How to Repair Holiday Inflatables

Santa image by Kimberly Reinick from

Over the past few years, inflatable holiday decorations have become increasingly popular. These large outdoor ornaments depict Santa Claus, Halloween pumpkins and even your favourite football team. The colourful ornaments--usually constructed of nylon with some vinyl portions--make for an eye-catching display that's easy to set up. Deflated, the ornaments take up very little space (making them easy to store), but holiday inflatables do have some drawbacks. When not plugged in, the ornaments deflate and can spring a leak. You can repair damage to your inflatable by taking a few steps.

Locate the source of your trouble. If you have a holiday inflatable that is not staying inflated, the problem could be a hole or tear in the inflatable or it could be a problem with the motor. If the fan seems to be functioning at full power and other power elements of the inflatable such as lights are functioning, then the problem is likely with the inflatable itself.

Track down the source of the leak. With your decoration set up outside, turn on the power to the motor to inflate the decoration. With the decoration inflated as much as possible, examine it for holes or tears.

Patch the holes with tape. A thick clear packing tape will work, as will duct tape. If you do not want the patch to be too noticeable, look for coloured duct tape that matches the colour of your decoration.

Sew up tears or holes in the nylon with needle and thread. To preserve the look and shape of your decoration, you may wish to use a needle and thread instead of tape to make small repairs to your decoration. Standard cotton can be used to sew up any tears or holes.

Cut a patch from nylon fabric for holes that are especially large. You will need to visit your local craft or sewing supply store to locate nylon in a colour that will match your inflatable. Cut nylon to a size that is larger than the hole you will patch. The nylon patch can be sewn onto the inflatable using a needle and thread.

Replace the fuse in the unit if--when plugged into a functioning electrical socket--neither the fan nor the lights work. If the fan works, but does not seem to be operating at full power, check to make sure that nothing blocks the flow of air from the fan. If the fan is not blocked, but is still not operating at full power, the unit may need to be replaced.

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