Thursday, January 11, 2018

Creative Valentine's Ideas - Part 1

Valentine's Day has a habit of creeping up on us very quickly, arriving very soon after Christmas and New Year. We don't seem to get the same lead time as we do for other key seasonal occasions. So if you have not already started your Valentine's campaign, now is the time to get started! 

This morning I thought that I would have a little play with Chris Adamo's fabulous Balloons Online Design Tool - I have added a link that will take you directly to the page. Remember to save or bookmark the link for the future!  I have designed many balloon walls, but this FREE program makes it so incredibly easy!

If you are wondering where this little gem of a program is hidden, look on the menu for the Quick Link Designer. Once you click on that, it will take you to the design page where it will open in the last model that you used. To change the model, click on ADD MODEL on the right-hand side of the page and it will open a drop-down menu where you will be able to select the type of wall that you want to design. I selected the Alternate Size Pack wall as it allows me to add greater detail to my design versus Duplet Square pack.

Alternate Size Pack Walls

I really like this style of balloon wall. It is robust, always looks good, and is probably the most widely used method of precision wall. It is made by alternating clusters of four balloons in two different sizes packed on to 50lb Dacron line. This produces a square garland (see example below).
The first and last garland in your wall starts and finishes with one size of balloon cluster. The next garland starts and finishes with the alternate size of balloon cluster. The example below shows the green balloon being the bigger of the two sizes.
Sue Bowler
Square Garlands
The difference in size between the two sets is relative to the size of balloon used.

 2" - 4½" = use a ½"differential
4½" - 7½" = use a 1" differential 
7½" - 11" = use a 2" differential

5cm - 11.5cm = use a 1.5cm differential
11.5cm - 19cm = 2.5cm differential
19cm - 28cm = 5cm differential

Practice and see which size works best for you. The garlands are laid side-by-side and interlocked when built, then joined together using the elastic band method* 

Sue Bowler
Square Garlands locked together

Accurate sizing of balloons is paramount with this style of balloon wall. When making the duplets, we must make sure that the balloons are tied as tightly together as possible, leaving no slack latex between the knot and the inflated part of the balloon.

Everyone will pack clusters on the line at a particular tension. It is typical to have only one person pack the garlands while others inflate and tie. This may not possible when working on large-scale jobs, so you will need to practice consistent sizing and packing with your crew.

This method produces quite a smooth design with a flat surface that allows for good diagonal lines and triangles. Not all balloon wall types work with different patterns!

The inspiration for this Valentine's wall was from the Qualatex® "Love You Red Ribbon" Microfoil® balloon. If you made a display using both, it would look stunning and very eye- catching - perfect for a window display! 

18" & 36" "Love You Red Ribbon" Microfoil Balloons

If you would like to have a go at making this wall, here is the design recipe. It even tells you how many balloons of each colour you will need! If you right-click on the instructions, you can save the file to your computer and open it in its original size!

Image 1 - Balloon Wall as it will look when completed.

 Image 2 - Balloon Wall in columns.

To secure the columns together, I use the paperclip and elastic band method that I was taught many years ago by Ian Herd, CBA.

This is such an important part of the wall construction. If done badly, the wall can distort and not look good. There are many people who use 260Qs to fix a wall, but for me, the elastic band and paperclip method is the best technique!

If you have never made a balloon wall before, this style of wall is a great one to start with. Don't forget, you do not need to make it huge; use 5" balloons and you will get exactly the same results, but on a smaller scale!

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more Valentine's design ideas to help you with your campaign! Don't forget that there is a fabulous INSPIRATION area on the Qualatex website where you can view and download BALLOON BOUQUET and DECOR ideas, like the "Embellished Heart" designed by Luc Bertrand, CBA. If you are a QBN member or CBA, you are also able to log in and download the recipe sheet and a high-resolution photograph that you could use for marketing purposes.

Once again, my sincere thanks and gratitude goes out to Chris Adamo, CBA, of Balloons Online, Sydney, Australia, who continuously gives to the balloon industry and inspires many of us each day with his incredible ballooning skills! Thank you, Chris. Your gestures are truly helping so many!

Happy Ballooning!


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