How to Blow Up a Balloon

Two Methods:Blowing Up a Balloon With Your LungsBlowing Up a Balloon With a Pump

Essential for the birthday party, balloons are festive and fun. Blowing them up isn't always such fun though, as they require a good set of lungs or a balloon pump. If you've never blown up a balloon before, this article will help you quickly learn how to do so.

Note: If blowing up more than just a few balloons, it is highly recommended that you use a balloon pump (see Method 2).

Method 1
Blowing Up a Balloon With Your Lungs

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    Obtain some party balloons. Something inexpensive, colorful, and heavy is easiest, but oblong or theme-shaped balloons may also be a nice touch, depending on what you're blowing up the balloons for.
    • A bag of latex balloons can be found in supermarket chains or party shops.
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    Loosen the balloon by stretching it in all directions. If you stretch out the rubbery latex of the balloon with your hands first, you'll notice that it becomes much easier to blow up the balloons by mouth afterwards. Stretching the balloon will loosen the latex, making the inflation process less resistant.
    • Stretch the balloon in all directions, being careful not to tear the latex. Just make sure not to stretch the balloon too much, or you risk it popping when you inflate it. A few stretches here and there will get the job done just fine.
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    Pinch the neck of the balloon with your index finger and thumb just bellow the lip of the neck. This will keep the balloon in position when inflating. Grasp the end of the balloon about a quarter of an inch below the lip of the opening. Your index finger should be on top and your thumb on bottom.
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    Take a deep breath. Then use your lips to form a seal around the opening neck section of the balloon.
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    Blow air from your lungs into the balloon. This is the same action used when puffing your cheeks with air, but the air should pass into the balloon and your cheeks should be relaxed.
    • Try to keep your lips puckered and tight as you blow into the balloon. Your cheeks will fill with some air, but they shouldn't be getting really big — the balloon should!
    • Think of how a trumpeter blows into his or her horn: Maintain good embouchure, or facial muscle tension, especially if your lungs are weak or you're having trouble getting the balloon to fill with air.
    • Keep a tight seal between the lip of the balloon and your lips to maintain pressure.
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    Watch as the balloon initially resists. Then it will gradually expand after the initial resistance. You might be afraid that you or the balloon will go pop at this stage but don't worry, keep blowing and the resistance will soon pass and you will both be fine. This takes some getting used to, so keep trying until it happens, then use that experience to guide you for the next balloon.
    • If you're still having trouble blowing up the balloon after the first attempt, try tugging on the spout of the balloon gently as you blow into it for the second time.
    • If you are struggling, stretch the neck of the balloon, then seal the neck of the balloon with your thumb and index finger when breathing.
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    Hold the balloon if you take a break. If you need a breather in between blows, seal the balloon with your thumb and index finger. Then release your grip as you place the seal back into your mouth and blow in again.
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    Stop before the balloon risks popping. When you feel the balloon is resisting further expansion, the inflation process is complete. If the neck of the balloon inflates to a significant size, this means that you have overinflated the balloon and you'll need to let a little air out until the neck is flat again.
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    Tie off. When the balloon begins to strongly resist further expansion, it is time to tie the balloon. You've officially inflated your balloon. Now you can start inflating the next 49 balloons!
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Method 2
Blowing Up a Balloon With a Pump

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    Find a pump specifically designed to inflate balloons. A simple hand pump designed for use with balloons is cheap and easy to transport. Look for ones that have containers near the hand pump where you can store extra balloons.
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    Attach the opening of the balloon to the nozzle of the pump. The nozzle should be ribbed to allow for a tight hold on the opening of the balloon.
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    Pull out the hand lever on your pump and start pumping. No need to stretch out the balloon latex. Just pump until the balloon has as much air as intended. You're finished!


  • Note: these steps are only for blowing up balloons with regular air, so they will not float. Use helium for balloons that do!
  • Very large or small balloons may offer significant resistance to initial expansion and take two breaths to get through the first stage. Long, skinny balloons used to make shapes are particularly hard to blow up.
  • Sometimes gently biting the lip of the balloon as you blow can help hold it in place.
  • If need to inflate a large number of balloons and work in a middle school or similar setting, find a group of kids to blow the balloons up for you. Most kids in this age range love to blow up balloons and will happily make things so much easier for you!
  • Consider investing in a cheap pump if you will routinely blow up many balloons. It's worth the investment. Keep it where it's easy to find again.


  • Do not over-inflate the balloon. Kaboom! You'll learn soon enough when a balloon has been blown too far.
  • Do not blow too hard (an obvious sign would be "chipmunk cheeks" as this can build pressure on the sinuses.
  • People may experience a feeling of dizziness when blowing up many balloons. If you feel light-headed, take some time out to sit down and catch your breath.
  • Be aware that some people simply cannot blow up balloons due to the exertion required. If that's your case, don't sweat it. Find a pump to do the job or ask someone with bigger lung capacity and more sticking power. Not everyone is cut out to inflate balloons.

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Categories: Balloon Crafts