A balloon arch is a great ornament for any type of party. It can be made with a great variety of materials. Regardless of how different they all look, the process for building them is more or less the same in all cases. In general, the balloons are usually tied by their tails forming groups of four and these are later tied to a structure with the shape of an arch.
Decide What Type of Balloon Arch You Want
#1 Proportions of the Arch
First, you have to define the proportion between the length of the arch, and the size of the balloons. If the arch is too long or the balloons are too small, the arch will be very unstable. In order to build a solid balloon arch that starts on the floor and rises above the height of a person, a good proportion could be a 6-meter-long arch, formed with 9-inch balloons. You will require 120 balloons for this specific type of arch.
#2 Colors of the Balloons
Next, you need to decide what color you want the arch to be. If you want to be in one single color, then you need to buy 120 balloons of that same color. If you want to combine two colors, then you need to buy 60 balloons of one color and 60 balloons of the other, for this specific arch. Try to buy extra balloons, in case that some of them burst.
#3 Structure of the Arch
The balloons need a structure that holds them together forming an arch. The easiest way to solve the problem of the structure is to buy a balloon arch kit. It will contain instructions to put together all the components so that you have a good structure for the balloon arch. It is important to check the size of the arch because it could be a small one that you put on top of a table, and you will need smaller balloons for that.
There are many other possible structures that can hold a balloon arch. If you are putting the arch in an exterior place where there will be wind, you will need a strong structure that can hold the balloons together. In this case you can use a strong wire structure anchored to something heavy on both ends, like buckets of gravel or sand. You may even need to tie a fishing line from the upper part of the arch to something solid, like a post or a tree branch, for greater stability.
If you are placing the arch in an interior place where there is no wind, you can simply use a long ribbon to tie the balloons together and tie something heavy on both ends of the arch, like a piece of wood. By placing both ends together, the arch will be formed. If the balloons contain normal air inside, the arch would have to be placed against a wall. If the balloons contain helium, it can stand on its own.
Build the Balloon Arch
#1 Blow Up the Balloons
Blowing up 120 balloons is a very tiring task. You will probably need a balloon inflator for the job. Using a balloon inflator, blow up the balloons until they measure about 9 inches in diameter. You can check their measurement by placing two chairs, separated by the diameter of the balloons, placing each balloon between the chairs, and letting the air out until it can pass between the chairs. Once you have two balloons of the correct size, tie them together by their tails, forming a pair. After that, tie two pairs by their tails so that they form groups of four balloons. [See more how long do balloons stay inflated].
#2 How to Arrange the Colors of the Balloons
When you are forming the groups of four balloons, you have to consider the color that each balloon needs to have. If you want to create an arch with friezes of colors that alternate perpendicular to the length of the arch, the four balloons will have to be of the same color. However, if you want to create an arch with two colors that rotate around it forming a helix, tie two pairs of balloons of different colors and arrange them so that they have the same colors in opposite ends.
#3 Tie the Balloon to the Structure
If you are using a balloon arch kit, build the structure following the instructions of the manufacturer. Then, place each group of four balloons onto the structure, so that the knot touches the structure. In order to attach them to the structure, rotate one balloon over the next one, once or twice. Repeat this process for all the groups of balloons. This strategy also works for wire structures.
If you want to use a ribbon to tie together the balloons, start by making a knot onto a solid object, like a chair. Then, press a group of four balloons against the knot on the chair and move the ribbon around each balloon. Next put the following group of four balloons against the first, rotate it, press it against the first group, and move the ribbon around two adjacent balloons, forming the figure eight. By pressing them somewhat hard, the arch will be strongly tied together. Repeat this process until the all the balloons are tied together. When you are done and have a long line of balloons, untie the knot on the chair and tie something heavy in both ends of the arch. A piece of wood can be a good option. By placing both ends together on the floor, the arch will be formed.
#4 Placing the Arch in Place
The final step is to place the arch in its location. If the structure came with the balloon arch kit, place it where the instructions indicate. If the arch has a wire structure, it can go anywhere you want, but try to tie the upper part of the arch to something solid so that it has more stability. If it has a ribbon structure and the balloons are filled with normal air, it has to be placed against a wall in the interior of a room. If it has a ribbon structure and the balloons are filled with helium, you can place the arch anywhere inside a room. You can even move it around the room during the party.
Balloon arches are a very interesting decoration for a party and they are very simple to build. There is a great variety of options to choose from, depending on your needs. It is one of the most entertaining ways to prepare a party and start having fun before the party even starts.