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What to Know About Balloons


All kinds of events call for some charming decorations to set the scene and add some color, and that includes not only party lights and streamers or confetti, but also balloons. All kinds of balloons, from latex balloons (often heart shaped balloon balloons), foil balloons, and more can be found at party supply stores, grocery stores, and even online retailers. For Valentine’s Day, heart shaped balloons can make a fine gift, and balloons can also decorate a birthday party, a hospital room, and more. Some heart shaped balloons are latex, and some might be foil. And in fact, foil balloons come in all kinds of shapes. What is there to know about these balloons, and how to fill them just right?

Latex Balloons For You

The history of balloons goes back farther than some people might realize. Back in 1824, professor Michael Faraday invented them when he fused the edges of two rubber sheets together and filled them with air, and balloons have been manufactured ever since. But balloons today tend to made of latex rather than rubber, since this is more sustainable for the natural environment. Latex trees can provide a lot of material without getting killed in the process, and a single latex tree may yield raw materials for 40 years without dying. Latex balloons are often “standard” balloons, and they are small until they are filled with either air or helium. Air filled balloons are easier to make, since not everyone has a helium pump, though these balloons will not float. A person can use an ordinary air pump or even their breath to fill these balloons. Or, a balloon may be filled with helium, such as at a carnival, and they will be held down with a thick string and a weight. Air filled balloons may last longer than those filled with helium.

Using latex balloons is fairly simple, though a person is urged to keep small children and pets away from them to avoid any choking hazards. Such balloon can be bought in packets of dozen at a time, making them very affordable. These balloons should be kept away from open heat sources such as flames or hot light bulbs, or else the air inside the balloon may expand too much and rupture the entire thing.

Foil Balloons

Foil balloons are a more recent invention, and they may be heart shaped balloons, squared shaped, or even shaped like numbers. A foil balloon is made when two foil sheets are cut into shape, and then their edges are fused together. Foil balloons are usually filled with helium, and they can even be bought already filled with air. Or, a helium pump can be used to fill one right up. Such balloons often have graphic designs printed on them, which can range from pop culture images all the way to messages such as “happy birthday” and “get well soon.”

Using Balloons

When is a good time for balloons? A child’s birthday party is a fine time for balloons, among other decorations, and the parents may tape air filled balloons to the walls, the backs of chairs, and more, and they can scatter those balloons on the floor to make a sort of ball pit. Helium filled balloons can be tied to strings outside, and held down with weights or tied to a wooden deck’s railing, for example. Foil balloons that say “happy birthday” are great for parties, too.

Balloons can also be gifts, and not just at a carnival. Some Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day gift packages can include heart shaped balloons of either latex or foil, for example. Also, a hospital patient may appreciate a foil “get well soon” balloon. Finally, latex, air filled balloons are a staple for high school proms. In the dance room, a wooden cage is affixed to the ceiling, containing hundreds of balloons. At some point during the dance night, the cage is opened and all the balloons scatter around, to the delight of the dancers.

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