Balloons. This party decoration that has had the best glow up in recent years, taking itself from sad mailbox decor to the centerpiece of events – garlands, arches, walls, and more. At first, I thought it was a bizarre and frivolous trend, but eventually found myself in desperate need to try it out for myself. The balloon garland is objectively the easiest setup since it doesn’t require helium, fancy wiring, or any sort of architectural understanding, so I used it as my gateway into the balloon business. It’s a relatively cheap project that can amplify any party theme and once you get the hang of it, the build process can be completed in an afternoon. *And for the environmentally conscientious people, there are more and more places to purchase eco-friendly latex balloons, so your single-use-plastic-guilt can be assuaged.
- Balloons (duh)
- Hand or automatic pump – also seems like a “duh” but I did manage to make a garland without one (though I would not recommend it)
- Balloon tape – aka an inappropriately named reusable sheet of plastic with holes to allow for easy threading of balloon knots
- Glue dots/double sided tape & accoutrement – sometimes you need to bring the look together with ribbons, streamers, fake flowers, etc.
The How To:
STEP 1: PICK COLORS
It seems like 3 is the magic number when it comes to colors. There should be a base color, with the most balloons, and two accent colors in varying hues.
STEP 2: BLOW UP BALLOONS
It starts off tame.
And seems so fun!
But then, wait a minute…
Tell your loved ones goodbye as you succumb to the balloons.
STEP 3: THREAD THE KNOTS
It’s actually that easy… The holes in the balloon tape are large and flexible, so even the chunkiest of balloon knots can be maneuvered into its desired home! It’s best to stick with one balloon per hole, unless they are super tiny and more than one is obviously needed. And leave a few empty holes on either end, so they can be used in the hanging process.
STEP 4: HANG IT UP
Thread a few pieces of string through holes on both ends of the garland, and tie them to a command hook, thumb tack, pre-existing structure, whatever works. Balloon garlands are quite light and do not require sturdy supports (aka they can be haphazardly attached). Thankfully the balloons are very forgiving and hide whatever mess is going on with the attachment tools – I don’t ever snip the tails of my string when I hang them up for fear of accidentally popping a balloon.
STEP 5: EMBELLISH
Once the garland is hanging, there will likely be obvious holes and sparse areas where small balloons can be nestled in using glue dots. Word of warning: glue dots cannot be removed with ease from the surface of a balloon. If you accidentally place it in the wrong spot, leave it and stick on a new dot.
And of course, garnishes like streamers, leaves, banners, and novelty balloons can be sprinkled in for the perfect finishing touch.
What Would Have Been Nice to Know Before My First Try:
- Don’t blow up all of your balloons before starting to thread and assemble the garland. Instead, blow up just enough to provide a nice foundation and leave a handful to blow up to specific sizes as needed to fill in the gaps once the garland is hanging.
- Since these aren’t helium balloons, you can blow them up ahead of time to avoid an unnecessary pre-event scramble. I like to space out the inflation process over a few nights prior to the actual assembly.
- There is no need to alternate sides of the tape when stringing the balloons – they will naturally lay in a way that covers both sides. However I will insert a random balloon into the opposite side just in case it actually makes a difference…