Confetti balloons are an attractive alternative to regular, stock-standard balloons, but do you need to inflate them with helium?
Technically, you don’t need helium to inflate a confetti balloon, but you will need to use helium to get the desired effect. For the balloon to float you’ll need to use helium rather than just regular air, but the advised tactic is to use a little of both, to ensure the confetti sticks to the balloon.
Read on to learn more about confetti balloons, how they work, and why they can be extremely inventive.
Balloons: They’re Blowing Up!
The history of balloons is a long and storied one, with early estimates suggesting that balloons have existed for some seven hundred years. Reportedly, the ancient Aztecs would make ‘balloon-like’ sculptures out of the intestines of animals, to appease their Gods.
Throughout the first few hundred years of their existence, balloons were made almost exclusively from animal entrails. In the mid-16th century, Galileo Galilei is said to have conducted experiments into the weight and manipulation of air, inflating a pig’s bladder as part of his research.
However, when 1824 rolled around, an innovation occurred that would change, or rather start, the balloon industry in its entirety. At the Royal Institution in London, a professor by the name of Michael Faraday created the world’s first rubber balloon.
He’d created the balloon to contain gases used in his experiments – namely hydrogen. It was the spark that ignited a booming and expanding industry, and just a year later, Thomas Hancock created the first rubber latex balloons.
By the 1930s, balloons were being mass-produced in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, and people started experimenting with balloon modeling. It wasn’t until the 1970s that manufacturers discovered they could create balloons from an aluminized plastic film, creating long-lasting and complex designs.
And that brings us to today, and to the subject of this article – confetti balloons.
Confetti balloons are exactly how they sound – they’re balloons filled (in part) with confetti, which might be made from paper, foil, or card. They’re almost always transparent, to allow the confetti inside to actually be seen, and they come in many styles.
However, there’s a trick to properly preparing a confetti balloon, as it isn’t just a case of blowing it up and calling it a day.
Creating The Confetti Effect
According to several expert advisors, the best way to prepare a confetti balloon is with a little regular air and a lot of helium. As the advice goes, you should jet a few puffs of air into the balloon, and finish off the inflation with helium.
This will ultimately ensure that the confetti inside the balloon sticks to the walls of the balloon with ease, creating the desired effect. Apparently, if you only use helium to inflate your confetti balloons, the confetti itself might just sit at the base of the balloon, effectively ruining it.
Furthermore, the balloon should be inflated as far as possible, as it has to float against the weight of the confetti inside. It isn’t a considerable amount, but the anti-gravity effect of helium isn’t remarkably strong, so it’ll need all the help it can get.
Finally, you’ll need to wake your part-helium-filled confetti balloon. To do this, you’ll need to shake the balloon up to aggravate the confetti, then rub the sides of the balloon with a natural fabric to create static electricity.
Subsequently, the static electricity will make the confetti stick to the insides of the balloon, creating your finished effect. This is technically something you can do with very little effort, but you will need that source of helium, which is arguably the most expensive part of the process.
If you need to buy a helium canister big enough to fill around thirty balloons, you should expect to pay around thirty-five dollars. However, the balloons themselves (confetti included) should only set you back around ten bucks for a dozen-or-so balloons.
These balloons are versatile and can be used for almost any celebratory event you can imagine. Whether you’re hosting a wedding, an engagement party, a baby shower, or a birthday party, you can create some inventive and attractive confetti balloons within a matter of minutes.
If inflated correctly, your helium confetti balloons will float for around six to eight hours – plenty of time for the average celebration. With that information in mind, you should take care to only inflate them on the day of the event itself.
Try mixing up the confetti or using another light, paper-like material to create something unique.