Do It Yourself Instructions: How To Make A Balloon Arch Decoration

Included in this article are instructions for making a helium or air filled balloon arch as well as tips for making other balloon party structures.

There are two types of balloon arches to choose from. If renting a helium tank, a helium arch will be easier to assemble but will not stay up as long as air blown balloons on a frame. The larger the frame, the more support it will need in order to maintain stability.

Helium Arch Supplies:

*30 pound test monofilament line

*Latex balloons in desired color(s) - approximately 4-6 balloons are needed for every 1 linear foot of the arch. An 8' arch would require approximately 150 balloons. For smaller arches, 9" balloons will work fine but for larger arches, use 11" latex balloons.

*Helium tank (or pre-filled balloons)

Determine the length of monofilament required for the arch. Tie one end to a sturdy object in the room such as a chair back, doorknob, table leg, etc.. Pulling the line taught, attach the other end to another object in the room.

Begin the arch by inflating two balloons to approximately the same size. Do not tie them off separately but tie the open ends of both balloons together as one. Repeat with a second set of balloons. Twist these two pair of balloons together to create enough balloon clusters to cover the monofilament.

Once the clusters are all assembled, begin twisting each four-balloon cluster around the monofilament, rotating each cluster to fill in any gaps. Slide the clusters to 12" from one end of the monofilament and continue until 12" of monofilament remains at the other end. Tie each remaining end of the monofilament to a heavy object such as a brick to hold the ends of the arch down.

Air-Filled Balloon Arch Supplies:

*Latex balloons in desired color(s) - approximately 4-6 balloons are needed for every 1 linear foot of the arch. An 8' arch would require approximately 150 balloons. For smaller arches, 9" balloons will work fine but for larger arches, use 11" latex balloons.



*Supplies to build arch frame such as: 3/8" PVC pipe cut into smaller sections for the upper halves and taped together with duct tape and pulled into an arch as it nears the top or bendable, sturdy wire or plastic rod bent into the desired arch shape. The arch will require a weighted base for each end. You can drill a hole into a heavy square of wood and insert the PVC pipe, plastic rod or wire into the hole. You can also use some glue to help hold the ends steady. The wooden base can also be weighted with small sand bags if desired for extra stability. A taller arch will require some extra support at the top of the arch. You can use monofilament tied to the top of the arch and secured to a hook in the ceiling (if using indoors) or tie to a tree etc. if using outdoors.

*Air pump (electric) or compressor to blow up balloons.

Assemble the four-balloon clusters as you would for the helium arch and twist the clusters around the arch frame, rotating to fill in the gaps.

*Other shapes such as letters and hearts can also be formed with a bendable metal such as aluminum rod and the balloon size or balloons not fully inflated can be adjusted so that they do not overwhelm smaller pieces.

*A balloon garland can be made by stringing long lengths of monofilament with helium or air filled balloon clusters and then draping them throughout the room.

*Up to four colors can be used when making the arches. If making a three colored arch, you will need to use two of one color and one of each of the other desired colors. Be sure to purchase double the amount of the background color which will be used twice in each cluster.

To create a color spiral, attach the balloon colors in the same pattern each time and when fitting each cluster together, rotate the cluster in the same direction each time, filling in the gaps and rotating the color by one balloon per cluster.

© High Speed Ventures 2011