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Building Blocks

See below for Building Blocks, or fundamental skills, to help you expand your business.

BowHand-tied Bows

1. Make a small loop and leave a tail.
2. With 2-faced ribbon, twist so that the correct side is up.
3. Make another loop that is slightly larger than the first.
4. Squeeze ribbon together to create a small center.
5. Make loops a little larger each time and try not to line up the ribbon.
6. Repeat until you have 8 loops on each side, this will make about a 4-yd bow.
7. After loops are created, take floral wire and lay over top, securing with thumb. (21-22 gauge floral wire works the best.)
8. Bring both ends of wire to the back of the bow and twist lightly.
9. Place in other hand and fluff the bow.
10. Turn upside down and twist the bow, not the wire.
11. Turn upright and bow is complete.

Note: For a round bow, make loops the same size each time.

Wedding ArchBalloon Arches

The Single Arch is made up of single helium-filled latex balloons tied directly to a monofilament line. The latex may be packed closely together or evenly spaced. The arch can be dressed up with a variety of items such as ribbons, poufs of tulle netting, or even feathers.

An air-filled latex balloon can be tied directly below the helium-filled balloon creating the High-low Arch, a variation of the single arch.

The Rainbow Arch includes several single arches of varying length that can be placed together creating a rainbow of colors.

The Swirl Arch is composed of either a three or four cluster latex group joined by paper clips or Twist Klips™ and attached directly to the monofilament line.

The Foil Arch can be created using foil helium-filled balloons. The foil balloon can be attached to the monofilament line, using a pipe cleaner twisted around the stem.

Decorating With Arches
Decorating with balloons can be an exciting supplement to an existing business or an opportunity for a new business.

Typically, decorating is conducted on the actual job site. Every decorating job will differ and should be considered separately. Decorating is labor intensive and costly; thus, the following should be considered:

First, before you agree to a decorating job, make sure you have the required skills and supplies. A basic rule is "keep it simple." Try more complicated decorations on your own before you attempt a professional job. Also, order any needed supplies ahead of time. Remember, your supplier is subject to stock availability too.

Second, decide whether the decoration is a short- or long-term exhibit. Air-filled arches will remain for several days; helium-filled arches are temporary.

Finally, never promise something you cannot deliver or do a shabby job. Let the customer know what you can and cannot do, and the expense involved from the start.

Building An Arch

Balloon Arch
  • Supplies:
  • LATEX BALLOONS-11", 14", OR 16"

  1. Attach the loose end of the monofilament line to the back of a chair or a similar stationary object. Be sure to allow about four or five extra feet of monofilament line to finish the arch.
  2. Usually, two colors of latex are used. One will be called the contrasting color or the swirl.
  3. Inflate the latex balloons uniformly using either a Qualatex® ProSizer™ Template or other device for measuring the circumference of the balloon.
  4. Tie two inflated balloons of the same color together.
  5. Tie two inflated balloons of the contrasting color together.
  6. Twist the two sets of balloons together creating a cluster of four.
  7. Secure clusters on the line by looping monofilament line around cluster several times to hold in place. Be sure to keep the line tightly stretched and clusters solidly packed as you build the arch. Wrap monofilament line around two or three balloons in the cluster to secure. Add another cluster and repeat.
  8. Make sure each cluster is exactly the same color pattern. The swirl is accomplished by moving the contrasting color one quarter turn clockwise as it is packed on the line. It is important that the clusters are tightly packed together on the line. There will be a few inches between the center of each cluster.
  9. Continue to build arch until desired length is reached.
  10. Wrap monofilament line four or five times around balloon clusters at the end of line in looping motion in order to keep the balloon clusters solidly packed on the line.
  11. Use a brick, sand-filled weight, or drapery hook (anchored to carpet) to hold each end of the arch in place.

For arch that is wider than tall: Height + Length = Approximate Total Length
For arch with height and width about the same: 1.5 times Height + Width = Approximate Total Length
For arch that is taller than wide: 2 times Height + Width = Approximate Total Length

Number of balloons per foot in an arch (based on a spiral arch):
5 inch = 12 per foot
9 inch = 8 per foot
11 inch = 6 per foot
14 inch = 4 per foot
16 inch = 4 per foot

Helpful Hint
If a balloon needs replacing within the arch, simply attach a balloon replacement to the line with a paper clip. Hook it directly to the line or to another balloon in the same cluster.


MagicArch is a modular balloon system that allows you to easily create columns, wall decorations and centerpieces. The cloverleaf design of the balloon allows the user to fill four perfectly uniform in size balloons all at once.

Advantages of using this system:

  • Balloons stay inflated much longer than latex balloons.
  • It saves time.
  • It expands decorating options.

To determine the number of balloon units needed to build an arch or column with MagicArch:

  • Convert the measurement in feet to inches by multiplying 12" x the number of feet.
  • Divide the height of the column or the length of the arch by the thickness of the inflated unit. (Units inflate to 29.5" x 7.8" and can be filled with air or helium.)

MagicArch Balloon Arch Recipe

Ribbon or string cut to desired arch length plus 2' extra
Weights for arch (example:bricks)
Magic Arch balloons

Tie one end of the ribbon to a weight or tape to the floor. Inflate the balloon. Thread the ribbon through tthe center of the balloon. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to desired length. The arch forms automatically.

Important: Be sure to use only thin nylon cord, ribbon, or string with MagicArch balloons. Do not use monofilament line.