Balloon Sculptures, Bouquets, and Arches
I love balloons and balloon sculptures. I’m probably one of the few females on the planet who’d rather receive balloon bouquets than flowers. Maybe you consider flowers to be more romantic, but balloons are more fun! I think the colorful, floating shapes match my personality better. Of course, I have no problem whatsoever of receiving balloons and flowers. In the past couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate balloons even more because of my oldest daughter, Mandy. She and her mother-in-law, Cindy, own and operate a party supply store, and one of their specialties is balloons. The name of the store is Party Station, and it’s located in Tifton, Georgia. Mandy and Cindy have always been creative and artistic, so this is a great niche for them. Customers come from other counties to have these two ladies create designs for their events. Sometimes the balloon sculptures are so large and intricate that they have to be assembled onsite. In order to augment their innate talents, Cindy and Mandy also traveled to Atlanta several times to attend classes and workshops on balloons and balloon sculptures.
I have some interesting information to share with you about helium balloons. You already know that helium is what makes these balloons float, but did you know there’s a helium shortage in the United States? As a result, the price has risen significantly. In fact, between the year 2002 and the year 2007, the price for helium doubled. Only a small portion of the helium produced is used for balloons. Most of it’s used in MRI scanners, for welding, and in the production of silicon, titanium, germanium, and zirconium.
The price of helium brings me to my next point. You might think helium balloons in your local party stores are overpriced when compared to cheap balloons you might find on the internet. What some buyers don’t realize, however, is that the price doesn’t include the helium. You have to take the balloons somewhere to be filled, or you have to purchase a helium canister and do it yourself. It’s cheaper in the long run to buy helium balloons that are already inflated.
Okay, so you think you might save a few bucks by purchasing your own small tank of helium and blow up your own balloons. Bad idea. Those tanks aren’t refillable, and they end up in landfills. They never fill nearly as many balloons as the canister claims, either. Another plus to buying helium balloons at local stores is that most of these shops inject a shot of Hifloat. This makes your helium balloons look good for a longer period of time.
Mylar Balloons – Foil Balloons
Mylar balloons and foil balloons are the same things. Different people simply use different terminology. These are a good choice for people who are allergic to latex. Also, when you’re sending balloons to someone in a hospital or other facility, you need to check first to see if latex is allowed. I know of some hospitals in our area that allow only mylar or foil balloons.
Mylar balloons or foil balloons come in all types of colors, sizes, and themes. The shapes are pretty amazing, too. You can find mylar balloons in the shapes of horses, cows, dogs, cats, flowers, butterflies, tractors, and lots more. A lot of people like the vivid colors of these balloons that really stand out against the silver foil.
Balloon bouquets are great gifts for practically any occasion. There are so many, many choices of balloons from which to choose, I always have trouble deciding on the ones I want to include in balloon bouquets. Some people prefer using all latex balloons in solid colors, while others might like to mix and match colors and/or patterns. Adding mylar balloons or unique shapes to balloon bouquets adds a lot of pizzazz.
Unless delivery is offered, remember that you’ll have to transport your bouquets yourself. Make sure you have enough room in your vehicle to do so. Adding a weight to the strings will help hold the balloons in place as you’re driving. When you buy balloon bouquets from Party Station, they place them in a special transport bag, which makes the job much easier.
I’ve always liked getting birthday balloons. Just seeing them gives me smiles for days. I like to give them, too, but I usually have a hard time deciding. I often wind up with something like this for an adult: a large mylar that says “Happy Birthday,” some sort of balloon with a unique shape, and numerous latex balloons in two contrasting colors or shades.
With birthday balloons for kids, I try to match the bouquet to the individual child. For example, I have two grandsons who are addicted to fishing, so I might give them balloons with fish printed on them. One grandson is into trains, so a Thomas the Train-shaped balloon would be perfect for him. My oldest granddaughter is a little diva, so she’d prefer a big crown balloon with smaller zebra balloons. One granddaughter is a big fan of Barbie, so she likes to receive Barbie balloons.
Number balloons have numbers printed on them. A no-brainer, right? Hold on there, partner. Number balloons might also be in the actual shape of numbers, too. Number balloons can signify lots of different things: someone’s age, the number of years they’ve been on a job, the number of years a couple has been married, or even the score of a sporting event.
Number balloons look good in bouquets, too. The ones in the shapes of numbers stand out among the more traditional round shapes, but the numbers might look better at the top or at the bottom of the bouquet. A good balloon designer will be able to help you decide on the best arrangement.
Printed balloons display words, phrases, or short messages. You can find balloons that say almost anything, and if you can’t find just the right words you want, you can always turn to custom orders. Printed balloons are wonderful ways to say “Get Well Soon,” “Happy Birthday,” “Congratulations,” “Good Luck,” “Happy Anniversary,” “Miss You,” “Happy Graduation,” etc. The messages on printed balloons range from serious, like “I Love You,” to funny, like “Over the Hill.” You can also find some with sarcastic or even snarky messages.
The messages on some printed balloons are very specific to certain members of the population. For example: “World’s Best Teacher,” “Super Nurse,” or “Chefs Make It Sizzle.” Some of the messages are pretty darn funny, too: “Does This Baby Make Me Look Fat?,” Cleverly Disguised as a Responsible Paramedic,” “Beware: Hormone Surge Approaching,” and “I Just Spent Nine Months on the Inside” are just a few examples.
Fish balloons might be round balloons with images of fish printed on the surface, or they might be in the shape of a fish. Some fish balloons are whimsical and cartoon-like, while others have realistic images of fish printed on them. The former types are great for kids, while the latter type of fish balloons would be appropriate for anglers of any age. Around here, balloons with largemouth bass images are popular with guys, since we have so many avid bass anglers in the South. Such balloons are good choices for “manly men” who might otherwise think balloons are too “cutesie.”
Zebra balloons are the bomb! They look awesome in balloon bouquets with solid-color balloons, especially with lime green, pink, purple, or red. The stark black and white and the bold pattern really adds a lot of visual impact. Of course, you can also find zebra balloons in colors other than black and white. I’ve seen them in hot pink and white, purple and white, lime green and white, and brown and off-white.
Zebra balloons might be typical balloons with a zebra print, or they might be mylar balloons in the shape of zebras. These days, a lot of little girls and teen girls use a zebra theme for their parties, so the zebra balloons would fit right in as decorations. And, like I said, the zebra print looks great in groupings, too.
Leopard Print Balloons
Leopard print balloons are cool, too, but they’re not as popular as the zebra balloons. You might find leopard print balloons in realistic colors like tan, brown, and black, or you might find the print in funky colors like purple, hot pink, and black, or in lime green, dark green, and black. These look cool when combined with solid colors in balloon bouquets. You can also find some half-and-half leopard balloons – half the surface is a solid color and the other have has the leopard print. I especially like the natural leopard print balloons with solid blacks and solid golds. It’s a real eye-catcher! If you want something really bold, add a couple of leopard print balloons and a couple of zebra balloons in with some solids.
Star balloons come in lots of sizes and colors, so they’re very adaptable. Some are plain and some are printed with messages. Star balloons are perfect for Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, and political events. They’re also a good way to convey the message to the recipient that you think she or he is a star. In this case, star balloons would be a good way to congratulate someone after a piano recital, a sporting event, a beauty pageant, or any other time you might want to say “good job.” Because of their shape, star balloons look great with round balloons, too. They add some visual interest to a group of otherwise all round shapes.
Hello Kitty Balloons
Hello Kitty balloons are based on the designs of Yuko Shimizu. The white kitten character is produced by Sanrio, a Japanese company, and the kitty has become iconic in the United States. If you’ve had much experience with little girls, you’ve undoubtedly seen this feline on purses, lunch boxes, stickers, clothing items, or costume jewelry.
Hello Kitty balloons are available in round mylar balloons that display the kitty, sometimes along with a message. There are also Hello Kitty balloons in the shape of a cat. I can’t think of any little girl who wouldn’t love being surprised by these. If you’re giving Sanrio items as a gift, why not attach a couple of Hello Kitty balloons for an extra surprise?
Bubble balloons are really cool. Some people, however, are confused about the term. Until Mandy explained it to me, I thought bubble balloons were clear round balloons that were often filled with other items. Actually, bubble balloons are made from plastic, instead of being constructed of mylar or latex. These balloons might have images and/or words printed on them, or they might be completely clear. They can be stuffed with smaller inflated balloons. One popular type is the bubble-in-a-bubble, where a clear or transparent balloon is filled with smaller balloons. The large transparent balloons you often see stuffed with teddy bears, candy, and other small items are usually latex balloons. Bubble balloons can be stuffed with balloons, but not all stuffed balloons are bubble balloons. Got it?
Anniversary balloons are a wonderful way to remember someone’s special day. I’ve sent these to my husband before, and he was delighted to get them. I don’t think he would have been happy with flowers, though. Like balloons for other special occasions, you’ll find lots of different types of anniversary balloons – some serious and some funny or tongue-in-cheek. If the balloons are for your significant other, guys, you might want to tie the balloons to a vase of flowers, a box of candy, gift-wrapped jewelry, or a stuffed animal. You’ll definitely get extra credit for this!
Baby Shower Balloons
I think I’ve included baby shower balloons at every shower I’ve ever helped host. Mandy and Cindy make a neat “column” that people like to use for baby showers. It’s made of latex balloons – usually pink or blue – and at the top, there’s a mylar stork. This can be placed outside to mark the location of a shower, or it can be used indoors as part of the decorations. Of course, baby shower balloons are also available in other shapes, too: bottles, diaper pins, footprints, rattles, and traditional round. I like the giant baby-shaped balloons!
You might want to go in another direction with baby shower balloons. For example, before my number three granddaughter was born, we knew her nursery was going to be done with a zebra theme, so we used zebra balloons at the shower. They matched the zebra print plates and cups.
Party balloons just scream festivity. They’re almost a must for kids’ parties, but they function just as well at adult get-togethers. No matter what type of party you’re having, you can find appropriate party balloons – pirate party, cowboy party, pool party, luau, a barbecue, a Cinco de Mayo party, a Christmas party, a Halloween party, a fall festival, an Independence Day party, an Easter party, a Valentine’s Day event, etc. You can even find party balloons to go with fundraiser events like those for breast cancer or animal shelters. And you’ll have no problem finding matching colors, of course.
Balloon decorations aren’t new, but some balloon designers are getting really creative with ways to use balloons as decorations for parties and other events. These range from informal parties like outdoor luaus to formal events like wedding receptions. Balloon decorations might include massive balloon arches, balloon sculptures, balloon bouquets, balloon columns, or even individual balloons.
Balloon decorations can serve as table centerpieces, dividers, or borders. Individual helium balloons can be tied to the backs of chairs to add splashes of color. If they’re tied at varying heights, there’ll be more of a visual impact. This also works well using two different colors.
Balloon decorations are limited only by the imagination of the artist, so they’re extremely versatile. They’re also inexpensive when compared to many other types of party decorations. Balloons are super lightweight, so they require no heavy lifting. Best of all, they’re disposable. When the event is over, they can be popped, deflated, and tossed. The deflated balloons take up little room, and you don’t have to worry about storing them until the next time you host a party.
Balloon sculptures are very popular in my neck of the woods, and Mandy and Cindy are really talented. They sometimes use designs they learned to make in workshops, but they also create a lot of their own unique designs. I’ve been really impressed by some of these! Often, when I see one of their new balloon sculptures, I ask myself, “How the heck did they do that?” The twisted skinny balloons they use as accents and for flower stems amaze me. I just think these are so fun! I’m convinced that Mandy and Cindy could create just about any type of sculpture when they put their heads together. I think my favorites are the colorful balloon flowers.
Balloon arches are just what they sound like – arch shapes made of balloons. Oftentimes, at least two different colors are used, resulting in a “twisted” pattern. Balloon arches can be used at entrances, where guests walk through them, or they can be used as focal points. Even in large areas like banquet rooms, balloon arches are just about impossible to overlook. They’re big, they’re bold, and they’re attractive. And, of course, like other balloon sculptures, you can choose the exact colors to match or compliment your party colors. Very large balloon arches might need to be set up at the venue of your event, by the artist.
If you care about the environment, you’re probably interested in biodegradable balloons. Mandy is an environmentalist, and Cindy cares about our world, too. They pay extra for biodegradable balloons, so all their latex balloons are highly biodegradable. In fact, they degrade at the same rate as an oak leaf. It’s also interesting to note that such balloons are higher in overall quality, as well. I think this sort of attention to quality and details is why Party Station is so successful. They care about the community, and they care about their customers. They’ve helped with numerous charity events, too, for free. Visiting the store is fun, and I always enjoy seeing all the new party ideas Cindy and Mandy have come up with: invitations, tableware, hand-painted glasses, piñatas, paper lanterns, novelties, party favors, and signs. I have to say, though, the balloons and the balloon sculptures are my favorites.