How to Make a Balloon Arch: The Step-by-step Guide

A large pastel pearlescent balloon arch pinned to a pink wall

We love sharing our industry secrets with you, and the method behind our balloon arch majesty is no different! Here we aim to give you everything you need to create a fantastic arch, garland or cloud at home that’ll have everyone asking “wow, how did you do that?!” 

Step One: Gather everything you need for your balloon arch

Everything needed to make a balloon arch - balloons, an electric pump, balloon tape and scissors

As well as your balloons, save your lungs some effort with an electric hand pump, and make sure you have scissors, fishing wire and balloon garland tape on hand.

How many balloons for a balloon arch?

For a standard-sized balloon arch or garland, you’ll want roughly 70 latex balloons made out of a mix of sizes. Many of our kits contain two sizes (usually 11” and 5”) but the greater variety of sizes, the more exciting it looks!

As an example, our fan favourite rainbow balloon arch kit comes with 78 balloons – that’s 30 5” balloons and 48 11” balloons. You can see how huge this beast is, and what a difference those little balloons make!

Huge latex balloon rainbow coloured arch garland

Whereas this cute little botanical arch is made with only 45 balloons. Less of a statement and more of a perfect accent! We’ll come back to that foliage a little later.

A small balloon arch made from white and ivory balloons with green foliage

On the other hand, our Touch of Pampas kit only has 70 balloons, but those are spread over a mixture of 5”, 10”, 12”, 18” and 24”. Which goes to show that really there are no rules here – the most important thing is to make sure you have enough!

Step Two: Inflate your balloons

This is where that electric hand-pump comes in handy, because honestly you’re going to be here a while otherwise!

Try to keep the colours separated to make the next steps easier.

Person blowing up a pearlescent balloon using an electric balloon pump

Experiment with different ways to inflate your balloons – underinflating your balloons by a little bit makes them rounder, which makes for a different kind of look. We’d usually suggest that any smaller balloons you add are underinflated to avoid that teardrop shape!

Getting the right colour palette

If you’re trying out your own thing rather than getting one of our kits, you might not be sure what colours work best together. This Instagram post has a few ideas for you, or you can take inspiration from our existing kits – just do what makes you happy!

Mixing up styles and finishes

You might have noticed that for a lot of our balloon arches, we try to mix up the finishes. This just adds a little depth to the display, and makes it look much more sophisticated than just flat latex balloons.

Take your pick from high-shine, pastel, satin, metallic, pearl, neon, holographic, chrome and reflex, which are our highly reflective balloons.

Rose gold and metallic balloon arch for a baby shower

You can see here how we’ve combined shiny foil balloons, satin latex balloons, large round matte balloons and clear balloons filled with confetti.

You’ll also need…

Most of our kits also include sticky dots and balloon tape for hanging, and those will work perfectly!

However, we’d also recommend that you invest in a good electric hand-pump – it’ll save you a ton of time and energy. 

We also use fishing wire in a lot of our balloon displays. It’s nearly invisible and great for tying together awkward bunches of balloons, as well as getting them to stay in place!

Removable wall hooks are our go-to for getting our arches up on the wall, but you can also use large pieces of mesh netting or frames that the balloons can be tied onto. 

Step Three: Build your balloon arch

Using balloon tape

You could also choose to skip the tying together process and go straight for attaching them to the balloon garland – leave about 30cm of tape before starting, then pull a balloon knot through every third hole. This will result in a slightly less clustered row of balloons, which incidentally makes it easier to work with! You can always go back and fill in any gaps later if you think it’s needed.

A woman threading balloons through a length of balloon tape

Now this might take some time, so make sure to set plenty aside and maybe get a friend to help! Once your balloons are all strung up it’ll look a little something like this:

Woman holding an arch of pastel coloured balloons in front of her

Tying them together

If you don’t want to use balloon garland tape for whatever reason, the good news is that you don’t have to!

Instead of adding the balloons individually to the tape, instead take two balloons that will go next to each other on the garland and knot their knots together. Take another two balloons and knot them together too – now take the two pairs of balloons and tie them together to make a four balloon flower. Make up a series of these, then attach each quad together with fishing wire!

Keep going like this, using either balloon garland tape or fishing wire to create a length of balloons (although keep them quite clustered for fullness). If you’re planning a specific pattern like a rainbow or ombre effect, you can lay out your balloons first to make sure you’re getting them in the right order. But feel free to experiment! It’s hard to go wrong with a balloon arch.

Step Four: Choose your location

The world – or your party venue – is your oyster when it comes to deciding where to put your fantastic arch! Here are just a few of the places it might look perfect…

  • Above and around the entrance to the party
  • Above the dining table
  • Surrounding a fireplace
  • Framing the gift table
  • As a photo booth backdrop
  • Along the edge of a table

Step Five: Set up your balloon arch

Once your glorious bunch of balloons has been assembled, you’ll want to install them in place to make sure they stay safe and look fabulous! There are as many ways to do this as you can think of, but here are a few ways we’ve done it in the past.

Command hooks

Probably the simplest option, simply get your hands on some command hooks and put them in the right position. For a nice arch shape you’ll want to identify the top part of the arch – which will usually be the middle – and start there, working out to the edges. The number you’ll need depends on how large your arch is, but we usually just use three; one on each end and one in the middle. If you’re aiming for more of a sideways arc, start from the top.

A woman hanging a string of balloons onto the wall with command hooks

You’re not restricted to just the wall, either – try using command hooks to decorate the edge of a table with your balloon arch!

On a hoop

We sell specially made hoops and frames for supporting a balloon arch, which take a lot of trouble out of the equation! These look so gorgeous that there’s no need to cover them entirely, so you can experiment to see what you think looks best.

A golden hoop with balloon arch around the edges

However, if you’re looking for more of a budget option we’ve seen some impressive setups using just a hula hoop (the toys, not the crisps!), or you could use chicken wire, or even a peg board.

On a curtain rail

Using your trusty fishing wire, you can hang your balloon arch easily along the length of a curtain rail to make a beautiful window-framing balloon arch. Simply tie a sturdy knot through the ends of the balloon garland and one through the centre or highest point of the arch, making sure you have at least three points of contact along the rail.

Woman's hands hanging the end of a balloon arch onto a curtain rail using fishing wire

Step Six: Add some finishing touches

Once you’ve gotten the main part of your arch hung up on the wall, it’s time to go back over it and fill in any gaps with smaller balloons.

5″ balloons are the perfect size for this, but it’s best to keep them snug and round – underinflating will do this and also help to avoid any bursting balloons! Grab a pack of handy glue dots to make this super simple and just move your way along the arch, filling in any gaps you’re not keen on. You can see here that this gap is just begging for something to cover up the balloon tape and knots!

A woman's finger pointing at an obvious gap in a balloon arch that needs to be filled

Sometimes we like to put some extras in our balloon arches – usually faux plants or pom pom decorations. You can really brighten up a balloon display by inserting the occasional palm leaf, spray of pampas grass or eucalyptus spray. You can also use real flowers, but make sure not to add these to the display until the day of the party to prevent them wilting and looking sad!

You could even make it seasonal with a few clever additions, like transforming some of the balloons into carrots for Easter or even into unicorns!

We hope this tutorial has helped you to make a fabulous balloon arch for yourself at home! Watch the video below if you’d like to see more in-depth details, or head over to our Instagram page for loads of party decorating tips including some of our favourite balloon arch ideas!