When it comes to putting on a party, table centerpieces are a big design element.
I personally never have a party without a centerpiece. It gives the table extra design flare and ties in whatever party theme I’ve chosen.
Sure, there are tons of party centerpieces available in the party section of almost any store, but they can sometimes leave us wanting.
I love to do a custom centerpiece! Typically, I rely on my Cricut cutting machine to help me design and execute them. But, it isn’t always an option!
I don’t always have the time or design inspiration, and that’s where balloons come in to save the day.
Balloons are incredibly versatile. And, they can be so much more than just some helium-filled balloons floating in a corner.
Balloons draw your eye, add volume, and add color, design, and fun to your centerpieces.
I honestly never knew how much you could do with balloons. I’ve become somewhat of a balloon nerd and won’t have party without them now!
Use Balloon Centerpiece Stands
Recently, I threw a Sonic the Hedgehog themed birthday party for my kids. It was a super fun theme, and everybody loved it!
I had a blast making decorations, and like always, I wanted to make custom centerpieces for the main table where most people would be dining.
I had a lot of ideas, but there was just one problem – my Cricut machine was on the fritz! It was making all kinds of funny noises and not making clean cuts.
Procrastination had gotten the better of me, and I was running out of time. I had gotten most of my decorations done, but I had nothing for the table.
I needed to come up with a fun idea, and fast! Using my Cricut was out of the question, so what could I do?
Ah yes, of course – balloons! And, a great way to make a centerpiece with balloons is to use a balloon stand.
There are two ways you can go about this. You can buy one at your local party store or you can make your own!
Use a Store Bought Balloon Stand
There are a bunch of different balloon stand options available to purchase.
You can find them at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels, party stores like Party City, or grocery stores like Walmart.
You can also find fun balloon selections at budget stores like Dollar Tree or Five Below.
I purchased the particular balloon stand I used for my party from Hobby Lobby. It was affordable and came in a three pack!
It could not have been simpler to use. And, it still allowed me some creative freedom.
There are so many different variations of a centerpiece you can make using this stand, or any ready-to-use stand rather.
It’s made to hold balloons, but you get to choose what balloons and how they’re displayed as far as sizing, color, pattern, and type.
There are a lot of balloon options to choose from! For this particular party, I chose to use printed latex balloons in the party theme colors with a foil number balloon on top.
This worked great, because it was a party for all three of my boys. So, I did three different ones with each of their ages – another win for the three pack!
If you have any trouble getting the foil balloons to stand, try using balloon glue, or even tape. Balloon glue is great because it is tiny but mighty.
Get your balloons in the position you want them, then stick a balloon glue dot right where the balloons sit together, and it will hold them in place.
Keep in mind, if you’re using these outside in a windy environment, you’ll need to make them a bit more sturdy.
You can even get a little more handy and use fishing line. It’s basically invisible, and by wrapping it around the balloons and the base, it helps keep the balloon secured to the stand.
Balloons are very light so, depending on the environment, you may want to consider weighing down the base of the stand, as well.
I also adjusted the sizing, because right out of the package, it was very tall. And, while I like to make a dramatic statement, it was a bit too large for the space.
I simply snipped the ends using some scissors at the height I preferred, and voila!
Keep them big or make them small. Either way, it’s a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to dress up any table for a party!
Make Your Own Balloon Stand
If you want to get a little bit more creative or happen to have the materials already on hand, you can make a balloon “stand” from scratch.
The possibilities are endless if you do it this way!
Start with a vessel to be the base of your centerpiece. Some ideas might include a mason jar, decorative bowl, a pretty vase, a pot, etc.
Place a piece of plant foam inside. You can tape it to the bottom of your base so that it remains sturdy.
Or, you can surround it with materials to keep it in place, such as glass marbles or decorative shredded paper. You will need to cover the plant foam anyway.
Cut balloon sticks to the size you desire for your centerpiece. Balloon sticks are the best thing to use to display balloons, as they’re made specifically to hold balloons.
They also make it easy to swap out balloons if you decide you like something better.
Attach your balloons. You can use all latex or both latex and foil.
Stick the balloon sticks in the plant foam. Get creative and play around with different heights and displays!
If you haven’t already done so, fill in your base to cover the plant foam, especially if you’re using a clear vessel.
Try adding dimension by making the top balloon bigger and more grand. You can do this with latex or foil.
If you choose to use a foil balloon on top, you can use a number, a letter, or a themed balloon.
If you have trouble getting your foil balloon to cooperate, use tape or balloon glue (or both) to secure it to the balloon stick.
You can stop there or you can add extra flare by adding more detailed accents like ribbon, bows, flowers, etc.
I’ve found that you can easily attach curling ribbon to the balloon stick at the base of the balloon. It’s a great way to add a fun little embellishment!
No matter where your creativity takes you, using or making balloons stands are a sure way to bring your party centerpieces up a level.
Use Balloon Clips to Make a Centerpiece
Another tool available for making a balloon centerpiece is the balloon clip. These can be found at any party or craft store.
There are a lot of fun ways to use them! The best way to find out what you like is to play around with them.
Make Balloon Flowers
Start by attaching a latex balloon in the middle. Then, place five latex balloons on the outside – one on each section.
Slide the balloon knots into the clip and press down to level them. If necessary, place some balloon glue between the balloons to hold them together.
Try to keep the balloons equal in size so that they lay evenly. You can use whatever balloon size you like, but smaller balloons may be easier to work with in this capacity.
Use one color in the middle and a different color on the outside to achieve the flower look. Or, have fun with it and use multiple colors!
With the particular balloon clip I used, there are ten holes on the outside and one in the middle. If you utilize all of them, you can create a layered look.
What I did to accomplish this was to attach smaller balloons on the outside holes and slightly larger balloons on the inside holes.
Then, attach the largest balloon in the middle.
The smallest balloons measured around 3 inches. The second largest balloons measured around 4 inches. And, the largest balloon on top measured around 5 inches.
Incorporate Foil Balloons
These looks can also be enhanced by adding a foil balloon. Use a letter, a number, or any themed balloon option that fits your party.
With the flower look, substitute the middle latex balloon with your foil balloon of choice.
You could also do this with the layered look. Keep in mind, you may need balloon glue to help keep everything in place.
Use one or use them all together!
Make a Balloon Table Runner
Making a balloon runner is a fun and interesting way to dress up your table!
The Materials You Will Need
You will need two main things to make a balloon runner: latex balloons and a balloon strip.
Other materials that may also be helpful to you are: balloon glue, tape, and a balloon sizing guide.
Unless you have an incredibly large table, smaller balloons are going to work best in a balloon runner. I found that balloons blown up to about 4 or 5 inches looked best.
They may look small, but a bunch of balloons together will take up a lot of space.
You can use larger balloons, like a 9 or 12 inch balloon and just not inflate them to their full size.
Keep in mind, when larger balloons are not fully inflated, the color may be off or gathered at the top due to extra material not being fully expanded.
Also, they may not be as round. If you have the option, use the smallest size you have.
Luckily, these things are usually pretty subtle.
Party stores do sell smaller, 4 or 5 inch, balloons. It can help take the guess work out of blowing up a larger balloon to the right size.
But, if you’re like me, and you have a fairly large balloon stash, and you want to use what you already have on hand, using larger balloons can definitely work.
You might just have to experiment a bit!
Helpful Tip (if you’re using larger balloons): To get to a 5 inch size, it will take approximately one good exhale (if blowing it up by mouth).
Using a balloon sizing guide can be helpful too if you’re so inclined! I found mine at the dollar store.
Balloon strips are typically used to make balloon arches. But, they’re also a great way to make a balloon runner!
You basically are making a mini balloon arch and laying it flat on the table instead. They’re very simple to use!
How to Make the Balloon Runner
Now to the fun part! How do you do it?
First, lay the balloon strip down on the table and cut it to size. At some point, you will probably need to tape various spots along the strip to the table so it lays flat.
You can do this before or after attaching the balloons. Next, blow up your balloons.
Then, attach your balloons in the desired order to the strip.
Once you have the runner in place, you can inspect it for any holes or gaps. If there are any places you don’t like or want to fill, simply use balloon glue to attach any extra balloons.
There are no rules when doing something like this. You make it the way you like it!
Sometimes you just need to go with the flow. Add a little something here or a little something there, and you may end up with a masterpiece!
And if not, well, everything is easily removable!
You can even add a foil balloon on top for a little something extra.
Or, have fun with it and add ribbon, bows, confetti, different types of foil balloons, or other themed decorations.
The balloon runner can be the base of something grander or it can make a statement all on its own!
Use Helium-Filled Balloons in Your Centerpiece
When in doubt, use helium-filled balloons!
If you’re going to have them, don’t just throw them in a corner somewhere. Place them front and center!
Attach whatever balloons you’d like, latex or foil, themed or otherwise, to a nice base. It can be a balloon weight, a vase of flowers, or any other themed decoration.
As you’re attaching the balloons to whatever base you have chosen, adjust the balloon string length to whatever best suits the table.
This may seem a bit basic, but it’s a nice way to incorporate the helium-filled balloons you might have already planned to have and dress up the table at the same time.
In fact, I have done this before. I was throwing my son a Blippi themed party for his second birthday. I was having trouble coming up with a centerpiece idea.
It was a little last minute. I didn’t have anything like balloon stands or strips on hand, and I didn’t have the time to whip something elaborate up.
So, I took the helium-filled Blippi balloons I had always intended on using and made it my centerpiece! It turned out so cute, and I was super happy with it!
No matter what you choose to do with your balloons, here are a few tips to help you make the process a little easier.
Balloon Glue is Your Best Friend
Yes, tape or actual glue will work in a pinch, but balloon glue will save your sanity. It works very well for securing balloons together.
It’s small and clear and not very noticeable. It will not take away from your project.
Lastly, you can take it off your balloons without ruining them. That is definitely not always the case with regular tape.
Balloons are not always going to cooperate exactly the way you need them to. So, get yourself some balloon glue!
Blow Up Balloons in Bulk
If you’re working with multiple balloons, blowing up all of your balloons at once is a great tactic. This allows you to work on your project more seamlessly.
You can swap out balloons as needed, switch things around, play with different colors – all without having to stop and blow more balloons up.
It also makes it easier to make sure your balloons are all the same size if needed.
Helpful Tip: Put the balloons in a bag while blowing them up so they don’t roll around, blow away, or collect any unwanted hair or dust.
Make Your Centerpiece in Advance
A lot needs to happen on the day of a party. There are a lot of last minute details that need to be done, no matter how prepared you are.
Having decorations done in advance is incredibly helpful, time-saving, and sanity-saving. So, if you can, make your centerpieces in advance!
Air-filled balloons can hold up for days. But, to ensure the best quality looking balloons, try doing it the day or night before.
If you’re working with helium-filled latex balloons, those obviously cannot be done the day before. However, if you’re using helium-filled foil balloons, then you can do it in advance!
Helium-filled foil balloons can last for weeks!
If you want to try to do everything in advance, try using Hi-Float in your helium-filled balloons.
Learn more about how Hi Float makes helium-filled balloons last longer.
Get a Balloon Pump
If you can, get a balloon pump! And when I say that, I really mean, do yourself a favor and get yourself an electric balloon pump.
An electric pump will save you so much energy and time. They are available almost anywhere and they’re inexpensive.
But of course hand balloon pumps will work too. They will certainly save you a lot of breath!
Nobody can deny the added visual appeal a balloon can bring to the table. It’s so simple and yet so effective.
I went years of throwing parties without knowing how creative I could get with balloons. And it’s so much easier than I thought.
Balloons will always have a place at a party. If they’re already going to be there, why not use them in a more eye-catching way??
As always, have fun with it, and happy ballooning!