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Party Articles - tricks

24 ideas to add some WOW factor to your party balloon decorating

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Who doesn’t like balloons? Balloons can be silly, festive or classy. It all depends on how you use them. With a bit of effort, DIY party decorators can inexpensively create decorations that range from silly fun you extremely elegant. Read on to take your balloon handling chops to the next level.

Monkeys blowing up a balloon

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Somewhere along the line, someone was inspired to stuff fun things inside their balloons before blowing them up. We have been been turning ordinary balloons into little round containers of festivity ever since.

Put glitter or confetti in balloons

Glitter inside a balloon

The drill is simple. Grab your package of clear balloons and use a small funnel to put confetti or glitter inside before you blow them up. The result is a quick step above the ordinary.

The type of confetti you put in your balloons can be easily tailored to whatever theme you like. Does the birthday boy or girl like horses? Make horse confetti balloons to match. Need something for the little paleontologist in your life? Grab this dinosaur confetti. You can even get theme confetti for your child’s favorite cartoons such as Paw Patrol or Despicable Me

Horse ConfettiDinosaur confettiDespicable Me confettiPaw Patrol confetti

Put treats inside balloons

For party balloons that have give a little more, go ahead and stuff party favors inside. Use a wide neck funnel or the top of a two liter pop bottle to help guide those goodies into the balloon. You may feel like getting really ambitious and stuffing larger toys into your balloons. Anything you can fit inside is fair game. The balloon police will not come get you.

Putting prizes in balloonsPutting larger prizes in balloonsFinished balloons with prizes inside

Make fortune balloons

Make small fortunes, or clues for a scavenger hunt and place them inside your balloons before inflating them. For adult parties, faux horoscopes could be inserted with inscriptions such as:

  • Today is a day to avoid crashing your car into other cars.
  • Flee all house fires today, they are bad luck.
  • Something will come your way today. Be prepared.

Balloons with notes inside

Put money in balloons

When all else fails to thrill, money never does. Unless you are hosting a party for a Gregorian monk, a roll of green will evoke a grin from all who receive it.

Money inside A balloon

Make your balloons glow

Although simple to create, glowing balloons will elicit some well deserved “ooh!” sounds from your guests. Purchase some glow sticks and activate them before putting them in your balloons. Fill the balloons with regular air or helium. These floating bubbles of wonder are fun to look at!

Your glowing balloons don’t have to be suspended somewhere near the ceiling. How about floating these luminous wonders in your swimming pool?

Glow sticks in balloonsGlowing balloons floating in the water

Flower petals in a balloon

For an elegant or romantic decorating touch, put rose petals inside a clear balloon. Employ the help of a small, round cookie cutter to hold the mouth of the balloon open while you put the rose petals inside. This may be time consuming, but the end result is well worth the effort.

Rose petals in a balloon

Balloons with balloons make it amazing

If something as simple as a balloon is so easily a mainstay of most parties, what happens when we combine balloons in creative ways? Amazing, interesting and unique is what we get.

Easy balloon strands

If your decorating needs require long runs of balloons, here is a quick trick to make it easy to string them together. After all of your balloons are blown up, simply use a large size sewing needle and some string or yarn to attach them all together. Attach each balloon by running the needle and string through the tied off mouth of the balloon. Tie up the ends of the string wherever you like.

How to sew balloons togetherEasy balloon strand

A balloon inside a balloon

Balloons inside balloons

Some guests are going to look at this next idea and ask you how in the world you did it. It is actually quite simple.

  • Place the inner balloon on the eraser end of a pencil. Twist the balloon so that it will be compact and go into the outer balloon easily.
  • With the inner balloon in place, remove the pencil.
  • Be sure that the mouth of the inner balloon is sticking out so as to be accessible.
  • Inflate the inner balloon.
  • Although this can be done the old fashioned way, keep in mind that you will have the resistance of two balloons when inflating the inner balloon. It is much better to recruit the power of a balloon pump rather than make yourself crazy trying to generate that much air pressure with your mouth alone.
  • Once the inner balloon is inflated, tie it off.
  • Inflate the outer balloon with the mouth of the inside balloon still sticking out. This will also be easier if you use a balloon pump.
  • Tie off both balloons at once. This will mean that your inner balloon will wind up being tied off twice: one initial tie off and another when tied off together with the outer balloon
  • You now have a balloon inside a balloon. Let your imagination run wild!

Transform balloons into other things

Let’s fix up some balloons to look like flowers, ice cream cones or a fun game. A little imagination goes a long way here.

Make balloon flowers

Turn seven balloons into a cute flower for your next party. Here’s how:

  • Select five balloons of one color. These will be your petals.
  • Select two balloons that contrast the petals. These will be your center balloons.
  • Inflate two of the petal balloons.
  • Instead of tying them off individually, tie them together using a granny knot. This will fasten them together and tie them off all at once.
  • Repeat the above step with another pair of petal balloons.
  • Inflate the fifth petal balloon and tie it to one of the petal pairs. Now you have a pair of petals and a triplet of petals.
  • Combine the two groups of petals by wedging the set of two between two of the triplet set. Grasp whichever two in the triplet that you slid the pair between and twist them around each other a few times to lock the two groups together.
  • Flatten out the group so that it looks like flower petals and set it aside.
  • Inflate the two balloons that will be the center of your flower (front and back) half as much as the petals and tie them together in a pair just like above.
  • Now wedge the center pair into the center of the group of five so that the flower has a center regardless of if you look from the front or back.
  • Lock the center pair into place by grasping the two petals that you slid the center between and give them a few twists.

Balloons bade into big flowers

Turn balloons into fruit

As you can see from the picture, this one is pretty simple to pull off. All you need are some different size balloons and some craft paper.

  • Small purple balloons can easily become grapes with green craft paper cut to make grape stems and leaves.
  • It takes a pretty simple set of craft paper leaves to turn red or blue balloons into berries.
  • Add an appropriate leaf to a long, yellow balloon to make a banana.
  • Display your newly formed fruit by hanging it from a string across the room.

Fruit made from balloons

Make ice cream cones

A simple brown craft paper cone will turn regular balloons into ice cream cones. Create your cone and attach it to the balloons with clear tape. These look great filled with helium and floating in the air!

Ice cream cone balloons

Make a dart board

If you already own a set of darts and want to create a dart board with some “POP!”, use tacks to fasten rows of balloons to a fence or a cork board. Young (but not too young) people will enjoy the carnival-like dart game. Place tags inside of balloons with the names of a prizes on them. When the child pops a balloon, she gets the prize listed on the tag. For a bit of a laugh, fill one of these balloons with water ahead of time and freeze it. Hang it up with the other balloons and make sinister giggling noises as no one is able to pop the last balloon.

Carnival style balloon dart board

Use balloons to make it snow from the ceiling

Fill a good number of white balloons with helium and tie a length of white ribbon to each balloon. Use craft paper to make your own snowflakes or order some online. Tie these snowflakes to the white ribbons. The end result is a covering of snow clouds with snowflakes falling from above.

Balloons make clouds and snow from the ceiling

Make balloons with soft, fuzzy love all over them

To transform any balloon into a bright, cheerful decoration, simply glue miniature pom-pom balls all over them. Mix up the colors and the balloon will look fruity and fun. This looks great on helium filled balloons.

Use balloons to make non-balloon decorations

Balloons can fulfill a different roll besides holding air in and looking pretty; they can also be very helpful in making other decorations that do not look like balloons in the end.

Chocolate ice cream bowls

These bowls made from chocolate will be a nice addition to the ice cream you will put inside them. These are simple to make and look amazing when finished.

  • Start by blowing up some water balloons.
  • Gently warm some dark chocolate over the stove or in the microwave. If warming in the microwave, do it in 30 second bursts, stirring it between each burst. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. It does not smell good at all when burned.
  • Use a basting brush to lightly coat the bottom of each balloon with vegetable oil. This is to ensure that the balloon comes away from the chocolate easily after the chocolate has cooled.
  • Prepare a “starter foot” on wax paper with a small dab of chocolate.
  • Dip the balloon into the molten chocolate and slowly remove it.
  • Place the chocolate covered balloon on the chocolate starter foot.
  • After about an hour, the chocolate will have cooled and solidified. Carefully pop each balloon and remove their fragments from the cooled chocolate.
  • Different colors of chocolate can be used to create a marbling effect.
  • If you would like to add cake sprinkles to the outside of the bowls, simply roll the chocolate covered balloon in a bowl of sprinkles before setting it up to cool.

Use balloons to make a string centerpiece

Here is another one that looks a lot harder than it is. These string centerpieces look great on the table or suspended from the ceiling.

  • Inflate a ROUND balloon and wrap string or yarn all over it.
  • Spray fabric stiffener all over the string.
  • After the fabric stiffener is dry, pop the balloon and carefully remove the fragments from the string ball.
  • For added effect, insert an LED tealight into the balloon before it is inflated and wrapped. The end result will leave guests wondering how you got the light inside the delicate string centerpiece.

String balls made from Balloons

Faux plastic dipped mason jars

Faux plastic dipped mason jars

Here is a quick way to dress up ordinary mason jars to be colorful drinking glasses.

  • Use scissors to cut the stem end of an un-inflated balloon off.
  • You may want to cut a bit of the opposite end of the balloon off as well.
  • Stretch the modified balloon over the bottom of a mason jar.Use these cute drinking jars to serve drinks at the party.

Make ice candle holders

These interesting looking ice candle holders are unique, inexpensive and… disposable.

  • Fill some large balloons with water and place them in the freezer for a few days.
  • On the day of the party, remove the balloon from around the ice.
  • Place each frozen ice sphere in a bowl and top it with a tea light.
  • At first, the ice will look frosty. Soon after, it will become clear to reveal interesting bubble patterns inside.

Ice candle holders

Make ice luminaries

Whether you use these decorations in a bowl indoors or place them outside in the snow, they create an eerie-beautiful glow that adds to any relaxed setting.

  • Fill some water balloons with water and place them in the freezer.
  • Tear the balloons off of the frozen ice balls.
  • On the day of your party, place the ice balls on top of an LED tea light. This can be done in a bowl or out in the snow.

Ice luminaries

Get ambitious with balloons

If the above projects have not fazed you one bit and you feel like proving that you have what it takes to win the world balloon decorating Olympics, here are a few projects that go a bit beyond reasonable and delve into the more motivated.

Create your own balloon drop

Make balloons rain from the sky with this simple balloon drop idea that you can put together in your home or wherever you are decorating for a party.

  • Purchase a disposable paper tablecloth and cut it in half.
  • Use a single hole paper punch to make holes every inch on each edge of the newly cut tablecloth.
  • “Sew” the tablecloth back together with a long piece of yarn. Leave a length of yarn hanging to pull when it comes time to release the balloons.
  • Hang the re-sewn table cloth from the ceiling with enough droop to accommodate scores of balloons that you will be loading into it. Depending on the type of ceiling you have, this can be done with tacks or duct tape. Just be sure that it hangs securely.
  • Blow up more balloons than you care to and load them into the table cloth.
  • Place confetti, prizes or hundred dollar bills on top of the balloons.
  • When it is time to drop the balloons, pull the yarn “ripcord”.
  • The children will laugh and dance around in the falling balloons while the adults all scramble for the hundred dollar bills.

Sew the table cloth back togetherFill the balloon drop with balloonsPull the rip cord to release the ballons

The biggest balloon EVER

Would you like to really go overboard and outdo everyone else’s balloon attempts? I’ll leave a quick tip that will allow you to do just that. Weather balloons can be quite easily obtained online. These big balls of “mine is bigger than yours” will definitely set off the decorations at a birthday party and dwarf all other attempts at balloon domination.

Big weather balloon

Lollipop ballons

Make lollipop balloons

Plant giant lollipops in the yard for your next birthday party. While I cannot guarantee that they will grow into a lollipop tree, they will add a cute flair to your decorations.

  • You will need: a balloon, white paint, black electrical tape, white cellophane, ribbon and a ½ inch wood dowel.
  • Paint the wood dowel white and set it aside to dry.
  • Apply a spiral stripe of black electrical tape going up the dried wood dowel. As you reach the top of the dowel, continue with the electrical tape to fasten one inflated balloon at the top of the dowel.
  • Place your clear cellophane over the balloon and bunch it together where the balloon meets the dowel. Tie this in place with a ribbon.
  • Plant your lollipop in the yard by pushing the dowel into the ground.

Balloon towers and arches

If giant weather balloons or a shower of balloons from the sky do not give you goose bumps, perhaps making an impressive balloon arch will. Stock up on plenty of balloons and recruit some help for the sake of your sanity.

If you would like to build these air filled masterpieces, I would suggest you first read this tutorial from “Two Sisters Crafting”. There are a lot of great tips in there that will save you a lot of grief. Another must-read is this “eHow” article that focuses squarely on the art of making a balloon arch without the aid of helium.

Balloon towersBalloon arch

Make a water balloon water slide

For those parties that happen in the heat of summer, spruce up an ordinary slip n slide with a generous covering of water balloons. Guests will get a cool thrill as they slide through exploding water balloons. For a bit of additional fun, fill some of the water balloons with a body-safe paint. Let the fun begin!

Water balloon covered water slide

Helpful tips

To wrap up this compilation of the most epic balloon mastery wisdom of all time, I am going to leave you with a few tips that will give you extra mileage on your newly acquired balloon Jedi skills.

Order ahead and create a color scheme

With the ease of online shopping affecting the way we get the things we need, DIY decorators can hop online and choose from a plentiful supply of every type and color of balloon imaginable. Plan ahead and go to one of the better party supply websites and get exactly the style, color and quantity of balloons you need to make your decorating endeavors a hit with your party guests.

Balloon kit with pump included

Don’t let your lips fall off

We have covered a lot of interesting balloon decorating ideas here. One could be inspired to grab a truckload of balloons and start inflating them like there is no tomorrow, only to discover that lip fatigue may very well be a debilitating occupational hazard.

If you are taking on some of the larger projects in this article, you REALLY need to acquire some kind of a pump to blow balloons up with. This will not only speed the process up, but will also keep you from looking like your lips were attacked by a rabid shop vac.

You can purchase a kit that has a simple hand pump thrown in or invest in a powered pump that can blow up as many balloons as you can throw at it. Either way, be good to yourself.

Getting helium is easier than you may think

With a good number of the above ideas requiring helium, you may wonder at the viability of getting helium without having to drive too far or meet a shady figure in a dark alley. Helium is actually easy to come by, especially if you plan ahead a little.

You can purchase a whole kit that includes balloons, helium and curling ribbon for a pretty reasonable price. If you would like to simply purchase a small, disposable canister of helium alone, that is an easy option as well.

Balloon Time Kit with ballons, ribbon and heliumDisposable canister of helium

Get the most out of your helium balloons

If you are going to put all of that time and effort into helium balloons, there is a way you can extend the time that those balloon decorations will float. Treat the inside of your balloons with Hi-Float. Hi-Float is basically a liquid plastic treatment that will help seal the inside of your balloons. They will hold the helium better and last a lot longer.

Hi-Float balloon sealant


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