One of my favorite traditions for my kids’ birthdays is to make a quick balloon garland for them. It’s one of those things that looks really difficult but is actually so incredibly simple! All you need are a few (affordable) supplies, and a little bit of patience.

toddler standing in front of a fireplace with a balloon garland

How to Make a Balloon Garland

DIY balloon garlands are really easy to put together – don’t feel intimidated! The best part about a balloon garland is that it’s basically foolproof. It’s almost impossible to make it look bad, and as long as you have a little creativity and patience you’re good to go. And, you only need three simple things that are all easy to order on Amazon.

You can watch my latest balloon garland creation in action over on Instagram – but read on for my instructions and recommendations for how to make your own!

Materials Needed:

  • Balloons. The number depends on how long you want your balloon garland to be. 30-50 balloons is a good start for a medium-sized garland. I used this balloon set for Grant’s birthday this year and I still have a ton leftover.
  • Balloon garland strip + glue dots
  • Balloon pump (not required but highly recommended). I never do mine with helium, but you could if you want to!

Step One: Cut Garland Strip

Your first step is to cut the garland strip to the length you want your garland to be. I usually like to do mine across my mantel, and I always make it long enough to drape off one side. I’ve also done a big balloon arch over the entry wall before, and that was a lot longer!

Living room with large balloon arch

Just remember you can always make your garland strip shorter, but you can’t make it longer. So, err on the side of cutting it a bit longer!

Step Two: Blow Up Balloons

Now, use your electric pump to blow some balloons up. I always do it one at a time, but you could also blow up a bunch of balloons before putting any on the garland strip. You should vary the size of balloons as you work – you’ll want some larger balloons and some smaller balloons. This is what helps the balloon garland stay full looking!

Step Three: Add Balloons to Garland Strip

As you blow the balloons up, you’ll add them to the garland strip by pulling the knot of the balloon through the holes in the strip. I generally do every other hole or every third hole. It will look a little sparse as you work, but don’t worry – you’ll fill it in later! Alternate the colors but try not to create a specific pattern (unless that’s the look you’re going for). I think it looks best when it’s random!

Step Four: Hang Balloon Garland

Once I’ve filled the garland strip with the first layer of balloons, I like to hang the garland so I can get an idea of how it’s looking.

There are several methods you can use to hang the garland, but the most reliable will be with some string and command hooks! Just slip some string through one of the holes in the garland (fishing line is a great option), and then hang it on a command hook. You can also use nails or thumbtacks in the wall, if you prefer!

Step Five: Fill it In

After you get the balloon garland up, it’s time to fill it in with some of the smaller balloons. Use your glue dots to tuck some of the little balloons into the gaps in the garland. This is where it really comes together and starts to look more full!

This isn’t a science, it’s an art. So, try not to overthink it!

Toddler with a dinosaur themed balloon garland

Frequently Asked Questions about Balloon Garlands

When Do You Use Them?

Balloon garlands are good for basically any celebration! You can use them at birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, or any other party. We’ve used them up at the school for teacher lunches and the first day of school, and they’d even be great at a wedding! They’re a great party decoration and they make a big impact as a photo backdrop.

Are There Other Methods?

Some people make balloon garlands and balloon arches without the decorating strip – you can also use fishing wire! Simply tie the balloons together in groups of two, then tie those groups into groups of four. Then, use the fishing line to loop around the groupings and connect them all together to make a garland. I personally find this method to be a little more complicated than just using the balloon strip, so I stick to that!

Any Other Tips?

You can also add in some fresh or faux greenery for a really fun touch. Below, you can see an example of that!

Balloon garland setup for a photo backdrop

I also recommend always using some sort of balloon inflator or pump to make your balloon garland. It makes the job so (so!) much faster, and will make you hate it less.

And finally, you can find balloon garland kits on Amazon or at Target – they come with everything you need and make it even easier! They usually include latex balloons, the balloon tape, and maybe some embellishments (like the faux greenery). You’ll have to buy the electric balloon pump separately, but I think it’s one of those things that great to have on hand all the time!

Balloon garlands are my very favorite inexpensive way to make a huge impact at a party or celebration. I hope this little tutorial inspires you to try making your own balloon garland!

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