How to make a frame for a walk through balloon heart

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Balloon entrances provide a touch of drama and class to your prom, quinceanera or wedding reception. A heart-shaped balloon arch is appropriate at any time, but becomes especially meaningful for an occasion held on Sweetest Day or Valentine's Day, a renewal of vows ceremony or a wedding reception.

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Bind two 14-feet pieces of 1/4-inch diameter steel rod stock together using 16-gauge steel wire wrapped around them at one end in a tight, 12- to 18-inch long coil.

Hold the bound rods with the bound end pointed at the floor. Pull the rods apart above the bound end, bending them down and around toward the floor into two equal and opposite curves to make the top of your heart shape.

Adjust the curves and continue to bend the rods until the unbound ends meet.

Place each unbound end of the frame in a new, unused 5-gallon white plastic bucket. Fill the space around each rod with sharp-sided white landscaping gravel.

Wrap white or iridescent garland around the wire frame from end to end. Secure with white floral tape. Repeat with real or artificial ivy vine and green floral tape.

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Inflate round balloons to 10-inch diameter and knot them. Theme Parties N More suggests tying pairs of balloons together by their knotted ends and twisting them together to make clusters of four. Attach the clusters to the wire frame, from one end to the other, until there is no visible wire left.

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Place your heart-shaped balloon arch in the entryway of your reception hall, gymnasium or other venue. Position the gravel buckets just far enough apart that couples can walk through it side-by-side. Coil additional garland and ivy vine around the buckets until no white is visible.

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