Make Your Own: Chimney Balloon

My husband desperately wants me to call this post “shove it up your flue-hole,” but I’m restraining myself.

Anyway, we are not big users of our fireplace, and with recent colder weather we’ve noticed quite a draft coming from our old flue that doesn’t seal properly.  There are several commercially available chimney balloons but it just so happens our flue is a non-standard size and I couldn’t find a balloon large enough.

No problem, though, I decided to make my own!

First, measure the largest part of your chimney and then cut out a piece of cardboard 1″ smaller on each side: (creases in the cardboard are not only OK but also preferred!)

Using bubble wrap or another type of air-filled packaging, wrap the cardboard and tape in place.  The bubble wrap should overlap the edges to infill the 1″ space you left in the previous step:

All the sides should look roughly like this:

The end result:


Using the existing creases, fold the cardboard and insert the contraption into the chimney – sorry no photos of this installed as looking up a chimney doesn’t photograph too well.  My chimney also happened to have a bit of a ledge for this to rest on, but I’m not sure if that is standard in chimney design- if your chimney doesn’t have a ledge, I had planned on simply using a scrap piece of wood to hold the contraption in place- similar to the commercially available ones.