If you just look at it, it seems like anyone knows how to use balloon sticks. However, if you try using it yourself, it usually leads to the balloon leaking air. It may also stay crooked on the stick or it outright just pops on you.
If you will be putting the party décor yourself, knowing how to properly prop up the balloons on sticks is one of the things you need to learn first. Going at it blind (without knowing what to do) will only result in a lot of popped balloons and a bruised ego. Continue reading to know how to do it right.
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What to Prepare:
- Latex balloons – If this will be your first time doing this, I suggest getting the thicker, opaque balloons rather than the thin, translucent ones. Also, get a bit more than what you will be needing.
- Balloon pump – You can get the hand pump. However, if you will be blowing up a lot of balloons, then you should get an electric air pump instead.
- Balloon cups and sticks
Step 1 – Blow up the balloons
Using either your mouth, a hand pump, or an electric pump, blow up the balloon. To prevent the balloons from popping easily, avoid blowing them up too much. You can tell if the balloon is almost at its limit if the rubber gets so stretched out that you can see inside. This is true if you are using opaque balloons.
Leave a bit of space in the balloon. You should still be able to stretch the neck by at least 3 inches to wrap it around the balloon stick.
Step 2 – Stretch the neck and twist
Grab the neck of the balloon tightly and twist it 2 or 3 times. This will ensure that the air will not leak out when mounted on sticks.
Step 3 – Insert into the cup grooves
This is the part that many people find tricky but it’s quite simple. Holding the cup upright, insert the neck into one of the grooves. After that, wrap it around the stem 1 or 2 times. You can then insert it into the opposite groove.
This is the reason why you need to leave some space in the balloon. Leave roughly 10% of the balloon’s capacity. If you inflate it too much, you will not have enough room to stretch the neck enough to twist it through the cup.
Step 4 – Attach the stick
Upon securing the balloon in the cup, you can now attach the stick. The reason why you do not attach the stick from the start is it is easier to twist the balloon into the cup.
How to Use Balloon Tape?
Although it is possible to create a balloon arch using balloon sticks, which used to be the old method, it is a lot more convenient to use balloon tape. Here’s how to use it:
- Inflate the balloons and tie the necks. Unlike balloon sticks, you won’t be able to re-use the balloons when you use them on balloon tape.
- Once you have inflated enough balloons, cut a length of tape for the size of the arch. For instance, if you are making a 16-feet arch, you can fit at least 100 balloons in it. It is even possible to make it reach 200 if you are using both sides of the tape.
- Pull the necks of the balloons through the holes on the tape. Pull them into the slot to secure the balloons in place. Alternate the position of the balloons to get a uniform balloon arch.
- Secure the ends of the balloon arch on the floor. You can use strong tape or blue tack so that the arch retains its shape at least until the end of the event.
How to Make Balloon Centerpieces using Balloon Sticks?
There are many ways you can use the balloon sticks to create party decorations, and here are some of the ways:
- Grab a flower vase, something with a wide mouth is preferable. Fill the bottom with pebbles or whatever weight you can find. This will prevent the vase from toppling over.
- You can use 4 or more balloons. Trim the sticks of the balloons so that one balloon is much longer than the others. The long one will be the center of the bouquet.
- The amount you need to trim will depend on the size of the balloons. For instance, if you are using 12-inch balloons, trim a foot from the length of the other sticks.
- Insert the balloons into a weighted vase and you’re done.
- You can use a rubber band to tie the sticks together so they won’t move.
Ice Cream Balloons
- You just need to make cones using sheets of soft cardboard. Shape the cardboard into cones. If you want, you can also draw a rough grid pattern on it.
- Put a bit of glue tack at the bottom of the cones and then insert the balloon stick inside the cone.
- If the balloon stick is too long, cut it to be slightly shorter than the total height of the cone. It should be just long enough to reach the bottom.
Hot Air Balloon Centerpiece
- Grab a small basket, a square one if you can, and put a weight in the bottom. I use white aquarium pebbles, but you can use whatever you want.
- Cover the top of the basket with clear tape. You can apply two layers to make it more robust.
- Cut a hole in the center of the tape and insert the balloon stick in the middle. The basket should be deep enough that the balloon stick could stand on its own.
- Attach 6 to 8 ribbons or strings around the center perimeter of the balloon. Use bits of clear tape and then attach ribbons to hide the tape. Tie the other ends of the strings or ribbons on the basket.
Using a Balloon Stand Kit
You can buy a balloon stand that can hold upwards of five balloons. These are great because the base is wide and transparent. You can, therefore, place other decorations or trays of food underneath the balloons.
Just like with the vase, you should trim the balloon sticks so that they are different lengths. This will give the balloon arrangement more dimension. You can leave one stick at the original length.
- Cut the others just enough so that the center balloon is above the rest.
- Insert the sticks into the slots on the base and arrange them as you see fit.
- Avoid blowing up the balloons until they are near bursting – You should leave enough space in the balloons, making it possible for you to twist and wrap the neck around the balloon stick cup.
- If you will be using a hand pump, count the number of pumps you used to inflate one balloon – Use this same number for the rest. This will somewhat ensure that all the balloons are the same size.
- Use acrylic paint – If you want to paint the balloons with different designs, acrylic paint is the best choice. This type of paint sticks better on latex and does not weaken the material.
Using balloon sticks is infinitely easier than inflating balloons using helium. It is also much less dangerous. In addition, if you know how to use balloon sticks properly, you can use them to create stunning centerpieces and other decors.
Just follow the steps and the tips mentioned in this article and you will find that putting balloons on sticks is not that difficult at all. This also opens up a lot of design ideas that you can use whenever an occasion calls for balloons, of which there are many.