Colors to choose (balloons, ribbons, flags, ....)
One thing that almost everybody forgets is the color of the background. Another words, do not do white on white, unless you have to. So even when you choose the theme for the party it is a good idea to look around and see the colors. Then, if you can, choose the theme with the most contrasting colors - that will make the room looks its best. Of course, if your kid wants Mickey Mouse no matter what - you do not have a choice.
What if you are not very good with the colors? That is easy: go on Google and type "color wheel" . Spend 5 minutes to figure out how it works and for the rest of your life you can be a consultant on the color matters.
Again: cheap, widely available, works wonders! The cheapest ones are the curly ribbon for balloons. Curly - because it can be curled up with scissors or knife very quickly. Make a pony tale of the length you need, curl it a bit to make it fluffy (see the pictures). Add a few mylar ribbon strings to add a sparkle ( do not do the whole pony tail out of mylar ribbon, it does not curl up well) and suspend it where you want (to attach, tie it to something or use the tape - see tip #2). One place that usually works well is the corner between two walls and a ceiling.
Needless to say that the ribbons work well with balloons.
But, what is less known is the use of these pony tails with miniature lights and blinkers of all kind. I will cover it in the tip about lights.
So, you looked at the room, see the color of the background, choose a theme and get to the colors of the theme. Now time for color coordination. It is not a must, but it gives the party a touch of professionalism that makes a difference, another words - do it!
What do you do? Say you have 3 colors. So you get disposable table cloth of one color, forks and knifes of the second and plastic pitcher of the third. Flowing the same logic, you choose napkins, flowers, balloons, ribbons, food coloring, candles and so on.
Now, what if you have white disposable everything at home, no flowers is planned, and you happened to have balloons of one color? No problem! Go to Office Depot or staples and buy color coding labels. They come in several shapes, sizes and all main colors. I personally like round ones. We use it mainly on Easter, to turn regular balloons into Easer eggs. But... What about the disposable table cloth? Plates? Even forks - I never tried, but if there is a label small enough - I would try! (see an example on picture)
Definitely, use it on balloons, it looks great. There are a lot of things one can decorate balloon with, we will discuss it separately, it is very interesting subject.
Use mylar shape balloons to theme the party
If you are decorating a themed party, say Dr Sues or Mickey Mouse. Check local store and internet, there is a good chase to find a mylar shape balloon - the head of the character you need. If local party store has it - you are done, they will inflate it with helium for you. If they do not, check internet. Go to Google and type "mickey mouse balloon" and go to images. If there is a head of the character that you need, you will find it quickly, usually together with the company that sells it. If you have time to wait for until the balloon will be delivered through the mail, order it, if you have no time and can spend a lot of money - usually they have overnight delivery. Call them.
Once you got the balloon, go to the nearest flower store. They all have a helium tanks and they will inflate it for you, usually cheaper than a party store.
Make sure that wherever you put the balloon, it is not in your face. For example, middle of the table in a room with a low ceiling is a bad place for a big mylar balloon.
Cover the ceiling with helium balloons?
Some people buy regular 11" helium filled balloons cover ceiling completely. With today's prices of helium it expensive. But, what is worse - it brings the ceiling down! In a big room with high ceiling it is OK (but unreasonably expensive in my opinion), in small rooms it is a waste of money and a bad decoration. Bottom line - we do not recommend it.
Use static electricity!
One of the ways to put balloons on the wall and keep it there is static electricity. If you take a cluster of balloons (tip 1) and rub it against hear, and then put it on the wall - it will stick. Simple facts, but allows for a very nice wall decorations. Here long balloons (those used for animal twisting) can be used together with 5" and 9". Just a reminder, long balloons can be blown with hand pump only. See the picture.
Centerpieces, small and inexpensive.
There are 1000 and one ways to create a small centerpiece. Nobody can claim to know them all - too many. The following ideas are just another little piece. The main criteria are simplicity and low price tag.
Inflate 4 small (5") balloons of your colors and make a cluster (tip #1). Take a vine glass (the larger the better) and wrap the balloon cluster around the leg of the glass. Fill the glass with water colored with food coloring. This is the basic block. Now the variations: we can put a flower head on the surface of the water or a floating candle. You can stand it on the mirror tile, sprinkle confetti around the table or even get submergible lights and put them in the water. (see the pictures)
Another similar approach would be using the cluster of balloons as a base and log balloons as a decorations, bending them into different shapes.
To be continued!