What to Know About Balloons for a Party

There are all kinds of fun and festive ways to decorate a room or outdoor space for a party, from streamers and music to hanging ornaments and colorful tablecloths. And of course, there is the option of buying balloons, from packages of latex balloons to fancy foil balloons with images printed on them. In fact, the very idea of balloons dates back further than some people may realize, and balloons can serve as gifts, as well as decorate a birthday party, a baby shower or bridal shower, a hospital room, and even a senior high school prom. Party supply stores will have all kinds of foil balloon and latex models for purchase, and grocery stores often stock these balloons as well.

All About Latex Balloons

These are often the “typical” balloons, being shaped like a teardrop and usually being one solid color. Still, some balloons can be heart shaped latex balloons, which make for great Valentine’s Day gifts. The idea of balloons goes back to the year 1824, when professor Michael Faraday fused together the edges of two rubber sheets and inflated them, to make the earliest balloons. The idea stuck, and now, latex balloons can be found everywhere in great numbers. It should be pointed out that rubber isn’t often used to make balloons, though, since harvesting that much rubber would put some serious strain on rubber tree populations. Instead, for the sake of environmental protection, latex is used, and workers can harvest material from a latex tree for a few decades without killing it.

Latex balloons are small before they are inflated, and they can be blown up to full size with either helium or plain air. Using plain air means the balloons won’t float, but they may last a week or so, and filling them with air is very easy (you can even use your own breath). Meanwhile, a balloon can be filled with helium to make it float, and such balloons last for around 24 hours or so. They need to be tied to a string or ribbon and held in hand or weighted down with an object so they don’t float away, and a helium pump is the most common way to fill them up properly. Some balloons can be purchased already filled with helium, often at events such as carnivals.

Foil Balloons

Meanwhile, what sets foil balloons apart? They are a more recent innovation, and they are made when two foil sheets are cut out in a factory and have their edges fused together. Foil balloons usually have images printed onto them, such as colors or patterns as well as pop culture images of all kinds. What is more, foil balloons can be cut into a wider variety of shapes than latex ones, such as squares, circles, hearts, or even numbers or letters. It depends on how the fol sheets were cut during manufacture. Foil balloons are almost always filled with helium and attached to a string and weight, and they are often available for purchase fully inflated at grocery stores. Still, shoppers can buy packages of foil balloons and inflate them later, if they so choose.

Using Balloons for Decoration

What calls for some balloons? A child’s birthday party is a great time for balloons of all kinds, such as a foil balloon with an image that the child will like. One or two foil balloons shaped like numbers can represent the child’s new age, and latex balloons can be filled up and decorate the place (whether filled with air or helium). Air filled balloons can be taped to the walls or backs of chairs, or scattered on the floor to form a sort of ball pit. White and pink balloons are often a great choice for helping decorate a bridal shower or baby shower, which will take place at someone’s residence or a rented room at a restaurant, for example. Balloons also make for good gifts to a hospital patient, such as a “get well soon” foil balloon. Finally, a cage containing many air filled balloons can be fixed to a venue’s ceiling for a senior high prom dance. At some point, the balloons can be released everywhere to the dancers’ delight.

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