How to Make a Balloon Arch Without Helium

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Balloon arches create a festive entryway or stage decoration at parties, events and other celebrations. Arches usually use helium-filled balloons, with the floating balloons forming the arch. Helium is expensive, especially if you are constructing a large arch. Instead, use regular air-filled balloons. You'll need a frame to support the top of the arch, but PVC pipe is inexpensive and readily available. The best part is that the frame can be reused.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 PVC pipes, 10 feet long, 1/2 inch diameter
  • PVC connector
  • PVC glue
  • 2 wood blocks, 2 inches thick
  • Drill
  • Balloons
(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

Step 1

Attach the 10-foot lengths of pipe together with the connector. Place a bead of glue inside the connector before attaching it so the arch doesn't pop apart.

(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

Step 2

Drill a 1/2-inch hole in the center of the wood blocks. Insert either end of the PVC pipe into the wood blocks and glue in place.

(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

Step 3

Stand the PVC pipe up, bending it into an arch. Place sandbags or similar weights on the wood blocks so that the arch doesn't tip over.

(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

Step 4

Blow up two balloons and tie them closed. Tie the tied ends of the balloons together to attach them into doubles. Repeat until you have enough doubled balloons to cover the arch.

(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

Step 5

Set the double balloons against the arch frame. Wrap the balloons around the frame, then twist them together to secure them to the frame. Repeat with each double of balloons, arranging the balloons as you work up the frame so that the PVC is completely covered.

(Image: Robinson Cartagena Lopez/Demand Media)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Use an air compressor if you have one available. It makes short work of blowing up the balloons.
  • Adjust the length of PVC pipe used to alter the finished size of the arch. You can use small arches on banquet tables for further decoration.

References

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