How beautiful is the string of balloons, gracefully curving above the entrance - but how exactly did the decorators keep the string of balloons curved? Follow these steps to create one from scratch.
Method 1 of 2: Using the Simple Way
Step 1. Buy an arch
You will use this as a base for attaching the balloons. Ready-made arches can be found at garden supply stores and rental stores. Arches made of thin wire are a good choice. Make sure the arch is wide and high enough for your needs - backyard birthday parties and wedding receptions will require very different arch sizes.
Step 2. Alternatively, create an arch
If you want or need to make an arch, use a flexible old plastic hose and two charcoal boxes. (A heavy object, such as a heavy plastic bucket or an umbrella table base, can also be used.) Place a box of coal at one end of the arch, and bend a plastic hose, or thin-walled PVC pipe, into another box of coal to create the curve between them. Fill the holes in the coal box with sand or gravel to add balance.
- Even with a sand-filled bottom, the arch hose can fall off. If this seems like a problem, find a nearby tree or pole where you can tie the two sides of the hose together with colored tape. Pull the tape tightly before tying it to ensure the best balance.
- To make sure you have an arch of the right size, buy more hose than you need and start with it. Each time you measure the size of the arch, if it is too large, remove one end of the hose from the coal box and cut it with a saw to about 15 cm, then adjust your bend and measure it again until it reaches the size you want.
Step 3. Inflate your balloons
For this type of arch, a balloon filled with helium or ordinary air can be used, because the arch can stand upright on its own. Inflate about six balloons to start figuring out how they'll fit into the arch, then make an estimate of how many balloons you'll need to use and inflate. Keep in mind that your balloons should surround the arch and hide the structure from view.
Step 4. Fit your balloons
Using thread or adhesive, attach the base of the balloon to the blanks in your curve, starting from one end to the other to prevent any spots from being left behind. Wrap colorful tape around the arch to hide the adhesive or thread. Save unused balloons to use as decoration elsewhere, or to replace balloons that burst. Your arch will become very cheerful and colorful, moving in the wind but still standing strong.
Method 2 of 2: Using Methods That Take More Effort
Step 1. Take the rope
Purchase the lightest rope of a quality you can trust to tie a helium balloon wreath, because this is what your rope is used for. Place the rope on the ground in a curved shape and adjust it until you have the size you want, then cut the rope by adding a few meters so that it can be tied tightly at both ends.
- To save you from future trouble, consider making a live knot at both ends of the rope to make it easier to attach.
- Thread or fishing line can be used for a smaller look. Parachute rope or thin nylon rope are better suited for larger arches.
Step 2. Tie tightly
Secure one end of the rope with the retaining base. As used in the plastic hose method above, the coal box can be a cheap, reliable anchor, and can be moved. Landscape and accent elements of appropriate weight and strength, such as trees or sculptures, can be used when available and suitable for use. Make sure the rope is securely attached to prevent it from drifting. The other end can be left undone for now.
Step 3. Inflate and attach your balloon
Using a helium gas tank, inflate the balloons one at a time and attach them firmly to the string. Flower wire is a good choice for attaching balloons, as it won't expand or loosen. Strong adhesives such as cable tape or duct tape can also be used.
- Prepare lots of adhesive and go over the length of using tape or binders to attach each balloon, rewinding it several times to keep it from loosening.
- As before, work systematically, starting from the end farthest from the other end that has been weighted. The string will rise as you work your way up to the weighted end, reducing the risk of your balloon bursting with something rough.
Step 4. Hide the binder
For this type of arch, crepe paper is better than ribbon because it is light in weight. Wrap the crepe paper along the string, starting at the weighted end and working your way up to the floating end. Not only will this cover the adhesive or wire you're using, but it will also add a cheery feel to the arch and can be easily matched with the balloon colors.
Step 5. Finish the arch
If you have wrapped the crepe paper along the string, you will now hold it in your hand. Cut or tear the crepe paper to break the crepe paper, and glue it with clear adhesive to prevent it from falling off at the edges. Attach this end to another weight object. Finally, if you're attaching an arch to a coal box or similar object, use decorative items to cover it. Your arch will sway with the wind, and stay upright thanks to the helium in the balloons, creating a playful and eye-catching motion effect.
- Although the floral ornaments are too heavy to decorate this type of balloon arch, they are perfect for covering coal boxes at both ends.
- Both weights can be shifted to create a higher and narrower arch or lower and wider, so experiment until it's to your liking.
- If you are using more than one color of balloons, consider using a specific pattern instead of a random pattern. You can cover the base of the arch by creating a spiral pattern of each color by pairing the next balloon at a 12-degree angle from the previous balloon of the same color around the arch, or attaching it across the color for a bold striped finish.
- Purchase a helium tube with a pump valve so that the balloon can be inflated easily. These items can be rented at party supply stores.
- Attach the balloon base in a twisting pattern along the string, loop, or hose to get a good pattern and completely cover the arch without any extra effort.
- Helium balloons will lose their buoyancy after 8-15 hours, so plan to inflate your balloon no more than two or three hours before your event starts.
- It's really important to tie everything together, especially when using helium balloons. The ability to make knots will help you greatly, reducing the use of adhesive or wire on each balloon.