Monday, January 30, 2012

Balloon Walls Part 1

How to make a Duplet Square Pack Wall.

Since posting the Clown balloon wall that I taught at the Balloonland Event, Israel, January 2012, I have had many requests asking how it was made. So here is the first of 2 blogs showing 2 different wall techniques, with a little introduction to balloon walls. 

Sue Bowler CBA
Clown Balloon Wall created by delegates at Balloonland Israel January 2012

There are many different ways to create walls with balloons! We can use latex rounds, non-rounds and foil balloons such as Qualatex Starpoints and others too! So, we need to determine which type of wall we want to create or more importantly, which wall best suits our or our customers needs?

So why are we proposing a balloon wall to our clients... a client will never ask you for a wall, it is your job to sell what it can do for them... sell the emotion and not the product!
  • To create their corporate logo?
  • To create a theme background?
  • To create a theme entrance?
  • To create a photo or stage back-drop?
  • To enhance a trade show or exhibition stand?
Balloon wall techniques using latex round balloons:
  • Duplet Square Pack
  • Alternate Size Square Garland Pack
  • Traditional 4-Balloon Garland Pack
There have been a few people during my career as a Balloon Artist who have inspired me to create balloon walls, Ian Herd CBA and Bruce Walden CBA.

Bruce Walden created this Balloon Wall Mural Paper, and this proved to be very important to me when I first started to design walls, without this, it was extremely difficult to determine which type of wall best suited the design or logo that I wanted to build within the wall. Today, I have created my own 'Mural Paper' on my computer, which saves me a great deal of time when creating a design!

As there are a number of different techniques, I am going to focus on each one separately, today we are going to look at how to create a DUPLET SQUARE PACK WALL.

Duplet Square Pack Wall 
Sue Bowler

Flat Surface
Straight Sides
Good definition on straight lines & Diagonal lines
Wall can be made with a double sided pattern or with a plain back.
Not as robust as other wall techniques.
The Mardi Gras wall above is an example of a wall that has been made using the Duplet Square Pack technique. It features with Step-by-Step instructions in the Master Series DVD available from Qualatex distributors.

Sue Bowler
Here is another example this time with a logo built into the BAPIA logo built into the wall.

Regardless of which technique you use there are a few simple rules when making a wall:
  • The balloons MUST be inflated with precision, every balloon must be accurately sized!
  • I will only make garlands/ Columns/ walls using Dacron line and not monofilament. Dacron is strong, yet soft against the balloons, it will not stretch when under tension.
Wall Construction - How to fix the columns together.

This is such an important part of the wall construction, if done badly the wall can distort and not look good. The following technique was taught to me by Ian Herd, there are many people who use 260Q to fix a wall together, but for me the elastic band and paperclip method is the best technique!


I recently designed a wall for a class that I taught at the Balloonland Event in Israel, I knew that it was a pretty complex design and a great challenge for the class!

First I needed to get my inspiration. I knew that I wanted to create a wall with a clown face. To help me with my design I found a clown face Cross Stitch pattern on the internet! This design is far too detailed for my wall, but I liked the shape and features, so I down scaled the design to work for me.

Cross Stitch Pattern

Sue Bowler
My version of the Clown Face

Here is my interpretation of the Happy Clown design featured above. Once I have created the design that I want to make on the mural paper, I now break the wall down into columns, this makes it much easier when building each of the columns.

Sue Bowler
Now I can easily see the balloons required for each of the columns! Looking at the columns above you can see 18 columns, each column has 44 duplets - 88 balloons per column! This whole wall uses 1584 balloons!

Black - 1086
Orange - 114
Blush - 189
Yellow - 22
Lime - 48
Rose - 8
Robin's Egg Blue - 40
Purple Violet - 8
Blue - 8
White - 44
Red - 17

If you count the balloons that you can see, you will only count 792 balloons, this is because every balloon you see has one behind it! To make this wall easier, we used Black balloons as the back balloon.

This picture shows balloons being counted out to make the columns.

This  shows how important it is to 'read' the pattern as you go!

This shows the columns being linked together with the elastic bands and paper clips

The Clown wall that we made was not perfect, it was a group exercise with 20 people working on it. When you work on your walls, I recommend that if possible only 1 person packs the balloons on to the Dacron line, everyone has their own tension, varying tensions will effect the overall look of the finished wall...

Example of Technique

Here is a small project that I have put together to help explain the technique with a short DVD. You might find it useful if you right click on the design and print it off whilst you watch the DVD so that you can follow the pattern as I make it, I think that you may find it easier to understand it a little easier.

Sue Bowler

I hope that you have found this blog useful? There are many different walls to create walls and other techniques for creating a Duplet Square Pack wall. I always recommend that you use the technique that suits you best.
Start with a simple project to learn and perfect the technique before you embark on a large scale project for a customer.

Good luck!



David de Bustos said...

Great article Sue. Very clean exposed and with good information for all the people interested in learn our art.
Great walls obviously.

Baby Balloons said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Hi how tall and wide is the clown column.. thanks..

Sue Bowler (Marston-Weston) said...

Hi Stephy, I cannot remember the exact size of this wall, but it was pretty large. I would say that it was at least 10ft wide by 7ft tall or there a bouts? If you would like exact sizes I'll have to go back and work that out :)

Unknown said...

I want to make the superman logo but with a Z i stead I need a template

Jenn Lithgow said...

Hi Sue

Thanks for the great article on such a versatile concept.

Do you have tips for hanging or affixing the wall?

Cheers, Jenn

Unknown said...

This is amazing! Thank you for sharing!! What size balloons did you use?

pkgiftshop said...

Very clean exposed and with good information for all the people interested in learning our art. Send birthday gift to Pakistan