Photo courtesy of flowersbydickburton.com
Balloon arch clusters serve many purposes. You see them at wedding receptions as the bride and groom enter the room. They are used as a backdrop for the once-in-a-lifetime prom photo your child will forever remember. They can be made for a child's party to add colour and fun, or may be seen at the all-important 50th anniversary party of a couple who is celebrating a milestone in their marriage. Whatever the reason, it is not necessary to hire someone to make your celebratory arch. You can make it yourself. Although time consuming, it is fairly easy and inexpensive.
Choose your balloon. You can either go with helium- or air-filled balloons to decorate your arch. Helium balloons do require less support, however their lifespan is only between 10 and 12 hours. After this, they begin to weigh down the frame of the arch. Air-filled balloons require a more stable frame but are less expensive and have a longer lifespan.
Determine the size of the arch. Before you can purchase the right number of balloons, you need to know what size your arch will be. On average, six balloons will cover 1 foot of frame length. There are three formulas you can use to determine your arch's length. First, if it will be taller than wider, multiply 2 by the height and add the width. This is your length. If the arch is wider than it is tall, simply add the width and height together. This will give you your length. Finally, if the arch is as tall as it is wide, multiply .5 by the height and add the width. This is your length.
PVC pipe, courtesy of poorvin.com
Make your frame. This is done simply by using PVC pipe for the sides and an aluminium pipe on top to give it the arch. Once connected, use electrical tape to secure it around the joints of these materials to secure them in place.
Inflate your balloons. To ensure that all balloons are the same size, use a cardboard template and inflate them to the size you have drawn. Once inflated, tie two balloons together, and then twist them with two more balloons to make a cluster of four. It is during this process you can use the same colour or different colours which will create a pattern.
Attaching clusters, courtesy of conwinonline.com
Attach the clusters. Start at one end of the arch and attach the clusters of four by twisting one of the balloons around the frame. This will secure the cluster. Continue this until you have reached the opposite end of the frame.
Secured arch with balloons on weights, courtesy of conwinonline.com
Secure the arch. Once the clusters have been added, move the arch to its desired location, and secure the bottom with either sandbags or bricks. You will want to cover the weights will balloon clusters that are tied to the bottom of the frame. You may also want to secure the arch to the wall or ceiling if inside, by connecting it with a wire. If outside, you can secure it to a table or chair. If the arch is placed in a doorway, using a string with pushpins hooked to the door frame will suffice.
- Photo courtesy of flowersbydickburton.com