Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ballooning Decorating Formula's

When calculating the number of balloons that you will need to create decor, knowing which formula's to use can be a hugely beneficial. 

Let me give you an example: I want to create a garland of balloons to cover a hoop, see example below. How can you calculate the number of balloons you will need?


Photo courtesy of AeröPole System

There are several formulas that you can use to give you an accurate answer.

Let's start by determining the size of a hoop.To work out the circumference of the hoop your first need to measure the diameter. 
  • The circumference is the measurement of a circle around the edge of the hoop or any circular frame.
  • The diameter is the measurement straight across a circle or hoop from one side to the other.


To get started you will need to measure your hoop or circular frame from edge to edge to find the diameter.

For this example let us say that our hoops diameter measures 6ft or 1.82m.

To calculate the circumference of our hoop we multiply 6 (the diameter of the hoop in feet) by 3.14 (the value of π) which equals 18.84ft. For the circumference in meters, the equation is 1.82 (the diameter of the hoop in meters) multiplied by 3.14 (the value of π) which equals 5.71m.

Now we know what the circumference of our hoop is we can calculate the number of balloons that we are going to need to cover it. 

If we are using balloons inflated to the same size, then this should be pretty straightforward. You will need the Spiral Garland Chart. To be honest, I have no idea why it is called a Spiral Garland Chart? Personally, for me it is just a Garland Chart, and it only becomes a spiral when different coloured balloons are used to create the spiral pattern! 

So now we need to decide how big we want to inflate our balloons. On a 6ft or 1.82m wide hoop, you don't want the balloons to be too big or too dominant on the frame, unless that is the look that you are aiming for. For this example we are going to use balloons inflated to 8" or 20cm's. We are going to make our Garland using 4-balloon clusters, aka quads, as many balloon professionals call them.

In the green section in the chart above, the balloons are measured in inches and in the peach section the balloon are measured in cm. 

The chart suggests that when you inflate balloons to 8" you will need 7.6 balloons per foot of garland, and when you inflate the balloons to 20cm's you will need 25.10 balloons per meter.

We already know that to cover our hoop we will need: 18.84ft or 5.71m of Garland

So, to calculate the total number of balloons that you will need:

Multiply 7.6 (the number of balloons per foot) x 18.84 (the total length of Garland we will need to cover the hoop) = 143.18 (which will be roughly 35 clusters or 140 balloons)

Or multiple 5.71 (the number of balloons per meter) x 25.10 (the number of balloons per meter) = 143.321 which is exactly the same as the result above - phew, thank goodness!

So to summarise: to cover a 6ft or 1.82m hoop with a garland of balloons sized to 8", I will need approximately 140 balloons. 

If you want to make your hoop in an organic style, how can you calculate the number of balloons that you will need to cover the hoop? For this equation you will need to create your own chart which will determine how many balloons that you use per foot or per meter when making an organic garland. Many decorators have an organic formula where they use 'X' as the number of 11" and 16" per foot or meter, and the sizes that they will be roughly inflated to. This is the only way that you will be able to use this formula when making your organic decor - always allow extra balloons for organic style decor for the add-on's that you will use to enhance the organic look to your design! 

How many balloons would be required to cover a ceiling? 

For this example, we will use 11" balloons inflated to 11" using helium to calculate how many balloons we will need to fill a ceiling that is 15' x 15'. 

To start,  we must first determine how much space an 11" balloon takes up? 

The first thing that we need to determine is the radius of an 11" balloon.
  • The radius is the measurement from the centre to the outside of a circle or sphere.

The radius of an 11" balloon at it's widest point is 5.5"

Now we need to calculate the amount of space an 11" balloon will take up.

5.5 x 5.5 x π ( π = 3.14) = 95 square inches per 11" balloon (the volume of space an 11" balloons will take up.)

Our ceiling space is 15' x 15' which is equivalent to 180" x 180" (we have converted our equation to inches because our balloon is measured in inches.

We now need to calculate the total number in square inches we have to fill.

180 x 180 = 32,400

We know that an 11" balloon is equivalent to 95 square inches, so we need to divide the total ceiling space size size (32,400") by the size of one of the 11" balloons ( 95").

32,400 ÷ 95 = 341

Therefore, we will need approximately 341 x 11" balloons inflated to 11" to fill a 15' x 15' ceiling! 

If this all sounds overly complicated, there is an easy solution that you can use. Balloonpro.co offers custom resources made for the balloon decorating industry. With online design tools and calculators you can easily create beautiful and intricate balloon columns, arches, walls and organics. 
Included with membership, you will also have access to:
  • Organic Calculator
  • Balloon Column Calculator
  • Loose Balloon Quantity Calculator 
I used the Loose Balloon Quantity Calculator to calculate the same example as above.

https://balloonpro.co


The result using Balloon Pro versus the method that I showed above is very similar. My calculation suggested 341 balloons and Balloon Pro suggested 339. The great thing about the Balloon Pro tool is that you can do the same calculation working with 3 different sizes of balloons and you can select the % of space that you want each size of balloon to fill, and to be honest I really don't think that I would even want to attempt to work that out manually! 

A little about Balloon Pro

Founder Chris Adamo CBA (Sydney – Australia) has over 20 years of balloon industry experience and is as passionate about this wonderful profession as anyone could be.  

In recent years Chris has been asked to teach all around the world and he feels driven to helping the balloon industry through quality and practical educational videos and tools.

The ‘Balloonpro.co Design Tool’ has transformed the way we design, plan and create balloon decor. It is a huge honour and privilege to be able to share this with the wider community.

If you have any lingering questions please don’t hesitate to email or join our Facebook group.



You can try out the Design Tool for 7 days to test out this fabulous tool!

I use Balloonpro to help me design balloon walls, columns and arches, and of course to help me with those tricky calculations! For me, it is one of the most valuable tools for balloon artists!

I know that understanding math is not for everyone, and for me it is definitely a challenge! I really like to make my own calculations before I check them using the Balloonpro tool, so that I can feel satisfied that I do understand how to get the right answer.

I hope that this post has helped some of you.

Happy Ballooning! 

Sue
Follow me: @suebowler













2 comments:

Christine Maentz said...

Hello Sue,

This chart is not accurate. For a 25' garland, balloons inflated to 8.5 inches you need exactly 200 balloons. As per this chart, you would only need 177.5. I have been using this chart since I have started decor in 2015, however I know to add 13% to the total otherwise you will arrive on site and have some last minute inflation to do.

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