What says New Year’s Eve better than a balloon drop?
Ok, maybe the apple dropping in Times Square, but since we can’t all have that at our event, the next best thing is hundreds even thousands of balloons falling on your guests at the stroke of midnight.
Now there are two ways to get this done.
- Hire a professional balloon company, or
Yes, depending on the size of your event, and the time you have to dedicate to balloon inflation, doing a balloon drop yourself is a viable option, and a few hours of work can give your event that one memorable moment that people will talk about long after the event is over.
Let’s start with the basics. What you need:
- Pre-strung Balloon Drop Net
- Anti-static spray
- Large fan or leaf blower
- Something to hold up net while filling
- Balloon Tying Tool
First, let’s talk about the materials.
Balloons: You can find balloons in every shape, size, and color. The world is your inflatable oyster. Depending on the quantity and color, be sure to get your balloon order in with enough time to get there and inflated before your event.
Pre-strung Balloon Drop Net: You can make this yourself, stitching the bottom of a piece of netting you cut out, but if you’re qualified to make a balloon drop net that you trust, you are probably reading the wrong blog. The chain stitch on the bottom is what makes a balloon drop, drop. If you do choose to stitch your own be sure to use a low static, slippery line. Some balloon designers use a trick line, others waxed fishing line. The key here is choosing a low static cord, one that will slide right through your net. You don’t want this to get stuck. Choose a net that has smaller holes than your balloons. You would think this was a no-brainer, but the number of times this has been mentioned while researching this article leads me to believe it is a more common problem than you would think.
Anti-Static Spray: This is optional, but only if you really liked making your hair stand on end with balloons as a child. The static electricity of 1000 balloons rubbing against one another is almost guaranteed to cause some popping. Static Guard, you can find it the laundry aisle is perfect. Just spray your net and a light spritz on your balloons. This is especially important in low humidity climates.
Large Fan or leaf blower: If you are filling your balloon net from one end, you will want a large fan to blow the balloons toward the back or keep them from popping out.
Something to hold the net while filling: This just helps the balloons migrate to the rear of the net.
Inflator: Depending on how many balloons you plan to inflate will affect the size of the inflator you need. If you are blowing up 1000 balloons, you will want to invest in a quality inflator such as a Conwin AirForce 4. If it’s 100 balloons or so, the Electric Balloon Pump from Party City ($25) will do just fine. A good balloon blower such as the Conwin Air Force 4 will run you about $330. Conwin has models that run between $150 and up. This will be key to getting your balloons blown up fast. You can use an air compressor, but you will need to purchase a special regulator for the job.
Balloon Tying Tool: Let’s just face facts here. Balloon tying is where the funs stops. And while this tool will not make it any more fun, it may save you a few blisters.
Let get blowing (up balloons)!
Next, we are going to go through a basic DIY balloon drop. You can get more technical this, folding your own net and tying your own chain stitch. If you do, you are braver than I! I would love to see pictures. Maybe I’ll hire you for our next balloon drop. At the end of this blog, I will link to my favorite balloon DIY videos and stores.
A few things to note before we begin.
- It takes professional balloon company a few hours to fill up a balloon drop. These are seasoned professionals – be sure to leave yourself enough time.
- It is recommended that you under inflate the balloons to lessen breakage from heat and stress
- Balloon drops can be hung up to a week in advance.
Building your balloon drop:
- Stretch your balloon net out across the floor.
- Set up Fan in front of balloon drop net. This will help to push the balloons towards the back of the net and to keep balloons from falling out the front.
- Unzip balloon net
- Fill and add balloons to the net, using the fan to push balloons towards the rear of the net.
- If you are using an anti-static spray, spray the net and as needed.
- Fill with the desired amount. Zip side.
- Done! Hang your drop. All drop bags should be installed in a manner that allows the release cord to be pulled at an angle that is as close to 90 degrees as possible.
- Wait until midnight to pull your cord, and watch the magic happen.
Balloons drops can be a cost-effective way to add some real magic to your event. We were surprised the first time we looked up costs of materials and discovered just how inexpensive netting and balloons can be. If you are still looking for that one last piece for your event a balloon drop could be the icing on the cake.
Links, Links, Links…
Balloons and Nets: