Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee 2022 - How to make the Union Jack Flag

In two weeks time Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. The UK and much of the commonwealth will be celebrating over the Spring Bank holiday weekend from the 2nd to the 5th of June! 

Some years ago, I designed a Balloon Wall to represent the Union Jack flag using the Alternate Size Pack technique. Using this technique allowed me to create a very accurate copy, and I thought that I would share this design with you today! 

Alternate Size Square Pack Garland

When making balloon walls using this technique, you can guarantee that it will be robust and attractive! It is probably the most widely used method of precision wall, and is made by alternating clusters of four balloons in two different sizes packed on to 50lb Dacron line or even thicker line. This technique produces a square shape garland.

Below is a small section of the flag (from the design) to explain how the technique works:

Using this example: each column (as shown below) consists of 13 clusters of balloons. The first and the third columns start with a large balloon cluster and the second column starts with a small balloon cluster. When pushed together these columns interlock to create a strong wall. 

Be aware, the actual flag wall - as shown in example 1, 2 and 3, is a big wall. It uses 33 clusters per Garland and 9 Garlands to create the wall. To decide on the size of balloons to use, I often build a small section of garland to give me an idea on the overall sizing.

Example - small section of the flag wall

The difference in size between the two sets is relative to the size of balloon used.

When the balloons are inflated between 2" - 4½" = use a ½" differential

When the balloons are inflated between 4½" - 7½" = use a 1" differential

When the balloons are inflated between 7½" - 11" = use a 2" differential


5cm - 11.5cm = use a 1.5cm differential

11.5cm - 19cm = 2.5cm differential

19cm - 28cm = 5cm differential

The garlands when built are laid side by side and interlocked, then joined together 

Practice to see which sizes work best for you. I use the paper clip and elastic band method to connect the garlands together as it gives consistency with the tension. Many people use 260Q balloons to link their walls, but be aware that if the tension created when linking the garlands together is off, the end result will be noticeably affected.

Elastic Band and Paper Clip method

The Alternate Size Square Pack Garland method produces quite a smooth design with a flat surface, it allows for good diagonal lines and triangles. However, not all balloon wall types work with different patterns!

You will notice that my design is built lengthwise (using horizontal columns rather than vertical  columns.) This gives me more accuracy within the design, and once constructed it will not make any overall design.

This wall is made up of 9 Garlands, and each garland contains 33 Clusters (see example 3 below)
Example 1
Completed Flag

Example 2
Flag shown as it will be built in downwards columns

Example 3
Flag shown as individual columns

Image 4
Balloon List

This wall was designed on Balloon Pro, which is a fabulous online balloon design tool created by Chris Adamo CBA - If you have never used or tried this fantastic tool I recommend that you test it out with the 7 day free trial, as you can create a lot more than balloon walls! 

Wishing you a very happy Jubilee!

Happy Ballooning! 

Follow me @suebowler 


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