Thursday, September 3, 2015

Personalising Balloons Using a Die-Cutting Machine: Part 1

We have been personalising balloons for years now. I remember attending one of my first ever balloon shows over 20 years ago and seeing beautiful personalisation using glue pens and fine glitter, and to be honest, I still love it today... as long as the person writing the message or name has beautiful hand writing!

Jacqui Pettitt, of Tiffany's Balloons uses stencils to create an outline before she glitters her balloons, which gives a very professional finish!

A few years ago, I was introduced to the Silhouette Cameo and it certainly changed my world!

The Silhouette CAMEO is an electronic die-cutting machine designed for personal use. Like a home printer, it plugs into your PC or Mac with a simple USB cable. However, instead of printing it uses a small blade to cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more up to 12" wide and 10' long.

There are quite a few machines that can do the same thing as the Silhouette Cameo. I recommend reading reviews on The Best Die Cutting Machines to ensure that you choose the best machine to suit your needs.

I know that many of you have invested in a die-cutting machine to enhance your balloon designs, and there are probably many of you still thinking about it!

So for those of you who are in the thinking about it camp, I would like to share with you some of the great things that you can do with a die-cutting machine that can add value to our everyday designs.

The first, and probably the most obvious, is to use vinyl cut-outs to personalise balloons.

Vinyl works well on Microfoil® and Bubble Balloons. It can also be applied to latex balloons. Applying on latex balloons is a little more difficult due to the curve on the balloons and also because a latex balloon will shrink quicker than either a Microfoil or Bubble Balloon®.

The great thing about vinyl is that unlike stickers, it adheres to the balloon but does not actually stick, making it easy for you to reposition something if it's not quite right!

Personalising is not just about writing names; in fact the sky's the limit as to what you can do!

  • Names - These 9" Hearts are ready for a very special wedding that I will be decorating! Each child will get their own personalised balloon as a place setting. The Premium Candy Bouquet Weights are simply perfect for the bases!

  • Name & birth date for new baby
  • Special messages - I love this "Will You Be My Bridesmaid" balloon that Debbie O'Neill, CBA of WOW Balloons was asked to make. What a great way to ask someone something so special!

  • Bride & Groom names and date of wedding
  • Personal message for Valentine's Day and other occasions!
  • Corporate Logos - If a logo is a single colour it's pretty straight forward; you simply trace the design from an image sent to you by your client and cut it out! However, if a logo is multi-coloured, you will need to be supplied the logo in a layered format. This will allow you to cut out each layer in the relevant colour and then position them correctly on the balloons! Also, if you are layering a logo or any design you will need to consider the additional weight. If the balloons are to be helium filled, it could affect how the balloon floats.

  • Theming - We are often asked for specific theme balloons, now you can make anything!

  • Character Designs - We can create eyes, lips or any other features to help us with our character designs. Debbie O'Neill of WOW Balloons made some awesome dance floor aliens, and if you check out their eyes, you will spot that they are made from vinyl!
I am really just scratching the surface of the possibilities of personalisation. I am sure that you will find many occasions when in the past you might have said no to a customer, but now almost anything is possible!

Please be careful not to infringe any copyright laws by copying a logo or template that requires permission to use. I recently read an article that discussed this subject, and talked about a women got into trouble for creating a design using a green tractor with yellow wheels, sounds pretty safe to me, but in fact John Deere owns the copyright for green tractors with yellow wheels.

I have so much great information to share with you about how you can make the most from your die-cutting machines. But rather than writing reams in this blog, I will share it over two additional blogs that I will be posting very soon!

A huge thank you to Jacqui Pettitt, Debbie O'Neill and Colin Stewart for their help with this blog!

Happy Ballooning!



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Admin said...

wow nice balloon design using vinyl-cutting-machine

Adam Skorstad said...

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Unknown said...

Hi There. Great post!
What type of vinyl are you using? Is it a stick on? Generally for most vinyl printing a heat press is required, which will obviously not work for balloons.
Stick on vinyl seems to be difficult to work with on balloons due to the curved surface. I'm curious as to what you are using.


StanleyCactus said...

Wow, this is very unusual and interesting approach. I haven't seen anything like it before. Great job!
Also, if somebody wants to create some balloons too, i can recommend this article - - to choose the right machine for your needs.