Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to design themed air-filled balloon centrepiece design - Christmas theme

I love designing centrepieces, I think that I have mentioned before that I prefer designing on a small scale rather than large scale... although, I think that it was Tope Abulude CBA who suggested treating all projects in 'bite sizes pieces' and just keep adding elements to create large scale decor, which I think is great advice!

It is time to for us to get creative and look at all the different ways we can create exciting designs & decor working with air-filled balloons rather than helium filled balloons for our forthcoming events. 

Before we can start to design our centrepiece designs we need to understand our clients needs and wants...

Sue Bowler
Design created by Sue Bowler CBA


Be professional and enthusiastic, it will give the client confidence in your ability to create a fantastic atmosphere at their event.

Find out as many details as possible regarding the event including: the venue, what the occasion is, previous decor and themes, anything that may help you in designing your centrepieces.
From the size of the event, the venue and the entertainment, you should be able to estimate approx. the size of budget that they should be prepared to  spend.
Take notes when you meet up with your clients, this will help you when you are putting together your quotation and shows your professionalism.


This is the perfect opportunity for 'thought showers'... let me show you what I mean!

We will use a very common theme CHRISTMAS, 'easy' I hear you say... or is it!

The first thing we need to do is break our theme down into different categories:

Traditional: Xmas trees * Snowmen * Father Christmas * Rudolph * Carol Singers * Holly * Wreaths * Candy Canes * Xmas Pudding * Xmas Stockings.
Traditional Religious: Angels, North Star, Candles
Modern: Boxes, Baubles, Lights, Crackers
Elegant: Stars, Snow, Snowflakes, presents, crackers, candles
I am sure that there are many more ideas and suggestions that you may have to add! 

Great, now we have worked out the different ways that Christmas can be interpreted from traditional through to elegant, we now need to consider the colours that we can associate with each of the categories 
 Traditional: Red, Green, Gold
 Traditional Religious: Gold, Blue, Green
 Modern: Purple, Gold, Silver, Red
 Elegant: Gold, Silver, White, Clear

The final part of this process is to put each element with the ideal colours:

REDFather Christmas/ Santa, Baubles, Christmas Stockings, Holly Berries, Candy Canes
Sue Bowler
This 'mood board' shows a range of 'Red' Qualatex balloons that depicts  'Traditional' Christmas.
GREEN: Christmas Trees, Holly, Wreathes...

Sue Bowler
This 'mood board' shows a range of 'Green' Qualatex balloons that depicts 'Traditional ' Christmas

GOLDStars, Boxes, Candles, Baubles

Sue Bowler
This 'mood board' shows a range of 'Gold' Qualatex balloons that depicts 'Elegant' Christmas.

I repeat this process until I have looked at all the elements and all the colours. I am really only looking for one or two ideas to interpret within my theme, working with the colours will really help with your selection.

Mood boards like the one's I have created above are a great way to show off your ideas to your clients, it truly shows your skills as a designer.

To see the full range of Qualatex Christmas & New Year 2012 balloons download the seasonal catalog now... click HERE to download the right version for your country.

US version

European version

Now I have all this information, I am able to present different ideas to my client that I know will excite and fulfil their needs!

Size Matters – The first thing to consider is the size of the table you’re working with. From large dining room tables, to folding banquet tables, to round tables, the size is going to dictate how much or how little space you have to work with, or fill up. Your centerpiece arrangement should be proportional to the size of the table. 

Don’t Be One-Sided – Remember your guests will be sitting all the way around the table so make sure your centrepiece is pretty from all angles. A design should only be front facing if you are positioning it on a front facing buffet table and in this instance this would be more of an arrangement than a centrepiece.
Height rules - remember the 14" centrepiece rule (can the guests see across the table)? You could create the most stunning design, however, if it obstructs the visual line and guests cannot see each other, you can bet that the centrepiece will be removed and sadly placed on the floor... I have seen it happen and often at balloon events!

Is it strong? - is your design strong, well constructed and easy to transport? Does is contain enough weight if you are attaching helium balloons to it?

Have you fulfilled your customers needs? - Have you created a design that excites your client?

Here are 2 air-filled centrepiece designs that could both be used for a Christmas theme party.... both very different!

Sue Bowler
Design 1.
Design 1. Traditional Christmas design
This design is made up of:

  • 17 x 5" Green balloons
  • 15 x 260Q Red balloons
  • 1 x Flower pot
  • small square of floral dry foam 
  • 5 x wood sticks (collected from my garden)
  • 2m Red satin ribbon
  • 30cm Red Wire (optional)
Sue Bowler

Just add up the cost of these materials... not very expensive I think you'll agree!

Sue Bowler
Design 2

Design 2. Modern Elegant
By contrast to Design 1, this design uses the 'new' Snowflakes Sparkles Blue... with a Holographic finish that adds a beautiful sparkle effect! This design would be suitable for an elegant Christmas event that wants something different from the more traditional Christmas decor.

This design was made up of:
9 x 5" Pearl Sapphire Blue balloons
9 x 5" Pearl Azure balloons
18 x 5" White balloons (I have used these to double stuff the Sapphire & Azure 5")
1 x 160Q Pearl Azure
1 x 160Q Pearl White
1 x 350Q White (to cover the black pole)
1 x Snowflakes Sparkles Blue #40089

Base and pole - I have used an IKEA 'Not' base and 2 sections of the pole, you could use Lomey or other alternatives, a long as they are heavy enough to be stable on a table.

Although I have used the theme Christmas for this blog, this same technique can be applied for any theme, and the two designs I have shown here can also be adapted to suit any theme, just by simply changing the balloon colours and the accessories.

Qualatex Christmas Business  Booster

Have you checked out the latest Qualatex Business Booster filled with some truly inspiring ideas for Christmas!
Is it too early to be thinking about Christmas... certainly not! Take this opportunity to be prepared and show your customer your range of exciting design ideas for Christmas... even without helium you can make fantastic decor with great impact!

Happy Ballooning!


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