Balloon Arch Tutorial -Make Your Own For Under $20

by Mel

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This step-by-step balloon arch tutorial will show you how to make a balloon arch for around $20. It’s easy to make this-free standing arch for your next event!   

Be sure to check out the FAQ at the end of the post for more specific details, plus a free printable shopping list and directions to take with you. 

bike-parade-make-balloon-arch

MAKING A DIY BALLOON ARCH IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK!

Making a balloon arch for your next party, race, or bike parade will instantly take your event up a notch. 

And guess what? It’s a lot easier than you think! 

My husband and I have hosted a neighborhood children’s bike parade for the last few years and our balloon arch has been the talk of the town! 

I’m going to show you how simple it is to make your own. 

BALLOON ARCHES ARE GREAT FOR:

MAKE AN EASY BALLOON ARCH IN 3 STEPS: 

Making a balloon arch is not hard. Sure, it will take you some time, but I promise it will be worth it. There are 3 steps to creating a balloon arch:

  1. Setting up your balloon arch stand (framework)
  2. Filling balloons (no helium required)
  3. Attaching balloons to the balloon arch 

Save TONS of Time!
Invest in  this electric balloon pump for under $20 so you can blow up the balloons super fast! This has been on of the best party purchases we have made!

    

STEP 1: CREATE A BALLOON ARCH STAND 

Before you shop for supplies, you need to decide where you will put your balloon arch and how big you want to make it.  

20-FOOT BALLOON ARCH 

Our first balloon arch we ever made was 20 feet. It was the perfect size to go across the sidewalk. This was our first attempt and we were pretty proud of it!

how-to-make-a-balloon-arch-4th-of-july-bike-parade

30-FOOT BALLOON ARCH 

You can also create a 30-foot arch like this one that spanned our entire driveway: It was HUGE and so fun! This giant diy balloon arch really made a big statement for our neighborhood bike parade and breakfast.

4th-of-July-Bike-Parade-

STEP 2: PURCHASE SUPPLIES

With exception to balloons and balloon pump, you can find the balloon arch supplies at your favorite home improvement store in the sprinkler aisle.  (Please note: all of the supplies and prices mentioned here are from Home Depot 2018)

Balloon Arch Supplies

Tip: Make sure you have a car big enough to transport the 10-feet PVC pipes. If you have a short car, you can open up the passenger window and slide the PVC pipe out. If you do this, make sure you have an extra person to help hold the pipe so it doesn’t slide out onto the road!

SUPPLIES FOR A 20-FOOT ARCH: 

SUPPLIES FOR A 30-FOOT ARCH:

All of the above plus: 1 extra piece of PVC pipe, 1 extra coupling, and 20-30 extra balloons. 

HERE’S THE DIRECT LINKS SO YOU CAN PLACE AN ONLINE ORDER AND DO A STORE-PICK-UP AT YOUR LOCAL HOME DEPOT:  

SUPPLIES FROM AMAZON FOR DOORSTEP DELIVERY: 

 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO MAKE?

The cost to make the a balloon arch will depend on the size you choose. This is what we spent: 

(Prices are from July 2018 at Home Depot) 

20-Foot Arch 

  • 2,10- foot PVC Pipe = $5.42 ($2.71 each)
  • 1, 3/4″ coupling = $.59
  • 2, 24″ rebar= $5.20
  • 80-100 balloons = about $7 (plan on at least 70, but if you want a really full arch, do closer to 100)
  • Total: Under $20! 

*For a 30-foot arch, you’ll just need 1 extra piece of PVC pipe, 1 more coupling and about 30-40 more balloons)

Save TONS of Time!
Invest in  this electric balloon pump for under $20 so you can blow up the balloons super fast! This has been on of the best party purchases we have made!

 

The great news is that once you have the stand supplies, you’ll only need to buy new balloons each time you use it. 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • You can save a little money by purchasing 1, 20-foot piece, but it’s much harder to store transport.
  • We bought a coupling tool to remove the PVC pipe once we were done so that we could reuse the parts. This set cost us $5, but you could maybe do without depending on the type of coupling (connector you use).

STEP 3. BUILD YOUR ARCH

In essence, this is what you are going to create with the supplies you have: 

DIY-BALLOON-ARCH-TUTORIAL

Now you can build your arch! Make sure you have 2 people helping with this process. 

1. Connect the pieces of PVC pipe together with a coupling. Set aside. You shouldn’t need any glue if you get a connector that the PVC pipe can snap in.

2. Find the place you want to build your arch. Ideally, you should choose to place it over a sidewalk, driveway or path.

3. Place the 2 pieces of rebar on either side of the path or driveway. You’ll need a hammer to pound it firmly into the ground.

*Make sure there is at least 12″ of rebar outside of the ground to keep the arch in place like this: 

4. Slide the PVC onto one side of the rebar. Repeat with the other side.

The PVC pipe will slide ride over the rebar like this: 

balloon-arch-tutorial-2

Again, this is what it will look like before you attach the balloons: 

DIY-BALLOON-ARCH-TUTORIAL

 

STEP 4: INFLATE & ATTACH THE BALLOONS 

You will not need helium for your balloons–just lots of air! 

Our first year we used a hand balloon pump but it still took us 2 hours to inflate 100 red, white and blue balloons .

The next year, I got smart and bought this electric balloon pump for under $20. I had 100+ balloons inflated and tied in about 20 minutes. 

Do yourself a favor and invest in this balloon pump. It’s so worth it: 

Tip: Inflate the balloons on your balloon arch site so you don’t have to transport all the filled balloons.

HOW TO GET THE BALLOONS TO STAY ON THE ARCH- NO TAPE NEEDED

Once all the balloons are filled up and tied, take two balloon and wrap the ties together, creating a bundle like this: 

balloon-arch-tutorial-2

Repeat until all your balloons are in bunches of 2. 

Then, you’ll take two sets of balloons and wrap them around the arch and each other until they are secure. If you do this well, you won’t need any tape to hold the balloons in place.

Balloon Arch Tutorial

If you don’t have a tall enough ladder to attach the balloons after you have set it up, you can attach the balloons on the PVC pipe first and then place into the rebar. Your choice! 

HOW LONG WILL THE BALLOON ARCH LAST?

The actual arch will stay up for a while (given there’s no heavy wind), it’s the balloons you’ll need to be careful about. Heat from the sun can cause the balloons to pop after a few hours. So just keep that in mind.

I’ve only made a balloon arch on the 4th of July when it’s really hot, so if you make it in cooler temps, leave a comment and let us know how long it lasts. I’m betting that inside or cooler temps will help the balloons to stay in place much longer without direct sun on them.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE SUPPLY LIST AND TUTORIAL SENT TO YOUR INBOX

YOU CAN MAKE A BALLOON ARCH ANYWHERE!

The greatest thing about this DIY Balloon Arch (besides that it’s so inexpensive to make) is that you can literally set this up anywhere! We set our 30-foot balloon arch in our yard, but check out the balloon arch my sister made right in the middle of Central Park in New York City for their bike parade:

Don’t let your location stop you! A Balloon Arch can be set up nearly anywhere!

HOW EARLY CAN I SET UP MY ARCH?

Your arch can be set up as early as you want, but the balloons should not be put on the arch until a few hours ahead of your event, especially if you are going to put it up on a warm day.

DO THE BALLOONS NEED HELIUM?

No! You do not need helium in your balloons. The arch will hold the shape alone, so the balloons are merely for looks! Plus, you’ll save a lot of money by not getting helium-filled balloons.

HOW MANY BALLOONS WILL I NEED?

For a 20-foot arch, you’ll need 70-100 balloons. You can get away with around 70, but if you want the arch really full, you’ll want closer to 100.

For a 30-foot arch, you’ll need about 120.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO MAKE?

A balloon arch will cost you around $20, including balloons.

I WON’T HAVE TIME TO MAKE AN ARCH. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you don’t have time to grab the supplies or energy to create your own balloon arch, no problem? You can always grab this balloon arch kit from Amazon right here.

TO RECAP:

  • You’ll need 3/4″ PVC pipe, couplings, rebar, and balloons.
  • Secure the rebar into the ground and slide the arch onto the rebar.
  • Attach the balloons to the arch using groups of 2 tied around the arch and each other.
  • Take a lot of photos of your cheap, DIY balloon arch!

WANT PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS?

CLICK HERE TO GET THE SUPPLY LIST AND TUTORIAL SENT TO YOUR INBOX

balloon-arch-tutorial

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7 comments

Emily July 9, 2018 - 4:59 am

This looks great????

Reply
sofestivemel July 10, 2018 - 1:26 pm

yours looked amazing, too! so full and fun and festive!

Reply
Jordan Johnson June 26, 2019 - 10:31 am

How did you tie the balloons together? Thanks

Reply
sofestivemel June 26, 2019 - 11:05 pm

You just twist 2 balloons together around the PVC pipe!

Reply
Terra August 27, 2019 - 5:52 pm

Can the balloons be done ahead of time and the arch set up that way. I’d love to do this as a surprise for my kiddo’s upcoming birthday party.

Reply
sofestivemel August 27, 2019 - 10:00 pm

the balloons can be blown up a day in advance. and the arch can be placed early. If you set it up inside, the balloons may last, but I’ve always done this on the 4th of July and after about 4 hours in the heat, the balloons start to pop. let me know if you have more ? I’d love to see your arch!

Reply
Eunice December 25, 2019 - 8:49 am

Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers
would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

Reply

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