If you've been following our blog you know we've both dabbled in the art of making balloon décor. After Katie created her first balloon garland, there was no stopping her. She has been so successful in her creations, she has designed a plethora of balloon arches and backdrops for parties. Balloon decorations are incredibly popular so we thought we'd share our tips and tricks to creating the perfect balloon décor! Balloons make a wonderful ready-made gift that guests can use for photos and add warmth to any occasion.
Tips & Tricks
Know Your Limits: Hire a professional when necessary. We're all for challenging ourselves and doing new things, but we know when we need help. A great example is at Sonny's first birthday Amanda wanted a 7+ foot tall ice cream cone balloon in addition to a balloon arch and railing garlands. She tackled what was manageable (arch and garlands) and hired a professional for the ice cream cone. We've personally used and recommend the following balloon companies in the Chicagoland area: Paris312, Balloons by Tommy, Luft Balloons, and TST Souvenirs & Balloons.
Practice: If you have the time do a practice run before a big event Do it! After all practice makes perfect and you can learn from your mistakes. We both suggest creating your décor as close to the event as possible. There is no guarantee if you inflate the balloons one to two days before they will be in prime condition when it is time for your event.
Traveling and Constructing: Traveling with balloon garland is no easy task, even during a small trip. When Katie constructs the garland and packs it into her SUV this requires all the seats to be placed in the down position. She brings along the extra balloons in a plastic bag so they don't drift and keeps the air/heat on low so the temperature won't cause them to pop. It is best to always bring extra balloons and glue dots along with your portable electronic pump so you can make some onsite adjustments. Normally it takes her about 1 to 1.5 hours at home and another 45 min to an hour onsite.
Invest in Good Supplies: This includes balloons, especially if you plan on using them outdoors. Super cold and warm temperatures can cause balloons to pop. Can you tell the difference between a lower priced balloon and a high quality latex balloon?! ABSOLUTELY! We found that if you are trying to save some $$ you may run into more pops while you are inflating the balloons. We love the metallic and confetti filled balloons! They may cost extra but they are durable and eye catching!
Buy the Electric Pump: Katie and her husband learned this the hard way. While making Remi's first birthday balloons they used manual hand bumps that was exhausting and time consuming. Try this electric balloon pump (affiliated link) we purchased on Amazon. The pump has numerous built in nozzles to meet the needs of all balloon sizes. The extended nozzles can even inflate two balloons at once. You will spend much less time decorating and much more time enjoying your work of art!
Anchor Arches Outside: We live in the windy city so we learned quickly our arches needed to be attached to something or they would fall. We used this balloon arch (affiliated link) purchased on Amazon and have reused it several times.
Kits Are Your Friend: Pre-made kits are great starting point! You can always add to a kit and customize it! There are tons of colors to align with any theme and the kits are very affordable ranging from $7 to $30. Our favorite thing about the kits is that they include multiple sized balloons which gives you the sought after professional style look including a variety of large to mini balloons.
Remi's first birthday took place before vaccines where out and as nervous as we were, we wanted to celebrate the milestone year! We decided to do a drive by birthday event which you can read about in our Isn't she lovely, Isn't she ONEderful post. I ordered a Balloon Arch Kit (affiliated link) and pastel balloons from Amazon. Aside from hand pumping all of the balloons this was the easiest process! The kit came with 60 circular rings that are placed around the arch. Each ring holds 5 balloons so once you connect the balloons it is a stacking process. They are held in place securely but allow for some wiggle room to adjust.
I recently created two balloon garland pieces for my best friend's birthdays. These were so fun to create! Rather than use the balloon arch, I used the garland strip (affiliated link) which is thin plastic around 16ft long and has holes spaced out designed to secure inflated balloons. Once I had each hole filled in I added additional inflated balloons, connecting them with glue dots. Most garland kits you purchase on Amazon will come with both the garland strip and glue dots. These will also help you add filler balloons in to cover any spaces or openings in your garland strand. Once the garland piece was built I added it on top of a a photo backdrop of hanging tinsel. I purchased some large inflatable numbers to hang opposite the balloon garland which really made the pieces "pop".
Even though balloon decorations are time consuming and can be challenging I absolutely love the end result! I only attempted my own creations for Sonny's first birthday celebrations. We had a space theme party for immediate family on his actual birthday and this was my balloon trial run. You can read all about his first birthday celebrations and see photos in my First Trip Around the Son(ny) blog post. Since the balloons weren't a total disaster I decided to tackle a portion of them for his big socially distanced celebration. We hosted an outdoor "drive by" event that included an ice cream truck. I enlisted the help of my parents since they hosted the party at their property in the suburbs. Luckily, Katie had plenty of advice and lent me her balloon arch! As previously mentioned we blew up my balloons the night before the event per Katie's recommendation. We used an electric pump and it still felt like it took forever. The hot weather and windy conditions caused some problems, but at the end of the day my arch and garland looked great and cost a fraction of what a professional would charge. We did splurge on a 7+ foot tall ice cream cone from a professional company that turned out AMAZING and lasted way longer than my creations. I'm looking forward to my next balloon adventure. I genuinely love following social media accounts for balloon art. I'm in awe of all the possibilities and creativity!
Balloon decorations are perfect for any occasion and can be customized to any theme or color scheme. We love how fun they are and how they make a major impact and can transform any space. Hopefully our tips and tricks are helpful when you tackle your own balloon décor. Remember to have fun and indulge in your creativity. Balloons can be a true work of art and is one party trend we hope sticks around for a long time. Happy Creating!
XO - Katie & Amanda