I was just going to suggest cutting the spools in half for the baskets. I'm glad you got there on your own. You are definitely going to have an interesting project.
If you have brass wire, you might want to try that if you want them to stand up. I have no idea how you're going to attach the balloon to the wire, though. I have to ponder that one.
If you're considering glue, go here to read up on glues.
I think I might have posted this site before, but it's a great site for matching glues to whatever you're doing.