|Mardi Gras Costume Party - World Balloon Convention|
2016 New Orleans.
Balloons and photo opportunities go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s an entrance arch at a wedding or a balloon wall at a corporate event, you can bet that most guests will have their photograph taken using the balloon decor as a backdrop!
Over the past few years, balloon-inspired photo frames have become increasingly popular and can be seen regularly in a balloon professional's portfolio. Clients love them as do their guests who eagerly line up to have their photograph taken, making a lasting memory of the event.
At the World Balloon Convention earlier this year, I helped to build a circus theme photo frame in the Welcome Centre. The design was by Cam Woody, CBA of Pioneer Balloon Company in Wichita, KS, USA. It was really fun to make, and the end result was fantastic! The fabulous clown and ballerina sculptures that sat either side of the frame were made by David and Shana Brenion of Nifty Balloons in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Recently, I was playing around with the poles from the Ikea NOT lamp system* and wondered how easy it would be to use it to make a structure for a photo frame; I was very happy with the result!
* The Ikea NOT lamp is an inexpensive up-lighter, that consists of a base that weighs 2.2kg (4.8lbs) and five 33.5 cm (13") poles that screw together to make up the height of the lamp. It works well for balloon decor when used as a lightweight pole and base structure.
To make my "NOT" photo frame, I used sixteen poles - 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 plus 2 for each of the legs and two bases. This equates to four sets (lamps) in total. You might want to add two more poles to make the frame a little taller.
To connect the poles together at the corners, I used a combination of plastic Speedfit® connectors that easily fitted onto the poles.
For the top corners, I used 15mm Equal Elbow fittings and at the base corners, I used 15mm Equal Tee fittings.
The design for the photo frame was inspired by the "colours of summer," using shades of green - Lime Green, Spring Green, Green, a few Pearl Lime Green, and Green Rainbow Agates; the flowers were made from multi-coloured Qualatex® 260Qs. I decided to use a more organic approach to the sizing of the balloons. The balloons were sized from 3" up to 6", plus I included a couple of 260Q spirals, too. Although the organic look is pretty random, it actually takes longer to create this look rather than using balloons all inflated to the same size!
The frame itself is not totally rigid due to the connection points, but it is sturdy enough for its purpose. I have seen other frames used that have been made from aluminium conduit or PVC piping which look as if they would be sturdier, especially if the frame was bigger.
I really enjoyed making this summer theme photo frame and look forward to working on a few more seasonal designs that I will feature in the Very Best Balloon Blog in the future.