Confetti balloons make for an attractive alternative to regular balloons, but how long do they last when compared to their standard counterparts?
Once inflated, confetti balloons can last anywhere to six to twenty hours – or more. It depends entirely on the size of the balloon, the concentration of helium used, and the weight of the confetti. As a rule of thumb, they’ll commonly last from eight to ten hours.
Read on to learn more about the surprisingly complex formula behind inflating the perfect confetti balloon.
Consider Me Crazy For Confetti
In one way or another, confetti has existed since the 14th century – but it wasn’t always made from paper. It has, however, always been used to celebrate things, whether it be a birth, a birthday, an engagement, or just a general announcement.
Reportedly, confetti found its feet in Northern Italy, a few hundred years ago. Traditionally, the ‘higher classes’ would haphazardly toss flower petals, small coins, or even eggs filled with perfume, to announce their celebrations.
Eventually, confetti evolved and almost exclusively became made from paper – not eggs. Although, even today confetti is often made up of dried petals and flowers, particularly when being thrown at a wedding.
It was allegedly in the 19th century when true confetti became a thing, after being ‘created’ by Ettore Fenderl. This prized physicist was best known for his work in the development of the first nuclear bomb, but he also had a desire to make confetti more affordable and accessible.
So, gone were the expensive rose petals, replaced by small snippets of craft paper.
Bring On The Balloons
The balloons we so commonly see today were officially invented in 1924 by Michael Faraday. As the story goes, Faraday needed a reliable method for capturing and storing certain gases for use in his many experiments.
His solution was a simple rubber balloon that consisted of two parts, designed to be ‘gummed’ together to form a spherical shape. Once conjoined, the balloon could then be inflated and enjoyed by one and all.
However, the history of the balloon stretches back much farther, allegedly to pre-historic times. It is thought that animal bladders were filled with air for ‘a number of purposes’ for several thousand years.
Today, balloons come in many shapes and sizes, from the long and thin, to the massive and spectacular. There are water balloons, hot-air balloons, balloons made for crafting into intricate shapes, and of course, confetti balloons.
Combining The Two
Now, let’s take Ettore Fenderl’s confetti and combine it with Michael Faraday’s balloon – what do we end up with? We’re left with an attractive and ingenious decoration that will likely wow guests attending any celebration.
Confetti balloons are a relatively new concept, and they’ve really come on in popularity in recent years. They’re versatile, highly customizable, and in many cases, long-lasting and fairly durable, traits that are desirable when planning a celebration.
First, you take a strong latex balloon, designed to be inflated with helium, and start the process by rubbing and stretching it. This will start the generation of static electricity, which is integral to the confetti effect you’re ultimately aiming to achieve.
These particular balloons tend to come pre-filled with confetti, but if yours do not, there’s an easy solution. You simply need to pour in confetti before inflating the balloon – you can make this process much easier by using a small funnel.
It’s advised to begin the inflation process by breathing a few mouthfuls of air into the balloon. Then, fill up the remainder of the balloon with high-quality helium to achieve that desirable floating effect.
Once the balloon is fully inflated and securely tied off, you should rub it with an item of clothing or a wool cloth to generate static energy. As you do this, the confetti will stick to the inside of the balloon, creating the finished effect.
The Lasting Effect
Now, you can expect your confetti balloon to remain inflated for around eight to ten hours. If you’re using a larger, 18-inch balloon, and high-quality helium (and less or lighter confetti), your balloon could last for twenty hours or more.
At the minimum, a confetti balloon should last six hours – but even this figure is subject to change. It depends on a range of factors, from the temperature or humidity in the environment to the density of the confetti within the balloon.
Like Faraday, experiment a little, and see what results you can produce with your confetti balloons.