[FULL GUIDE] How to Make a Balloon Garland: 6 Easy Steps
Are you looking for a party decoration that will take your celebration to the next level?
A balloon garland (also called a balloon arch) is one of the most beautiful party decoration ideas. Use one to glam up your next birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower, or dinner party!
You might've seen gorgeous pictures on Instagram and Pinterest and thought something that beautiful has to be 1) way too expensive and 2) way too time-consuming. Besides, you probably have to be an expert decorator to get your balloon garland looking that stunning, right?
If you have about an hour and $20-$100 for supplies, you can have that Instagram-worthy balloon garland. Yep, no prior craft skills are required! It's the perfect DIY party decoration. Speaking of Instagram, check us out @shimmerandconfetti.
We put together this post to walk you through how to put up a balloon garland in no time. We'll give you a detailed supply list, 6 easy steps, and a few pro tips to make your balloon garland a showstopper.
Just read along to make a beautiful DIY decoration, completely unique to you!
Examples of Balloon Garlands we have created
Before You Start – Supply List
All-inclusive balloon garland kitThis kit contains everything you need to make your balloon garland: balloons, balloon tying tools, a balloon decorating strip, and glue strips. Shop all-inclusive balloon garland kits here.
High-quality latex balloonsChoose colors that match your décor scheme and theme
Balloon tying toolWe can't recommend this enough! If you're tying more than 10 balloons, this is a lifesaver. Learn how to use them here.
Balloon decorating stripAlso called a balloon strip, plastic strip, or balloon tape: whatever you call it, it's magic! It'll be the frame for your garland, eliminating the hassle of sewing your balloons together. Most importantly, it allows you to change things up even after the garland is complete.
Glue stripsFill out your garland by gluing on extra latex balloons. If you have a variety of sizes, it's a good idea to use the smallest size to fill out your garland once it's up.
Electric balloon pumpNot 100% necessary, but a balloon pump will literally save your breath! It's especially useful if you're creating a large garland. Shop electric pumps here.
Wall hooksCommand hooks (or a similar brand) will prevent damaging the area where you're hanging your balloon garland. You can shop wall hooks here. We've made another post on how to hang your garland on a wall if you want to learn more.
Making your balloon garland - 60 – 90 mins
Step 1: Inflate your balloons
Once you've chosen the perfect balloon sizes and colors to match your party decorations, blow up your balloons to various sizes. Having a variety gives your balloon garland a nice shape and form. If you're using our kits, you might have up to 3 different sizes of balloons to make your balloon garland shine.
This is where an electric pump will really speed up the process! But you can also enlist the help of family and friends to help you blow up your balloons. Knot your inflated balloons using a tying tool, or by hand.
Pro Tip: Leave out some small balloons for filling in the spaces in your garland! These will be a great finishing touch to make sure your balloon garland looks fuller, more colorful, and more interesting.
Step 2: Attach your balloons to the balloon decorating strip
It's time to decide what you want your garland to look like. You might want alternating colors for every hole on the balloon decorating strip, or maybe you want to make clusters of the same color for a more coordinated look.
Attaching your balloons is simple. Each hole segment on the balloon decorating strip has a small hole and a big hole. Pass the knot through the big hole, then slide it through the small hole to lock it into place. Easy as that!
Leave some length of the balloon decorating strip on either side empty. The extra length will make it easier to hang your decoration later on.
Also, remember to leave your smallest size of balloon out while you're attaching them. We're going to use them later.
Pro Tip: Vary your balloons in color and size as you add them to the line. You can take inspiration from balloon garland pictures you've seen, or you can come up with your own design. The choice is up to you!
Step 3: Plan your shape and place your hooks
Now it's time to decide what shape you want your finished balloon garland to be. The wonderful thing about DIY party decorations is that you can choose whatever shape you want!
You can use a pencil to mark out the spots on the wall where you want to stick your hooks. That way, you can imagine different arrangements and decide what you like.
Pro Tip: Shape has a huge impact on how your finished garland will look. If you notice that you like an asymmetrical look in inspiration pictures, for example, you can use that as a reference for your own balloon garland.
Create the frame of the garland by sticking your hooks to the wall or area where your balloon garland will go.
Step 4: Hang your garland
Install your garland on the wall in sections, supporting the weight of the unattached section with your hands. This can be done on your own, but it's also great to have a friend or family member to help you.
It's a good idea to work one section at a time, to prevent your garland from getting tangled. This also gives you more control over how each section looks as you hang it up.
Pro Tip: Clear a free hole in your balloon decorating strip to hang your garland to the hooks or nails. It's an easy way to make sure your garland stays right where you want it!
Step 5: Fill in any holes with the smaller balloons
This is the secret ingredient to a stunning balloon garland!
Your garland will look beautiful as soon as you have it up, but you can make it look even better with this trick. If there are any places where the wall is visible between the balloons on your garland, fill in those holes with your smaller balloons.
This makes your garland look fuller, more complete, and more interesting! We mentioned that a variety of sizes will give your balloon that "wow" factor, and these small filler balloons are the key to getting this effect.
Using your glue strips, fill in any holes with the smaller balloons. We don't recommend a glue gun, as it may pop balloons.
Step 6: Decorate the rest of the space
We've set ours as a backdrop for our dessert table, adorned with a DIY no-sew tulle table skirt. This adds some extra glam to our balloon arch, and emphasizes our color scheme.
Pro Tip: Get creative! This is your unique, personalized DIY decoration, and you can include other decorations in your garland. You can accent your party's theme by adding some extra décor items to your garland. Some of our favorites include palm fronds, faux flowers, and ribbons.
Finally, take a step back, appreciate your hard work, and be sure to get plenty of pictures of your beautiful creation!
There are a lot of ways to showcase your DIY balloon arch or garland, especially since it can stay up for up to one week. We chose to highlight ours with a dessert table underneath, which could display sweet treats matching the theme and color scheme.
However, you don't have to install your garland by the dessert table. Here are some alternative locations:
- As a photo booth backdrop
- Above the entryway
- Above the dining table
- Near a fireplace
- By the gift table
With this guide, you can be confident about hosting a party that will impress your guests. No matter the event or reason for celebration, a balloon arch or garland is a great focal point decor element.
Best of all, it doesn't have to be perfect. The beauty of balloon garlands comes from the fact that every one of them is unique. A balloon garland is a great DIY party decoration idea because it allows you to express your creativity at every step, from color to presentation,
Plus, you save a significant amount of money DIY-ing this balloon arch or garland. Pretty good bang for your buck!
One last pro tip: Maybe you can use your savings for an after-party spa date for yourself. You deserve it!
We hope seeing how easy it is to make a balloon garland has inspired you to try putting one up at your next party or special occasion. It's a simple, affordable, and fun way to make your party stand out.
Be ready for plenty of oohs and aahs from your guests!
Stay on our blog for more inspiring party ideas!
Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance should I set up my balloon garland? Can you make a balloon garland the night before?
Balloon garlands last about 1 to 2 weeks. For optimal results, create your balloon garland a day in advance. Keep in mind that it may take you several hours to blow up your balloons and set up your garland, especially if it's your first time.
It is important to note that if you keep your balloon garland outside in the heat, it will only last a day. Therefore, if you are hosting an outdoor party, store your balloon garland inside your home until just before the party starts.
How do you hang a balloon garland?
We have a post here that teaches how to hang your balloon garland on a wall.
What are nice color combinations ideas for balloon garlands?
The sky is the limit for nice color palettes for balloon garlands. If you have a key color in mind, use a color palette website to help you find other colors that will match.
In addition to the ideas previously mentioned, here are a few more:
- The Peach Palette – Pastel peach, coral pink, light mustard, pastel orange
- Pool Party – Coral pink, light turquoise, turquoise, pistachio, and marigold
- A Golden New Year's Eve – Black, two shades of gold, navy, fog grey
- Galaxy – Black, navy, violet, iris, silver
- Starry Night – Midnight blue, cerulean blue, bumblebee yellow, pistachio
How do I know how many balloons I'll need?
As mentioned earlier, to determine the number of balloons you'll need, determine the total length of your arch, the number of balloons per cluster, and the number of feet each cluster covers. Use our balloon calculator to determine the number of balloons you would need here or buy one of our kits with a predetermined number of balloons to make a 16ft long balloon arch or balloon garland
What mix of balloon sizes is recommended?
It is recommended that you use at least 2 or 3 different sizes of balloons. For dramatic effect, a combination of 5-inch, 11-inch, and 24-inch balloons would work beautifully.
It is nice to have a noticeable difference in size for more contrast and texture in your garland. Balloon arches that utilize the same size of balloons throughout do not have the same kind of show-stopping quality as a garland with balloons of multiple sizes. It's worth investing some time and creative thought into the design of your balloon garland for the ultimate final product.
Can I use my balloon garland outdoors?
Yes! You can hang your balloon garland outdoors. To hang a balloon garland outdoors, you can tie fishing wire, ribbon, or twine around a few sections of your garland. Then, you'll need to find a tree or a structure like a cabana in order to hang your balloons. If you live in a hot climate, hang your balloon garland on the day of your party as the heat may deflate the balloons.