How to build balloon colums & arches

Written by julia kitlinski-hong
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How to build balloon colums & arches
Balloon arches and columns are an easy way to brighten up a party. (30 year balloons image by jimcox40 from

Balloon arches and columns can brighten up any party or event. If you have the time and patience they can be homemade and this way you will have the freedom to customise them with any colour combination that you prefer. Helium balloons are easier to use because they require no additional frame, since they can hold themselves up. If you buy helium balloons you will also save your breath by being able to blow them up with a helium machine, instead of using your lungs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 11-inch' high-quality latex balloons
  • Coloured curling ribbon
  • Spool of nylon line
  • Sand
  • Sheets of clear cellophane
  • Helium
  • Pair of scissors

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    Balloon Arch

  1. 1

    Decide if you want to have a solid-coloured arch or a multi-coloured arch. Also decide how big you want to have your arch. A good way to determine size is: If you want an arch with the same height and width: (1/2 x Height) + Width = approximate total length. If you want an arch that is wider than it is tall: Width + Height = approximate total length. If you want an arch that is taller than it is wide: (2 x Height) + Width = approximate total length.

    This way you can also determine how many balloons to use by putting about one balloon to every foot of the arch.

  2. 2

    Make sure that all the balloons are inflated to the same size. Trace a plate onto a piece of cardboard and cut a hole where you can stick the balloon in while your are blowing it up to make sure they all remain the same size. The bigger your arch is the bigger the balloons should be.

  3. 3

    Prepare two bases for the arch. Fill two deflated balloons with sand, tie the ends, wrap clear cellophane around them and tie them up with colourful ribbon.

  4. 4

    Attach the nylon string to one of the bases and make sure it is secure. Unravel the string but do not cut it, since you do not know how much you will need.

  5. 5

    Tie the first balloon a few feet from the base. Blow up the balloon and then hold the air in and stretch and wrap the neck around the nylon string and tie a secure knot so the balloon stays in place. Continue to do this until you have a balloon arch. Make sure to tie the other end of the string to the second base when you are done.

    Balloon Column

  1. 1

    Determine how big you want your balloon column. You will need a foot for each cluster of balloons, so each foot of the column will require four balloons.

  2. 2

    Build a base for the column. Fill a balloon with sand and then tie it up. Wrap clear cellophane around the base and tie it up with a colourful ribbon. Make sure to attach the end of the nylon string to the base securely, but do not cut the string until you are done making the balloon cluster in case you need more than you expected.

  3. 3

    Create a balloon cluster. Blow up one of the balloons and then blow up the second and stretch the necks and tie them together around each other (use two different colours if you want to create a multi-coloured column). Repeat this step for a second pair of balloons. Cross the balloon pairs together and twist them over each other once so that the two colours are side-by-side instead of across from each other.

  4. 4

    String the nylon string through the centre of the cluster and let it sit on the base. Repeat this process until you have a balloon column. Make sure to give the rest of the balloon clusters a 1/3 turn so that they fit snug into the cluster below them. At the top of the column cut the string and tie it to the centre of the last balloon cluster.

Tips and warnings

  • Use colours that relate to the theme of your celebration, such as red or green ones for a Christmas party.

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