) the first.  You may do just a few doublets before adding the second Matrix or wait until you have loaded all the doublets into the first framework.
Shape -  AFTER you have loaded the balloons for your design, cut away the excess Matrix with scissors.  This will give you the overall shape you want.
Support - A simple base plate with a vertical pipe is all you should need for support.  Just slide the pipe up the center of the design between the layers of balloons.
Camouflage - You can make the Matrix straps on the outside of your design practically disappear with camouflage.  If the outside balloons are white then the semi-transparent white Matrix will hide on its own.  You may paint the Matrix to match balloons or cover the Matrix with balloon matching ribbon, colored tape, fabric, etc. 
Feature - You can make the Matrix straps on the outside of your design stand out as a featured element.  Choose a color and texture that coordinate with other elements of your soldier or with other elements of your room decor. You may paint the Matrix to match or cover it with matching ribbon, colored tape, fabric, etc. 
Icing - What will you see between the layers of your double thick Soldier?  It is a little like an Oreo cookie; usually, we would like some sweet icing in the middle.  Just trimming the excess latex from around the knots in the doublets can help.  

You may want to try wrapping the knots of the outside row of doublets with # 260 or # 160 balloons.  This is a popular way to deal with it.  Download this file for one example and instructions:

You might also use ribbons or strips of fabric or plastic.  

Up Scale -You may create a larger Soldier by using a larger RMS framework and larger balloons. For instance, if you used RMS Builders instead of Banners you could use the same number of balloons (but inflated 8" instead of 4") and create a 12' tall Soldier instead of  6'.  If you used RMS Super Builders, the same number of balloons would produce a Soldier 21' tall.
Down Scale -You may create a smaller Soldier by using a smaller RMS framework and smaller balloons. For instance, if you used a custom RMS framework for 350's, the Soldier will be about 3' tall.  If you drop down to a custom RMS framework for  260's, the result would be about 2'.  A 160 version would only be about 1' tall. 

These RMS Mini-Matrix versions use bubbles twisted from long balloons rather than placing individual balloons in apertures.  You can check them out further in the RMS Custom Catalog at:

You may download sample instructions for using RMS Mini-Matrix from

Return to Top of Page

Last Updated: 02-Nov-2003
copyright 2003 Rouse International