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No Helium, No Problem! Decorating with Non-Helium Balloons

non helium balloons heart wedding decoration

For a long time, helium has been the essential element that makes balloons so magical. From the 1956 French film The Red Balloon to childhood birthday parties, it’s hard to imagine decorating without helium balloons.

 

But with the recent helium shortage, artists and designers have been doing just that … and their creations are mesmerizing. Even before the helium shortage, creative and crafty types have put no helium balloons (i.e. air-filled balloons) to great use.

 

You can find the most impressive air-filled balloon designs at the World Balloon Convention–no, we’re not making this up! This international balloon design convention and competition has an air-only balloon event where contestants from all over the world come to showcase furniture, mythical creatures, fictional characters, massive archways, fashion and hundreds of other clever pieces made entirely of balloons without helium. The convention shows first-hand that the design possibilities with no helium balloons are un-ending.

While your no helium balloon needs probably aren’t as extravagant as the designs at the World Balloon Convention, no helium balloons can be used on a smaller scale for many of your traditional party decorations.

 

The Benefits of No Helium Balloon Designs

Even though it’s nice to have party decorations that float, choosing air-filled balloons slows the demand for helium without compromising the look of your decorations.

non helium balloons table decoration

  • In general, helium balloons are more sensitive to temperature changes (they deflate in cold temperatures and expand in hot temperatures) which can affect your decorations. Helium is a smaller molecule than oxygen, so helium balloons deflate quicker than air-filled balloons.
  • If you are hosting a party outdoors, air-filled balloons are a stronger choice. Since air-filled balloons are held together with sturdy materials like poles, vases, and string, you can keep balloon decorations from floating around and tearing apart if the wind picks up.
  • Helium centerpieces are typically less innovative because the main attractiveness is the floating part. With air-filled balloons, your centerpiece can be as elaborate as you want.
  • Helium balloons tend to be more expensive because helium is a more expensive commodity than air. If you have big ideas for balloon decorations but you need to stay on budget, air-filled balloons are much more economical.
  • You certainly aren’t limited to latex balloons either. Air-filled Mylar balloons of all shapes and sizes are available for balloon bouquets, cake toppers, photo booth decorations, and centerpieces. Whether you use Mylar or latex, you never have to worry about your balloons floating away with this type of centerpiece.

 

Big No Helium Balloon Designs

Air-filled balloons are perfect for big decorative columns and arches because they are suspended with poles, vases, and frames. This makes outdoor balloon decoration much more dependable. Even if you are hosting a party indoors, big air-filled balloon structures don’t move around as much, so they can be incorporated into more complex designs. We’ve seen “columns” that look like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and archways that look like portals to new dimensions. You can make your vision come to life with air-filled balloons; all you need is a strong, flexible frame to keep it in place.

 

Small No Helium Balloon Designs

non helium balloons on a stick

Air-filled balloons can also be used for smaller decorations, props, cake toppers, party favors, and centerpieces. Small balloons suspended on short poles create lovely multi-tiered designs that can be customized by theme or type of occasion. We’ve seen elaborate centerpieces that touch the ceiling, centerpieces that look like flower bouquets, and others that include candles or lights. A classic air-filled balloon design features a single latex balloon on top with little latex balloons attached around the bottom. You can also create small topiary trees and structures with air-filled balloons.

Air-filled balloons are also used to make inflatable props like balloon animals. Balloon animals are traditionally made with long or “tube” air-filled balloons and add a little magic to children’s birthday parties, festivals, and other occasions. Another popular prop is the air-filled balloon on a hand-held stick. This party prop dates back to before the popularization of helium balloons, and now they are making a comeback!

multi colored balloon animals

Reimagining balloons can lead to some magnificent designs while also reducing the demand for helium. We thank you for considering air-filled balloons for your next event. If air-filled balloons sound like the perfect option for you but you don’t know where to start, stop into Paper Plus at 1629 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley and chat with our balloon-loving staff. Or, give us a call! 510-525-1799

We love balloons, so we write about them a lot!

 

 

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