Friday, December 7, 2012

A 'sparkly' balloon centrepiece for the festive season.

A little 'sparkle'...

With Christmas and New Years celebrations just around the corner, I thought that this would be the perfect time to create a centrepiece that would be perfect for festive parties!

This design is packed with different elements and techniques, you might like to try out some of these  when you create your own designs.

Sue Bowler
Centrepiece design created by Sue Bowler CBA
Material List:
  • 5" Qualatex Pearl Azure #43577
  • 5" Qualatex  Silver #43603
  • 5" Qualatex Pearl White #43597
  • 9" Qualatex Sapphire  Microfoil Stars #24131
  • 4" Qualatex Sapphire Microfoil Stars #22849
  • 4" Qualatex Silver Microfoil Star 14355
  • 11" Qualatex Pearl Azure #43768
  • 13" Qualatex Sapphire Microfoil Taper #32016
  • 9" Lomey Dish 
  • 21" Lomey Acrylic Column
  • Lomey Universal Centrepiece - (Required with Lomey columns to form a base) I also use one at the top.
  • Lomey Adhesive
  • Premium Balloon Accessories 7" Cup-N-Sticks
  • Fine Powder Glitter
  • Floral wires and tapes to create fantasy leaves.
  • Crystal Nuggets- available form floral wholesalers
  • Silver Beads 
  • Clear Cellophane
  • Cool Glue Gun
  • Floral Dry Foam - used for arranging silk flowers.

Techniques Used:

Start by gluing the Lomey Universal Centrepiece to the Lomey Dish as this can take up to 24 hours to fully dry, so you need to think about this in advance of making up your centrepieces! 
You could use a cool glue gun to glue them together, but be aware that cool glue is temperature reactive, that means if it gets cold the glue can become brittle and break, whereas Lomey adhesive once applied is a permanent fixing, Lomey glue is also waterproof, so if you want to fill the tubes with water, then you must use Lomey glue!

Lomey Column with Universal Centrepiece -  that is the small disc at the base.

Lomey is a range of products that are used within the floral industry and is supplied by a company called Smithers- Oasis, many balloon wholesalers and distributors stock this product and other relevant floral supplies.
Design by Kevin Ylvisaker, AIFD, PFCI, Smithers-Oasis Design Director
This is a design that I found on a website that shows off the Lomey Columns really well, these have been filled with coloured water which works perfectly with this modern floral arrangement!

For my centrepiece design, I filled the tube with iridescent nuggets that I found at my floral wholesaler, they were inexpensive and look really stunning inside the tube!

Glitter Balloons

I would recommend that you prepare these first as they can take a few hours to dry, you really would not want to handle them wet!

Sue Bowler
Balloons and glitter

Hi-Float have some great instructions on their website in their design tips section. I have copied the technique for putting glitter on the outside of 11" balloons, which is very similar to what I do with 5". They also have some great video clips on their youtube channel!

Step 1: Pour ULTRA HI-FLOAT into a cup.
Step 2: Place the 5" balloon over a straw
Step 3: Dip the balloon into the HI-FLOAT, I also rub it in to ensure that the entire surface is cover, remove any excess.
Step 4: Using a hand pump, inflate the 5" balloon and tie, I like to make my glitter balloons different  sizes and not too big. 
Step 5: Shake the fine glitter over the balloons until it is completely covered and shake off the excess.
Step 6: Repeat the same process until all the balloons are covered, and leave to dry without touching each other, so that they do not stick together.

Capture all the excess glitter on a sheet of paper so that you can re-use it, a small amount of glitter goes a long way!
If you are using different coloured balloons, try and match a glitter colour for the balloons that you are using. I used 3 different coloured glitter for this design!

Holographic Silver Glitter

Iridescent White Glitter

Light Blue Glitter

Great instructions on the Hi-Float website!

Balloon 'Leaves'.

I have used 2 different types of 'leaves' in this design.

4" & 9" Microfoil Stars make fantastic leaves! Simply heat seal the balloon down the centre and then inflate and seal as normal. 

The second type of leaf that I have created for this design is a 'fantasy' leaf or petal. This is a technique that we use to create fantasy flowers.

To make a fantasy flower petal you will need:

18 Gauge floral wires, binding wire and 11" balloons.

18 Gauge wire minimum 14" in length

Reel wire

Simply bend the floral wire in half and insert the rounded centre into the un-inflated 11" balloon. Stretch the balloon to the base of the folded wire and secure using 'reel wire', usually 28 gauge. Once you have created your petal or leaf you can bend it to create any shape that you like.

To construct the design:

Starting from the base, I cut a small disc if dry floral foam and position that at the base of my lomey and lomey dish.

Now add all the elements that you want to use. I used 2 x 14" Sapphire Stars that I had made into leaves and a further 3 x 4" Stars.

Sue Bowler

Secure each of the 'glitter' balloons to a Premium 7" Cup N Stick, you can push these easily into the floral foam, if you are concerned that they will fall out add a small dab of cool glue before pushing them in position, this will help them to stay in place. 
I like to randomly position the glitter balloons so that they look like snowballs or a pile of Christmas baubles', make sure that your design looks visually pleasing from all sides.

There will be gaps, be careful not to overfill the centrepiece design, just simply make squares of cellophane and push these into the gaps to fill in the space! If you can find iridescent cellophane, that looks amazing!

To complete the base, I added in some silver string beads just gently swagged into the design, with no set pattern.

I then filled the tube with iridescent nuggets and added a second Universal Centrepiece connector, this acts like a cap and works well at both the base to secure to the dish and at the top, where I have just simply added a small disc of dry foam.

I have kept the top very simple. Firstly add a 13" Qualatex Starpoint into the centre of the dry foam again using a Premium Cup N Stick, I the positioned 3 'fantasy' petal around the base of the taper and small cluster of 'glitter' balloons. Finally, filling all the gaps with cellophane squares to hide all the mechanics!

Sue Bowler

Here is another 'glittery' design using some of the same techniques is in this design!

Sue Bowler

I hope that this blog has given you a little inspiration to create your own 'glittery' design!

Happy Ballooning!



Unknown said...

WOW Sue thanks for this Post it´s so interestting, and thnks for the technics, i liked the one glitter the balloons


A-Ballonnen said...

Great, looks very nice. Will try this also to sell in Holland.

Kind Regards,

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Matt Haris said...

Very impressive crafting ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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