Does anything scream “celebration” quite as vibrantly as a whole lot of balloons? Balloons bring cheerful color to birthday parties, elegant whimsy to weddings, and a bold backdrop to stages or photobooths!
You don’t need any special skills to create decorations out of balloons. Anyone can do it! Plus, balloons don’t cost much, even if you build a giant balloon wall.
Best Balloons for Decorations
The three most popular types of balloons for decoration include latex, mylar, and plastic balloons.
- Latex balloons like these offer an affordable option and lots of flexibility because you can buy them in any color or design you could possibly want. This is the type of balloon you find in most party stores. They fill up easily, too, because latex comes from rubber. The downside to latex balloons is that they acquire a chalky powder if they sit too long, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
- Mylar or foil balloons look metallic and shiny, like the pre-filled balloons you can buy in a grocery store or a dollar store. Mylar contains nylon and a few other substances. These balloons work best when filled with helium rather than air and often cost more than latex balloons. The worst thing about using mylar balloons is that you can’t recycle them, and they can have a negative environmental impact.
- Vinyl or plastic balloons also offer a great reusable or permanent balloon decoration. You see this type of balloon used in a big arch outside a car dealership. Of course, you can also buy sturdy vinyl balloons for a party, wedding, or baby shower–the great thing about this kind of balloon is that they can last up to 90 days after you blow them up!
How Do You Attach Balloons?
The easiest way to attach two or three balloons to each other is to tie the necks of the balloons together using a basic shoelace knot. You can then attach this cluster of balloons to a decoration or to a support.
Try using glue dots if you want to attach individual balloons to a wall or table! You can find glue dots like these in the scrapbook section of any craft store, and they work like a charm.
You can attach balloons to supports like an arch or a wall using several methods. The easiest is to use a hot glue gun. Just make sure you only stick the neck of the balloon into the hot glue! You can also use clear tape or tie the balloons in place using bits of twine.
Another popular method for building balloon structures is to buy long strips of plastic that have holes punched out of them. This product, called garland tape, comes in many balloon kits as well.
Consider using air-filled balloons if you want a fun, affordable balloon decor option! The key to successfully decorating with air balloons is to give the balloons a framework. You need to attach them to a support, as they will not simply float up to the end of a string like a helium balloon.
Most air balloons will stay inflated for six to eight weeks, so you do not need to worry that they will sag before your big event. As a pro tip, you should get a handy balloon pump if you plan to use more than five or ten air-filled balloons in your decor. You don’t want to end up puffing and panting on the floor from the effort of blowing up two hundred balloons!
One of the most eye-catching ways to use air-filled balloons is to twine them together into an arch. You can set up a balloon arch to frame a doorway or walkway or place it behind the birthday cake table to give your photos a colorful pop!
If you use air-inflated balloons, your arch will last for several days. This is great because it will probably take you at least a couple of hours to build the arch. If possible, you should plan to put it together the night before your event.
- Buying garland strips like these is the easiest way to make a balloon arch. All you have to do is blow up around 50 balloons in colors that match the party decor and insert the balloon necks into the holes in the strip. You can then use string or command hooks to attach the garland where you want it to go.
- You can build balloon arches using more complicated patterns like this DIY guide to making your own spiral arch, too! For this four-color model, you use ribbon to hold each cluster of balloons to the next as you build a tower of balloons to bend into an arch.
- The more traditional way to build a balloon arch is to attach balloons to a structure like a PVC pipe arch or a wire arch. You can buy a wire balloon arch with strong supports like this and then fill in your balloon design of choice yourself.
- If you need a little help creating a classy balloon arch, you can buy a kit with all the balloons you need, plus simple instructions!
Balloon columns can line a wall, frame a key point like the stage for an awards ceremony, or fill in an awkwardly empty corner in a hallway.
- The easiest way to make a balloon column is to buy a kit that comes with a pole and a stand. This makes attaching balloons nice and easy.
- For a flashier column, consider adding mylar balloons to the top of the column. You can add numbers for a birthday, baby shoes for a baby shower, or even a wedding cake-shaped foil balloon for a wedding!
- You can create skinny balloon columns, too! Start with clusters of regular balloons at the base, then twist long modeling balloons around each other to form the center of the column. This can look like a shiny unicorn horn or a candy cane!
Balloon Wall and Backdrop
One of the boldest ways to use balloons is to fill an entire wall or photo backdrop with balloons. This makes a brilliant and colorful photo booth option, though you can also build your balloon wall behind the gift table at a wedding. You can even use a beautiful balloon wall to cover up an old water stain on the nursing home wall if you host a party for your grandma!
- The most popular way to make a balloon wall is to attach balloons to a foam frame. This creates a sturdy wall and allows you to move it into place easily. Using Command strips, and you can attach foam boards to a wall and then use glue dots or a glue gun to attach the balloons to the foam.
- To make a balloon wall without a special frame, build three or four garlands of balloons, using twine or an invisible fishing line to keep them all together. Check out this tutorial to see how to create the garlands and attach them to the wall!
- You can find plenty of balloon wall kits to make the process as simple as possible.
Helium balloons add a whimsical and fun air to a party or event. They float on a breeze at an outdoor party or drift above a table at a banquet.
One important thing to remember with helium balloons is that they only stay inflated for eight to ten hours. This makes it tricky to prep balloon decorations the night before a big party. Therefore, you will want to get your helium balloons filled as close to the event as possible.
You can rent a tank and use it at home to fill all your helium balloons. However, suppose you plan to use just a handful of helium balloons as highlights within the balloon decor. In that case, you might prefer to go to Party City or a similar store to fill the balloons individually. It generally costs about 25 cents per balloon.
Tabletop Balloon Decorations
Helium balloons make incredible tabletop decorations because they float! You don’t have to worry about them rolling around into people’s plates or collapsing into the ice cream cake.
- Balloon bouquets make perfect tabletop decorations. They add splashes of color down the table without obscuring people’s view. You can form a tall bouquet by attaching three helium-filled balloons on long curlicue ribbons to a paperweight on the table. Or you can add a helium balloon on a stick to the middle of a flower arrangement on the table.
- One of the cutest ways to use balloons for a kid’s party is to turn them into place cards! You can write on the balloon or attach cute vinyl cut-outs like these.
Ceiling Balloon Decorations
Helium balloons really excel as ceiling decor. You can make your living room look like the inside of a kaleidoscope, or an underwater lair, with just a few dozen balloons!
- For the simplest ceiling balloon decorations, tie two-foot-long lengths of party ribbon to a few dozen balloons, and let them drift up to the ceiling.
- Add some sparkle to this simple design by using clear or transparent helium balloons and inserting a bit of confetti or glitter before blowing them up!
- For a more stylized approach, build neat balloons clusters, then let them drift upward.
- If you have a high ceiling at your venue, you can stretch a net across the room a foot or two below the ceiling. Then fill up the net with balloons! This is a fun way to create an underwater look–add tons of blue balloons and a few special fish-shaped balloons to the net.
Helium Balloons Outside
Helium balloons can also look eye-catching or elegant when you use them to decorate an outdoor event.
- Try tying a white or gold helium-filled balloon to the outside edge of each chair down the aisle for an outdoor wedding. This highlights the aisle and adds extra sparkle to the bride’s important procession!
- Attach a colorful balloon bouquet to your mailbox to let your guests know which house is yours. This is a thoughtful touch, especially if you plan to host a shower for a family member or friend, as not everyone will know you or where you live.
- You can even make a simple arch by tying a row of helium balloons together on a long piece of string and then attaching each end of the string to a post on either side of the arch. The floating balloons will naturally form an arch! Of course, you will want to build this arch right before the event, so the balloons do not deflate.
If arches, ceilings, or walls of colorful balloons don’t do it for you, how about a balloon decorated to look like a pineapple or a bumble bee? You can go basic and use a sharpie to draw a ninja mask onto a balloon. Or you can buy vinyl stickers to add personalized lettering to your balloons. If you like to craft, you can cut out construction paper to make tiny ballerina tutu tutus for each balloon.
The sky is the limit once you start decorating with balloons!
What is your favorite way to use balloons to decorate for a party or special event? What type of balloons do you use for this decoration?