I made THREE simple balloon arches for Jame’s 1st birthday!

I stumbled upon balloon arches on Pinterest, and became immediately obsessed. They are magical. Some balloon arches are super over the top and probably not doable without a team of professionals (like this one omg), and others (like mine) are easy to do on your own.

I want to apologize in advance, because I didn’t do the best job of photographing my process. To be honest, I was expecting the end result to be a total disaster and didn’t plan on posting about it. Classic pessimist move. But, I’m happy to report that I am confident you will be able to create one, even without helpful photos.

Here are 3 things I want you to know before we get started:
  1. Making this balloon arch was WAY easier than I expected – I actually found it to be therapeutic – and I promise you can do it on your own.
  2. I DID NOT USE THE CHICKEN WIRE METHOD! The chicken wire method looks easier than I assume it actually is, don’t even bother messing around with that. I made all three arches using only balloon tape + a low temperature glue gun.
  3. You HAVE to use a hand held balloon pump, never blow up a balloon using your mouth ever again. 

Because I don’t have the most helpful pictures (bawling emoji), I’m going to list out the supplies first and then do a simple step by step! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask them in the comments! Happy arching 🙂

IKEA highchair  |  baby friendly + healthy smash cake recipe courtesy of my friend Katelyn over at But First Koffee! | balloons & faux palm leaves | See more photos from James’ 1st birthday party here
I bought these 16″ Gold Alphabet Letter Balloons and glued them to the palette! I used the handheld pump to blow them up.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED…

1. BALLOON ARCH “TAPE” 

This balloon arch tape is the main ingredient, folks. It is a clear, non-stick strip, with little perforated holes. All you do, is pull the balloon knot through the hole – that’s it!

2. SOMETHING TO HANG YOUR ARCH ON

You can get creative with this! I made three arches. One was hung on a wooden palette, one was hung on a curtain rod, and the last was hung on a wooden pole/dowel rod (same concept as curtain rod). Decide on where you want your arch and work from there.

3. BALLOONS FROM AMAZON

Duh. Buy more than you think you need, though! I bought my balloons on Amazon and used all of them, and ended up wishing I had more! You can always run to Party City for extras but it’s smarter to buy in bulk on Amazon. Have fun with your color palette, I wanted to do shades of orange, peach, coral, and found a 50 pack of assorted colors right within my palette. I also added large white balloons and small ivory balloons!

*TIP: Gold latex balloons are ugly, don’t buy them! Originally, I wanted gold in my palette but was super disappointed with how they looked blown up. 

4. HAND HELD BALLOON PUMP

This is a MUST. Do not even think about blowing up all of your balloons by mouth. This thing is a life saver!

5. LOW TEMPERATURE GLUE GUN

Do not skip out on this, a low temp glue gun is very necessary! Without it you will just have a simple string of balloons on the balloon arch tape. You need the low temp glue gun to stick smaller balloons onto the larger ones! PS make sure it is “low temperature” a regular glue gun will burn through the latex and pop your poor balloons.

BELOW: see all the little balloons on the right hand side of the arch? ALL of those were glued onto larger balloons!

I added these palm leaves to my arches, you can have fun with this and add anything you’d like!

STEP 1. Blow up a bunch of balloons, varying in size.

You won’t need to blow up ALL of the balloons before getting started, but I recommend blowing up a good amount so that you can get into a good rhythm once you start creating the arch! Also, make sure you are blowing up balloons that are all different sizes.

STEP 2. Attach the balloon arch tape to wherever you will be hanging your arch

Again, balloon arch tape is NOT sticky. It is just a clear roll of plastic with little perforated holes in it. So, you will have to get creative about how you attach the strip to wherever your arch will be hanging from! I used twist ties to hang it from one side of the curtain rod to the other.

STEP 3. Start attaching balloons to the balloon arch tape

All you have to do in order to attach a balloon to the arch tape is pull the knot through the little perorated holes! It is SO easy.

STEP 4. Glue on more balloons to the balloons already affixed to the tape

This is really the last official step! This is where your balloon arch will really start to take shape and look sweet AF. Fill in all the gaps with balloons of varying sizes, glue a bunch of balloons together to make a tail on one side (like my photo drop arch), etc.! Have fun with it!

STEP 5. (OPTIONAL) Glue other fun stuff onto your arch!

I bought these palm branches from Amazon and stuck them into all of my arches. Again, be creative!

 

I used these 40″ gold balloons to spell out “ALOHA” and I blew them up with the pump myself, not helium! | 40″ gold foil “ALOHA” balloons (each letter purchased separately) blown up with handheld balloon pump and hung using string. The balloons have little hooks already on them for the string to go through! | Balloons & faux palm leaves |

40″ gold foil “ALOHA” balloons (each letter purchased separately) blown up with handheld balloon pump and hung using string. The balloons have little hooks already on them for the string to go through! | Balloons & faux palm leaves |

– SHOP TROPICAL PARTY ESSENTIALS! –

32 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2018 Friday Finds #15 || Favorite Links on the Web — bows & sequins

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Melanie! Thank you so much for the sweet comment, and for stopping by! Tropical themes are always fun to work with 🙂 Happy Friday!

  2. Is the white cloth used as your backdrop under your balloons arch a table cloth or a curtain?

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Savannah! It is curtain panel from my bedroom! You could totally use a table cloth, but would have to get creative about attaching it to the rod. Maybe folding it over the top and using heavy duty clips on the sides?!

  3. Hi! How did you hang the Aloha balloons!! I tried once and it was a disaster!

    • Megan Reply

      Hi! I hear you, they can be hard to work with! So if you look really closely, you can see white string coming off the top of each “ALOHA” letter! I used white raffia string to hang each letter to the curtain rod, then used clear packaging tape to stick each balloon to the window to keep them in place. I hope that helps! 🙂 xx

  4. Pingback: James’ tropical themed 1st birthday party! – Meg McMillin

  5. Morgan mccoy Reply

    I am using your decor as an inspiration for my daughter’s first birthday. You did a fabulous job with everything. How long did the balloons last filled?

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Morgan! Thank you so much! So happy to hear you enjoyed the post 🙂 It is such a fun theme to work with, you’ll love it! You are not going to believe this, but the gold mylar “ALOHA” balloons and one of the smaller balloon arches (neither are helium filled) are STILL inflated!! They are in my parents house in their basement, haha. I swear I’m not a hoarder! I wanted to photograph them more after the party so my Mom kept them for me, and I was just there the other week and realized she STILL had them in her basement! So, you do not need to worry about them deflating!! xx

      • Morgan Mccoy Reply

        Fabulous news. That goes for the hoarding and the balloon arch!! Thanks so much.

  6. Adorable party! I just love your balloon garlands and was wondering about the photo booth you made. How did you get the curtains to stay up? Did you use pvc pipe? Was it freestanding or attached to a wall? Thank you!

    • Megan Reply

      Hi! Thank you so much! It was hanging and I used a random wooden pole/dowel that I found in my parents garage but PVC pipe would work just as well! My dad is handy and whipped it up for me but it is pretty simple! If you look really closely at the top right corner in the first photo of the post, you’ll see a little metal “S” hook above the balloons, he connected that to a little “eye” hook that he popped into the wood/side of house then made loops on the wooden rod with twine and hung that on the “S” hooks. I feel like I’m making that sound way more complicated than it actually is! But I’m sure you get the picture, haha. Let me know if I can clarify anything! xx

  7. Hi! Love this!! I was wondering how long it stayed up and the balloons lasted? I’m planning a baby shower and want to do this, wondering if I could do it the night before and it still look good

    • Megan Reply

      Hi! I started a couple days in advance and blew some up day of! However, they lasted FOREVER afterward. I was too attached to the arch to pop it so I left it in my parents basement and weeks later my mom was like “can I throw this thing away now?” – all the balloons were still inflated! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your arch 🙂 xx

  8. Chári Herndon Reply

    Hi there,

    I was wondering if your wood palette is leaning up against a wall or was it freestanding and secured with something?

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Chari! It was freestanding but we had it right up against a wall in case it were to fall backwards (which it did not!). I hope that helps!

  9. Hi Megan,

    Maybe I missed this somewhere, but I am wondering what size balloons you used, and about how many? I am copying your idea of the balloons in front of a pallet and also the one in front of curtains. Just wondering how many I will need for that!

    Thanks!

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Christa! I just went back and looked at my Amazon order for James birthday and I bought one pack of the following (all of which are linked somewhere in the post!): White Pearlized 12in Latex Balloons (72ct), Orange 12″ Latex Balloons (72ct), PartyMate 5″ Round Metallic Silk Ivory Solid Color Latex Balloons (50-Count), Orange Mango Peach Tangerine Assorted Mixed ORANGE Mulit-Pack 13″ Inch Rubber Latex Party Balloons for Wedding Bridal Baby Shower Special Event (50 pcs)

      I recommend buying 2 packs of the last set though! Also, I liked varying the amount of air I put in the balloons to make some look smaller and some look bigger to give the arch some depth! I hope this helps and good luck, would love to see a photo of your arch when you’re finished!!

  10. Hi!
    I’m looking at doing this for my son’s birthday. Where did you get the wood pallete from?

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Bree! My Dad works in construction and grabbed one from a job site! Palette’s are used to deliver stone/wood/materials/etc. to construction sites – so if you know anyone in the brick laying/wood working/construction industry ask if they can grab you one!

  11. Hi! These are amazing! I was wondering where you got the white sheet/curtains you used? Thank you!

  12. Hi there! I’ve read so many posts on balloon arches while planning my daughter’s first birthday, and this has been the most helpful-THANK YOU! Question: for the arch over the food table, do you know about how many balloons you used for that? I’m only looking to do one arch (I know you said you did 3), so I’m trying to gauge how many balloons to buy. xxoxx

  13. I never would have thought to use the hand pump for the letter balloons. GENUIS!!!! I love a money saving tip. Thanks

  14. Courtney N Reply

    Hey Megan,
    Was one pack of the balloon tape enough for the 3 arches?
    Thank you!

    • Megan Reply

      Hi Courtney! I only used one but I ran out toward the end and wish I had a back up! Maybe buy 2 just to be safe 🙂

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