Balloon arches look great no matter what the event or party. They are impressive and seem complex, when in fact they are quite easy to do. You can make a basic balloon arch with regular balloons or a floating arch with helium-filled balloons. You could even secure an arch to a wall with wire mesh. Whichever arch you choose, your guests will be left speechless.
Method 1 of 3: Make a basic balloon arch
Step 1. Obtain or make a wire frame
With wire cutters, cut a long piece of sturdy wire. The length should match the height you want the arch to be. You could also buy a kit arch at the store and use the iron frame provided.
The longer the wire, the less stable the structure will be. So this method will work best for making a small arch
Step 2. Anchor the arch to the ground
Plant the ends of the arch in buckets filled with gravel or sand. If you bought a ready-made arch in a store, it might have a flat base. In this case, place something heavy, such as a brick or cinder block, on the base to hold it down.
- Add a thin layer of colored sand or colored gravel on top of the bucket to camouflage any rough sand or gravel.
- Wrap the bricks or cinder blocks in paper the same color as your balloons. You could also paint them the same color as the base of the arch.
Step 3. Inflate your balloons with a balloon pump
Your balloons could all be the same color or several different colors. Tie a knot at the end of each balloon after inflating it. Try to make all the balloons the same size.
- For this method, use a conventional pump, not a helium cylinder.
- You don't have to use a balloon pump for this step, but after inflating a few balloons your lungs may tire.
Step 4. Tie two balloons at the tail in a double knot
If you have trouble doing this, you can tie the two balloons together with string. Repeat this step with two more balloons. You should now have two pairs of balloons.
Step 5. Twist the balloons into a clover shape
Place your first pair of balloons on top of the second, crosswise. Pull the balloons from the bottom to the top. Shoot the left ball to the right, and the right ball to the left. You will get a shape of a four leaf clover.
Alternatively, you can tie the balloons in a cross, with string
Step 6. Attach the balloons to the wire frame
You can use string or twist the balloons on the structure. Place the balloon clover on the wire. Make sure the wire is against the knot in the center of the clover. Twist the two adjacent pairs of balloons so that they close over the wire.
You could also tie the balloons to the wire with string or colored ribbon
Step 7. Repeat the process to make more rows
Inflate your balloons, four by four. Twist them by two, then by four to make a clover. Secure the clover to the wire, just above the bottom row of balloons. Continue in this way until the wire is covered with balloons.
- You could use single colored balloons or different colored balloons.
- Stagger the balloons. Arrange the second row balloons in the hollow of the first row balloons.
Method 2 of 3: Make a floating arch
Step 1. Tie a long piece of fishing line to a balloon weight
Choose a weight that matches your balls. Wrap the end of the fishing line a few times around the handle, then tie the line in a tight knot. Do not tie off the other end of the thread yet.
- If you can't find a fishing line, use white string instead. You could also use balloon tape in a color that matches the colors you choose for your arch.
- If you are making a large arch, tie the string to the handle of a bucket rather than a balloon weight. Fill the bucket with sand or gravel.
- If you are making a large arch, you can also tie the string to a cinder block.
Step 2. Inflate a balloon with a helium canister
Unlike the other arches, this one will stand up thanks to the floating balloons. Inflate your first balloon with helium, then tie the end of it.
You can purchase a helium canister at a party supply store or DIY store. You could also rent one
Step 3. Tie the fishing line to the ball
Measure approximately 30cm from the weight. Wrap the yarn around the tail of the balloon, just above the knot, then make a tight double knot.
Step 4. Continue to inflate the balloons and tie them to the wire
Place the balloons close enough to each other that their sides are touching. Work from one end of the wire to the other. Leave about 30 to 35 cm of space at the ends.
If you used a cinder block as an anchor, you will need to leave enough thread to pass it through the holes in the cinder block and tie a knot
Step 5. Secure the other end of the wire
Measure 30 cm of yarn from the last balloon. Wrap the line around the handle of the anchor several times, then tie a tight knot.
Step 6. If you want, add a ribbon at the bottom of each balloon
This is a very cute touch, which will make your balloons appear to be floating in an orderly fashion. Cut a piece of balloon ribbon in a contrasting color, and tie it at the end of each balloon. For an even more sophisticated effect, curl the ribbon with scissors.
Step 7. If you want, decorate the heavy anchors
Small balloon anchors usually look like gift packages and look pretty pretty the way they are. If you are using a bucket or cinder block to anchor a large arch, you could decorate them. Here are some ideas.
- Cover the cinder blocks with wrapping paper.
- Paint the bucket with spray paint or acrylic paint.
- Cover the sand in your pot with colored sand (or colored gravel).
- Slip flowers into the bucket or cinder block.
Method 3 of 3: Make a mounted arch
Step 1. Using wire cutters, cut some wire mesh to make the structure
The length of the piece of wire mesh will depend on the width and height you want your archway to be. If the wire mesh is very wide, you could cut out a narrower piece. This will make it easier to bend into an arch shape.
Step 2. Give your wire mesh the shape you are looking for
You could make a perfect arch or a crooked arch. If necessary, fold or crinkle the mesh lightly in half lengthwise to refine it.
Step 3. Secure the arch to the wall
You can fix your arch to the wall with nails or tacks. Start at one end of the wire mesh, work to the highest point, then work your way down to the other side.
The ark does not have to be perfectly symmetrical. For a different design, try a crooked arch
Step 4. Inflate your balloons with a balloon pump
For a more interesting result, inflate balloons of different colors and sizes. Try out water-filled balloons, classic balloons, and jumbo balloons. You could also inflate classic balloons with more or less air.
- Do not inflate your balloons with helium.
- You might blow up the balloons in your mouth, but your lungs will tire.
Step 5. Attach the first balloon to the base of the arch
Place a dot of glue on the tail of the balloon, just below the knot. Pass the tail of the balloon behind the wire, then press it against the knot. Hold the knot and tail of the balloon together for about 10 seconds before releasing. This will help you know that the ball is securely attached to the arch.
You can find dots of glue at art and craft stores. They are simply dots of glue presented on a strip. Peel them off one by one as you use them
Step 6. Attach the next balloon in the same way
Make sure you place the second ball close enough to the first that they touch each other. Put another dot of glue where the two balloons touch.
Step 7. Continue in this way for the entire arch
Create clusters of balloons. Start with the larger balloons, then work with smaller and smaller balloons. You could even add small balloons on top of the large balloons, securing them with dots of glue.
Step 8. Consider adding items to fill in the gaps
Fresh or dry flowers will be especially good at filling in gaps, but you could also use fake ones. Otherwise, you could run ribbons between the balloons. This will help hide the holes and give your arch a more even look.
- Secure the flowers to the fence with dots of glue or string.
- Make sure the flowers do not have thorns. If they have any, cut them with a craft knife.
- For a sparkling effect, fill transparent balloons with glitter.
- Choose a combination of colors. Try an ombre or a rainbow!
- Match the colors of your arch to the colors of your event.
- You could arrange balloons of different colors in a pattern or in no specific order.
- Depending on whether you bring the ends together or spread apart, the arch will be higher or lower.
- You can buy a helium cylinder at a party store or a DIY store.
- If you want to use just one color, consider using multiple shades of that same color, such as light pink and dark pink.
- Fill the balloons in your arch with confetti, then pop the balloons to rain confetti.
- Helium-filled balloons will begin to fall after 8 to 3 p.m. Plan to only inflate your helium balloons a few hours before the start of your event.
- If it's cold, helium-filled balloons could deflate.