How to Decorate With Balloons

Two Parts:Covering the BasicsGetting Creative

Balloons are a budget-conscious and colorful means for decorating any event. The only limit is your creative energy and knot-tying strength! We'll start with what balloons to choose and then bombard you with tons of interesting, out-of-the-box balloon decorating ideas. See Step 1 below to get started.

Part 1
Covering the Basics

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    Think of the color scheme. Balloons come in a wide array of colors. Do you want to go for the entire rainbow, a two-toned color scheme, or maybe an ombre effect? Do you want to simulate the bubbles of champagne? The hues of a fire? How many colors will you need?
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    Decide whether to use Mylar or latex balloons. Mylar is better for outside events -- it's the kind that's crinkly to the touch (and often comes in different shapes and with designs and sayings); latex balloons pop more easily, especially outside and with children on the scene. However, latex balloons are a lot more versatile and easier to work with.
    • In the next section (where we discuss ideas), we'll be talking about latex balloons mainly. Mylar works...but not nearly as well.
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    Think of quantity and size of the location. The bigger the place or the more scarcely decorated it is, the more balloons you'll need. Latex balloons will be much cheaper, and they'll cost you mere pennies if you blow them up yourself. Do you want a few for a nice touch or do you want your guests swimming in them? And as always, get a few more than you think you need to be safe!
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    Decide between helium or non-helium balloons. You can totally decorate your space with non-helium balloons, no problem. It's fast, cheap, and super easy. But to open up the plethora of balloon options available, you'll need helium balloons. Or a mixture of both!
    • You can get your balloons blown up at party stores or you can buy an at-home helium kit. If you have tons of balloons, you may want to opt for the latter.

Part 2
Getting Creative

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    Think of different ways to hang them. Regardless of whether or not you have access to helium, you don't have to relegate your balloons to floating on the ceiling or bouncing around the floor. There's a number of ways you can get your balloons to float outside the box:
    • With helium balloons:
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      • Tie strings on the end and attach to golf tees in your garden
      • Tie strings on the end and tape to various heights on the floor, forming a wall
    • With non-helium balloons:
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      • Pin to the wall in different sizes, like bubbles
      • Put a marble or penny in the balloons, tie on strings, and hang them upside down from the ceiling
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    Form them into shapes. You probably want a whole bunch of balloons, so why not combine their decorative powers and form them into big, impressive shapes? Here are some ideas:
    • Form a balloon arch. With helium balloons and string, they do most of the work themselves.
    • Form flowers. Four balloons of one color make the petals; a balloon of a different color in the middle forms the eye.
    • Form streamers. Take a needle and thread a string through rows of balloons, forming your not-so-average streamer.
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    Decorate them! Heck, this could be part of your party it's so fun. With a few artsy mediums, you can turn your balloons into veritable canvas for your next masterpiece.
    • Two words: glue and glitter. If you have a bowl of glue, you can dip your balloon in glitter, forming a two-tone effect
    • Permanent markers. Your friends' faces, anyone?
    • Paint, felt, and anything else you can whip up from your art drawer.
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    Fill them with things other than air. Because that's totally 2013. And we're not talking water balloon fights, though that's cool, too.
    • Well, fill them with water, but then freeze them. They'll keep your party drinks cold and be totally decorative and fun.
    • Fill them with LED lights or glow sticks. If you have a night party, these are an amazing way to get people excited.
      • If the LED lights are tea lights, you may need to cut off the base of the balloon. They'll look kind of blobby, but they'll still be awesome light-up blobs.
    • Fill them with beans for homemade bean bags!
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    Use them with a purpose. Balloons are decorative, sure, but they can also be useful. When people ask why your house is littered with balloons, it'll be because you needed them. Here's a couple reasons why:
    • Use them as place tags! Fill them up with helium, tie and tag on the end of a string, and tie the string to your chairs. Then people can take them home after, too!
    • Using streamers or thick tape, tape them against a shut door. When the special guest of honor opens the door, balloon avalanche!
    • Make crafts with them! Time to get your paper mache on or make a mold that can be turned into a vase or a mini lamp shade.


  • Use a permanent marker for drawing on faces.
  • If you can't find plain Mylar balloons for your event, try to find ones that blend in the theme, like flowers.
  • If the order is really big, see if you can order in advance instead of ordering the morning of your event.
  • It's a good idea to stock up on balloon weights.
  • If possible, watch the person who blows up your balloons; if you think there is a possible hole or if the balloon has too much air, you're probably right; ask if he/she can blow up another one for you.


  • Balloons are a menace for wildlife. Don't release them into the air, ever. If there is any chance of this happening, don't use them outdoors at all.
  • Latex balloons (especially when placed outside) have a high chance of popping.

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Categories: Event and Party Planning | Balloon Crafts