CHRISTMAS IN JULY PART ONE : BALLOON BACKDROP HOW-TO
Let’s Flamingle, Jingle, & Deck the Palms
- A Christmas in July Party -
We LOVE Christmas here at Uncommon … it’s our favorite holiday! We were talking earlier this year about how we wish we could spread the Christmas cheer farther into the new year, so that's exactly what we set out to do.
There is nothing better than the magic of Christmas! We love spending time with family and friends, falling asleep beside a crackling fire, making gingerbread houses, watching Hallmark movies on repeat, seeing a decorated tree, and Christmas baking! It makes me giddy just thinking about it!
So to cure our Christmas withdrawals we thought we’d throw a Christmas in July party… but with a little twist! We’re adding in some sand and sun with Christmas lights on palm trees, ya’ll! And we’re walking you through every step of the way in our three-part summer blog post series. We hope that you feel encouraged to throw your own Christmas in July party using our tips and tricks!
We’ll be sharing photos from our party come August, but to kick off our series, we are teaching you how to create a Christmas in July Balloon Backdrop.
We couldn’t do an installation like this without our friends at Anagram Balloons. They jumped on board to provide us with all of the incredible foil balloons you see in the photos. To find Anagram Balloons in store… head to your closest Party City Store!
I love working with balloons and creating installs for events. Balloons are always a show-stopper and they bring SO much joy to party goers. I have found balloons bring such child-like wonder and magic to an event!
Here at Uncommon, we have created a system and technique that we use on all of our professional air-filled balloon installs. Over the years, we have received several questions about how we do what we do, SO we are here to teach you how to create an air-filled balloon install at home. This process can be used almost anywhere within a home. It can span as little or as much wall real estate as you want.
Follow along as we go step by step!
First off, let’s decide where we want to install the balloons. For this party I want the balloons to backdrop our table. We will be building & decorating Gingerbread Beach Houses (more on that lin the next post) and spending most of our time together around the dining table.
BALLOON HANGING GUIDE
To start, I always draw the shape of the install I want. I am no Picasso, so to help me formulate the shape, I take a photo of the area and then draw over top in Adobe Illustrator. You can also print the photo out and draw by hand as well. Once you have decided the shape, now add the structure lines. This will be where you place the welt cord “main lines” to attach your balloons to. These lines need to be 12”-14” apart.
***Depending on where you decide to create your install you might have wall elements that are currently there. With this technique, if the wall elements are thin, you can install the balloons right over the elements. For instance, you’ll see in my install I created the backdrop right over the map I have hanging in the dining room.
NOW… LET’S GATHER MATERIALS:
Welt Cord or Parachute Cord (I buy mine is 20yd increments)
Joe Sticky Stuff (I buy the 1/2” width) ***This product is OPTIONAL
Blue Painter’s Tape (I buy the 2” width)
Fabric Snips (My fave are from Fiskars that I bought at Michaels… make sure to use a coupon!)
Command Hooks & Strips (I buy the 1lb hooks)
***Calculating the number of balloons needed can be tricky… I like to use the following guide to help me source the correct number of balloons:
2 linear feet = (2) Large Balloons, (3) Medium Balloons
This is a guide - it’s not exact - and as you install the balloons you will want to mix and match the different colors and shapes which means your numbers need to be flexible. Make sure to add in some extra as you calculate. For every 2 linear feet, I add 2 balloons for cushion.
Now that you have done all the pre-prep work, let’s dive into the Prep Work!!
Inflate Anagram balloons: Using a hand pump or an electric air pump fill all of your Anagram Balloons.
2. Fold twist ties in half
This will be crucial to twisting the balloons onto the welt cord structure.
3. Locate the dotted line on one of the foil balloons
At that line, twist the tab 3 times creating a “Balloon Twist Tab”.
***This creates substance for the twist tie to wrap around and not slip off.
Using a twist tie, twist the twist tie 3 times around the “Balloon Twist Tab” you just created.
4. Repeat Step 3 on all foil balloons.
5. Using your Balloon Hanging Guide… Place the command hooks on the wall. Pair the command hooks vertically so they work together with the welt cord.
***Make sure to hang the bottom hooks upside down… this allows easy tie off of the welt cord.
6. Per Command hook instructions… wait 1 hour before tying off welt cord.
***This allows the Command hook adhesive to set on the wall.
7. Once your hour is up, begin tying off the welt cord to the TOP hooks…. letting it hang 12”-14” below the bottom before cutting the line.
*** The reason you leave slack and don’t tie off the cord right away is that as you install the balloons they will apply pressure against the hooks & cord, which is what we don’t want. We want our balloons to hang on the wall without pressure against those hooks SO leaving slack at the end of the line allows us wiggle room when we reach the tie-off step.
8. Starting at the top left corner of your install, begin twisting tie balloons to your install. ***I always work left to right. Complete an entire “mainline” before tying off and moving to the next “mainline”. Put each end of the twist tie on opposite sides of the welt cord and twist around 3 times. ***Using welt cord or parachute cord allows the twist tie to slide up and down if necessary!
9. Continue Step 8 all the way across your mainlines.
***Remember to finish one before moving on to the next.
10. Once all the balloons are hung, tie fishing line onto the Anagram Clearz Balloons. Make sure to leave yourself enough line to tie into the “mainline”. Locate “holes” or more open areas within your install and tie off the Clearz Balloon onto the “mainline”.
11. Lastly, add specialty or icon balloons (like the candy canes, wreaths, etc. pictured below) to your install using Blue Painter’s Tape. Roll large pieces onto the back side of each icon balloon and apply directly to the wall. ***This hanging method will suffice if traffic is not near the balloon wall… this is temporary and doesn’t work well when there is commotion around the wall.
For y’all who love insider tips & tricks… here’s one for you: I have been in the film industry now for 7 years and a lot of my job is “smoke and mirrors”. We make things happen even with every restriction known to man. Like hanging things on walls at locations when we can’t leave any residue or evidence we have been there. Early on in my career a couple of incredible art department workers showed me one of my fave tips to date… Place Blue Painter’s Tape directly to the wall. Apply Joe Sticky Stuff onto the Blue Painter’s Tape. Stick the item you want to hang to the Joe Sticky Stuff… when you want to remove it from the wall.. pull the Blue Painter’s Tape. Voila! A clean surface every time! I use this trick for hanging all kinds of things for productions and shoots… but it works incredibly well for balloons!
Katie & The Uncommon Team