tip # 10
Use of lights.
Now our industry has all kind of small blinking lights. They are so small because they designed to be inside balloons. Which make them absolutely indispensible in many cases. They are not very cheap, by the time you pay for the lights and for shipping (God forbid, overnight shipping!) it is pretty costly. But it really works! They can glow, blink slow or fast. In order to see what is available go to Google and type " balloon blinking lights" and go to images - it is faster way to see what is available.
One of the main use for the light that I see in small rooms is changing the perceptive size of the room. It is a very tricky thing - perception. The room might be big, but cluttered and look small. On the other hand, if small room is not cluttered and you give eye a good reason to see the most distant points of the room (usually the corners on the ceiling) - it feels larger!
So, if you put the blinking lights in all four corners of the ceiling in the room - you made the room larger. If you put it inside the balloons you have used - you made it a little more interesting for the eye. Add then to the centerpiece (do not put them in the water!) and so on.
We have tried the Christmas lights, but you have to deal with wires, need for the electric outlet and the whole chain of lights blink together. Use it if you already have them at home and there is no time to order blinking balloon lights, but...
One important point: it all works very well for the evening low light parties. If you party is outside in the first part of the day - nobody will notice the lights.
Decorate the ceiling! Why?
- usually it is white and flat. Decorations (the simplest thing is balloons, balloon clusters) with juicy contrasting colors make it a lot more interesting
- ceiling is always in your site. Nobody is going to stand between you and the decoration.
- does not take the space on the floor - very important for small rooms!
- kids will not get to it, until you want them to!
How to inflate balloons?
1. By mouth. Sounds funny, but once on a big balloon job we had once in twenty years event - our big compressor that always worked, decided to take a break. We have very limited time and a balloon arch to finish the job. Yes, we did it by mouth. Since the job was big, we had a big crew - 4 people. We did it!
- we had to inflate 11" balloons, yes, they are larger, but offer less resistance than 5" balloons
- we were desperate, it helps
- it was not fun at all.
Another words, if you have very few balloons - yes, do it by mouth and do not waste time and money on inflating devices. But try one to be sure you can do it.
2. Balloon hand pumps (see the picture)
They are relatively inexpensive (as of today - under $5) and do the job. But, again, if you plan to make, say, 10 clusters of 4 balloons, that is 40. It is a good idea to have a separate person who just inflate the balloons. He better have strong hands, it takes a few pumps to inflate one 5" balloon, times 40...
The good news is - these pumps inflate long skinny balloons (used by twisters) as well. Most people can not inflate them by mouth.
These pumps work with regular 11" balloons as well, but, if I remember correctly, it takes 8 pumps to inflate one. Tiresome...
3. Semi - professional way.
The cheapest shop vacuum cleaner in your local Home Depot is around $30 as of today. Or may be you have one at home. If you plug the hose into the exhaust opening, the vacuum cleaner will work as a blower, relatively powerful. Inflate balloons very fast. One problem: for sure it inflates only 11" balloons, that you have to use very carefully in small rooms, to easy to clutter. 5" and long balloons are usually too firm for this vacuum cleaner.
So, if you have a larger space where 11" balloons can be used (the same recommendations as for the 5" balloons decorations), I do recommend the shop vac. In order to turn it into an inflating device, we have to be able to put the balloon on the hose. But the hose opening is much larger, than balloon neck.
To solve this problem, take a plastic container and scissors. Cut the side surface out as on the picture. Then roll the plastic into the pipe. Then make opening on one side wide enough to go onto the opening of the hose and the other small enough so that you can put the neck of the balloon on it. Fix the position of the plastic with scotch tape. Now, you have the cone. Put it on the hose of the vacuum cleaner and attach with duct tape. It will be easier if you make small cuts on the wide side of the cone.
Now the device is ready. If you can carefully take the cone off the hose when you are done, and remember where you store it, you can use it again and again.
If you decide to use helium...
you have to keep the following things in mind:
- you can buy disposable helium tanks in party stores and in places like BJ's
- good side - no problem with inflation, you have flying balloons
- bad sides a many: very expensive, do not tell the whole story.
On the box they say that the tank inflates, say, 25 balloons, and the balloons are supplied. But if you read the fine print, you will see that these are 9" balloons. They are not supposed to be used with helium. The reason is very simple. Helium molecules are so small that they escape through the balloon wall. That is why all helium inflated balloons stop flying at some point. The volume of helium 9" balloon takes is just enough to lift it. So when even a little part of helium escapes, the balloon droops down and mess up the decor. So if you inflate the balloons in the morning and guests will come in the evening, they all will be on the floor.
So, with helium use 11" balloons (or larger). Flying time in this case is around 15 hours. But! 11" balloon needs twice the amount of helium to be inflated. So you will not get 25 balloons, you will get 12 and a half...
Good luck and let me know if you have a question! Consultation with our designer are free! We will be very happy to help!