When I look at the parties my generation (Gen X) had as a kid, they seem quaint compared to the bridezilla extravaganzas being produced for youngsters today. We had piñatas and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. These kids are getting individual A Thousand and One Arabian Nights-style tents with color-matched balloon arches for slumber parties and custom Cake Wars-style cakes. Whether it's a sign of love and creativity or a signal of the end of the Roman empire, party decor has taken on a life and industry of its own.
None more so than the stunning displays of balloon art that are popping up in every event planners instagram feeds. Balloon art has definitely come a long way.
Three main types of balloons: latex, vinyl, and mylar.
Latex balloons, apparently originally made from dried animal bladders (who says progress isn't a great thing?), are now made from rubber cultivated from the sap of Southeast Asian trees. They don't stay inflated since latex leaks and over time become shriveled and chalky. Animal balloons and your typical party balloons are air and helium compatible and are made from latex.
Vinyl balloons are designed for outdoor use. They last a long time and can withstand sun and rain. These are usually found at businesses instead of parties.
Mylar, or foil, made from nylon, aluminum, and laminated polyethylene materials, are the most versatile, as they can be made into numbers, letters, regular shapes, jump shapes, air walkers, and can have designs printed on them as well. They last longer than latex balloons, even though eventually they, too, shrivel. However, they are also terrible for the environment because the petroleum-based materials in them don't break down easily.
Balloon arrangements have also become more sophisticated. Regular party balloons can be arranged in five to twelve-piece bouquets, columns, or garlands. Animal balloon art, once offered in the shapes of swords, or hats, giraffes or dogs, has expanded to include more complicated forms from rams and elephants to combined balloon sculptures.
You can accent your party balloon arrangements with tassels, ribbons, or lights. Popular kids party decor couples balloons with large stuffed animals like teddy bears or giant alphabet blocks. Engagement parties will complement flower arches with ceilings lined with balloons. Balloons are festive, colorful, and create a space that looks magic.
PopUP CleanUP offers decor setup and breakdown as part of our event cleaning services. We don't specialize in balloon decor, but we can help prep the space to string them up beforehand or pop and dispose of them afterwards!