Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A centrepiece design idea for Halloween

In my last blog 'Part 3 The Beginners Guide to the Elements & Principles of Design- Texture & Balance', I talk about how it can be harder to create designs that have contrasting textures as balloons  generally have a similar texture, however if we can create contrasting textures within a design it can give us a design that has greater visual impact!

So with 'texture' in mind, I set about creating a centrepiece design for Halloween.

Jack O'Lantern Qualatex Bubbles #18494 

Every centrepiece needs a strong focal point, and for my Halloween design I chose to use the 'Jack O' Lantern' 22" Bubble, there is another Bubble also 22" called 'Magical Jack' (see below) that is also perfect for this design!

I personally love these Bubbles and the vibrancy of the the colours, to me, they look like they are lit up and radiate a warm glow!

So how did I create a 'rustic' texture within this design? When you think of Pumpkins you think of harvest and that makes me think of Autumn/Fall leaves and raffia (this is a natural fibre from the leaves of the raffia tree and is often used to make hats and baskets, raffia and dried leaves can both be found at floral suppliers). I also used some coloured sticks that I also found at my floral wholesaler, again this added a great visual and actual texture to my design.

The vibrant colour was also important to me, and to keep that warm glow I decided to double stuff Orange 5" latex balloons with Gold 5" latex, giving the overall effect of a warmer Orange that complimented the Bubble balloon perfectly!

Material List

18 x 5" Orange Latex #43570
18 x 5" Gold Latex #43560
1 x 22" Jack O'Lantern Bubble #18494 or Magical Jack Bubble #14937 (check with your distributor as they probably will only carry one of these versions).
A small handful of dried sticks or canes.
Dried Leaves
1 x Lomey Base
1 x 31" Lomey Pedestal 

There is a great alternative to Lomey called Plexipole,  Plexipole was designed specifically for the balloon industry, check out their website, I am working on a few exciting designs for Christmas using Plexipole and will of course share these with you in a future blog! You can make this design on any base and pedestal. I know that some of you are pretty handy at making your own, as we will be covering the pedestal part with sticks it's really is not important to use a clear acrylic version on this occasion.

Step by Step

1. Prepare your base and pedestal first. The sticks that I used to put round the pedestal were very thin so they did not add much in the way of additional width to the pole, if they are too thick it will make it look too heavy and it could also become too wide for a centrepiece creating a poor visual line across the table. The easiest way to secure the sticks initially was to use enough so that they sit evenly around the pedestal and then secure at both ends with a scrap of a 160Q, then trim them so that they are the same length as the pole. I pulled an un-inflated 5" Orange balloon over the top of the stick just in case there was any sharp bit that could pop a balloon.
2. Use several strands of raffia and wrap these around the sticks/pedestal starting from the top and finishing at the base, once secure you can leave a short length of the raffia as this can be incorporated into the design at the end. Since making this design I wonder if I should have used a green raffia rather than the orange as this would have offered a little more colour into the design... maybe I'll try it and post a new picture later!
3. Working from the base, create a 5-balloon cluster using the double stuffed Orange inside Gold balloons, inflate these to approx. 4.5". Then created your next 5-balloon cluster as before, this time inflating them to approx. 3.5". 
4. At the top of the pedestal you need to create a further 2 clusters, however this time they are 4-balloon clusters, as these will sit much better at the top. These are 1 x 4-balloon cluster inflated to 3" and the other is a 4-balloon cluster inflated to 3.5". You need to position these as high as you can at the top so that the Bubble balloon can sit well, as this balloon will be air-filled.
5. Air inflate the Bubble balloon and then secure a small scrap of a 160Q to the neck of the Bubble, but don't roll it up all the way as this can open up the valve. Secure the Bubble to the top clusters of the design.
6. Finally add some additional 'texture', I added in a few dried leaves and a small raffia 'bow' as the base.

This is the 'Magical Jack' Qualatex Bubble, as you can see it is very similar and is perfect for this design too!
Magical Jack #14937

Last year I wrote a blog called 'Trick or Treat - Great balloons designs for Halloween', you might find some great inspiration here!

If you visit 'Sue's Recipes', you will find out how to make this great little character called 'Funny Face Taper Jack'!

And Don't forget to check out the Autumn Business Booster on the Qualatex website! It has some fantastic Bouquet & Decor idea's along with some great sales tips, plus a fantastic downloadable poster that you can use to start off your Halloween campaign!

Download this great poster from the Qualatex Autumn Business Booster for a high Quality PDF.
Don't forget that you can check out all the seasonal flyers online just in case you have not received one or picked one up from your distributor, click here for a direct link to all the online catalogues, remember to view the catalogue that relates to your territory! 

I am looking forward to sharing some more great Halloween design ideas with you over the next few weeks!

Happy ballooning!


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