Easy Balloon Topiaries
Need some easy peasy party decorations?
Give me 15 minutes and 12 balloons and you’re in business with quick, inexpensive DIY balloon topairies!
Last year at this time, I was pretty occupied with creating decorations for a large circus-themed fundraiser. (I mentioned it once before in this tutorial for practically perfect paper fans.)
In my hunt for ideas, I came across a few tutorials for balloon topiaries and–with that inspiration–created an inexpensive one of my own. The balloons were perfect for the fundraiser because they could be dressed up in “formalwear“ or dressed down for fun!
When you’re the creator you can make some pretty, fun, and lovely decorations by incorporating other elements: from tulle to tissue paper, battery LED lights, and metallic accents. They can be hung from a ceiling, mounted on a dowel or post, combined on a cord…
Here are the super easy basics (This one started as a Valentine’s Day theme, but then I added things on hand and…):
Begin with nine-inch balloons. We’ll use good, old-fashioned lung power as our inflating method.
Find a clear bowl. Mine’s just a storage container with a diameter of about 7 inches. Blow up a balloon and slowly deflate until it fits inside the bowl. (That’s to make sure the balloons are under inflated and are uniform in size.)Twist the end of the balloon and tie into a very tight knot.
Repeat with a second balloon, then knot the two balloons together.
Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you have six pairs of balloons.
Connect two sets together (four balloons) by twisting them around each other at the knots. (Because you under inflated the balloons, you don’t have to be too gentle.)
Make three clusters of four balloons each.
Holding the balloon clusters by the center knots, join two of the four-balloon clusters together, again twisting around each other at the center knot area. Add the final cluster and twist all the clusters together, weaving any or all 12 balloons around each other until you have a desirable color arrangement.
To hang, tie a ribbon around a balloon or two and pull the ends until a knot forms at the middle of the cluster. Hang as desired….
Or…place foam in a container, pop in a dowel and mount the arrangement at the top.
Just separate a few of the balloons, place over the dowel, and release the balloons. The tension you’ve created by twisting the balloons holds them in place.
Let’s assemble one… it takes about a minute:
You can also “up the elegance” quotient by wrapping the entire dowel in tulle and gathering at the bottom. For our fundraiser we used LED lights and metallic ribbon. Really…it’s fun just to play.
But best of all… you can make these topiary clusters in under 15 minutes.
Other decorating ideas: weave curling ribbon, and let it hang at the bottom, Use the eraser end of a pencil to tuck in squares or circles of sparkle tulle or tissue. Tuck in curls of beautiful wired ribbon. Experiment with different layers and balloon sizes. Put a four-balloon cluster of 5-inch balloons at the base. …or a large balloon at the top of your topiary.
Bonus tip: you know the four-balloon clusters we made? They’re a great building block for columns (or even an archway, if you have that kind of lung power, lol).
Take the basic four-balloon cluster (I used 5-inch balloons this time and a 4-inch bowl) and flatten it out. After twisting all the balloons securely, gently pull apart two of the balloons and feed the cluster around a dowel.
Layer another cluster on top, and the next, staggering each layer until you’ve built most of your column and are close to the top.
You could put the large 12-balloon cluster on top, but I topped this one off with a cluster of eight and tied in a larger (under inflated 9-inch) balloon for the top.
You could also create a candy cane stripe by using four-balloon clusters of two alternating colors. Or try heart shaped balloons for Valentine’s Day.
Most balloons are fairly tolerant when they’re under inflated. I’ve used balloons from all kinds of places, from the Dollar Tree and Party City to the high-quality balloons made by Qualatex (visit their website for distributors). Sometimes a balloon will deflate, but you can pretty easily twist a new one in its place.
Be sure to check out some of the cute polkadot and damask print balloons and search on line for more inspiration, like this one from CelebratewithBalloons.com.
Now that you know the basics, you can experiment and have some fun with your own creations!