A balloon arch or garland is an inexpensive way to add a massive statement to your bridal shower or wedding decor. The logistics are fairly simple and it can be done relatively quickly with a group of your bridesmaids or groomsmen helping.
There are a few variations on the balloon arch floating around right now, including small ones meant to go on tables, but this tutorial is for a full arch or garland—one that folks can stand underneath to take photos, frame an important item like the wedding cake, or even for you and your sweetheart to say your vows under if that’s your style! Here’s how to get this whimsical statement decor in six easy steps.
Step 1 – Source and Cut Wire for the Frame
To begin, you will need large, sturdy wire cut to the length you want your arch to be. If finding and securing wire that will work seems overwhelming, you can buy wire kits made especially to use for balloon arches, which include the wire as well as the bases. If you’re DIYing the entire thing including the bases, you will need a bucket filled with gravel or sand to use for each end of the wire, as well as a heavy item like a brick or weight to hold the bases down firmly in place. (If you want the bases to go with the rest of the arch aesthetically, you could paint the buckets to match your color scheme or cover them with fabric or other material.)
Step 2 – Blow up the Balloons
Next, you’ll need to blow up the balloons. For this arch or garland, you do not need helium balloons, although you can certainly use them if that is your preference. The good thing about balloons filled with air instead of helium is that they can stay inflated for a fair amount of time, so you won’t need to wait until the last minute to create this arch. It’s a good idea to have an air pump handy, as your arch will require a lot of balloons and blowing them up without a pump, even with a lot of people helping, will get quickly get exhausting.
Step 3 – Tie the Balloons Together
Next, take your filled balloons and tie them together in pairs. You can use the same color together or different colors for this—it all depends on your personal preference. Know that you will be attaching two pairs together, so be prepared for that to affect your aesthetic. You can use the balloon tails themselves to do this, a small piece of string, or even tape.
Step 4 – Create Balloon Bundles
Tie two pairs of balloons together into an “x” shape using string or the tails of the balloons, so you have a clump of four balloons attached together in one piece (which we will call a balloon bundle).
Step 5 – Attach the Bundles to the Frame
Take the balloon bundle you’ve created and attach it to the wire frame, being sure to place the wire as close to the tied area in the middle of the bundle as possible. You can attach the bundle to the wire using neutral-colored string, a small twist-tie, colorful ribbon, or even brightly colored tape, depending on whether you want the means of attachment to be visible on the arch or not.
Step 6 – Fill in the Frame and Adjust Where Needed
Continue this process until the entire wire frame is filled with balloons. As you get closer to filling the archway, you may need to use pairs of balloons, or even single balloons rather than bunches to fill in the gaps. Feel free to adjust the orientation, group numbers, or color combinations of balloons to create the exact aesthetic that you want.
As was mentioned earlier, this project is best achieved with a group of people working together, as it can really speed the process along to create a type of assembly line with some people blowing up balloons, some people tying them up, some people attaching them into bundles, and some people getting them onto the wire archway and making the arch look exactly like you want it to.
A balloon arch or garland is a great way to make a really inexpensive but dramatic statement at any wedding event. However, be sure that you don’t make this too many days ahead of time, as you don’t want the balloons to start wilting before they’re supposed to be on display!