While helium balloons you purchase already inflated at the party store may have weights attached, you'll have to come up with your own means of weighing the balloons down if you inflate them yourself. Inexpensive household materials, bargain-bin finds and craft supplies team up for balloon weights you can customize so they're tailored to the theme of your celebration.
Simple Wrapped or Inflated Weights
Fill small organza bags that match your party's color scheme with marbles, a few clean bolts or a handful of individually wrapped candies -- doubling as favors guests can take home. Colorful fabric squares may be used in place of organza bags; wrap the weighty items with the fabric, and then tie off the top with a matching piece of ribbon. For a child's party, stretch a few wide balloons; insert a few marbles in each, and then inflate the balloon with air. Tie these weights to the helium balloons with a length of ribbon -- the inflated balloon on the ground works as the weight.
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Air-drying clay allows you to tailor the weights to the theme of the party or the season: ice cream cones or watermelon slices for summer; snowmen for winter; an autumn leaf for fall; ladybugs and flowers for spring. Knead the clay flat, and then cut each weight to shape using a cookie cutter or craft knife. Poke a hole near the top of each clay piece for the ribbon, and allow the clay to dry as recommended on the package. Once it dries, paint it with acrylic craft paints. Make clay dinosaurs for the party of a youngster captivated by the creatures, or star shapes for a rock-star-themed party.
Household objects and dollar-store finds can also be used as interesting balloon weights. Tie ribbons dangling from balloons onto individual teacup handles for a tea party or luncheon. For a child's party, tie the balloons around heavy hard plastic toy animals or weighty toy cars. Give the party balloons a vintage touch by tying them each onto several antique or antique-style keys. Use large glass beads or pendants as weights that can be given to party-goers afterward.
Pots, Buckets and Jars
Small planter pots and metal buckets from a craft store give you an inexpensive means of creating custom balloon weights. Fill decorative plant pots -- even the cheapest lightweight plastic kind -- with polished river pebbles or a few packets of seeds, weighted down with sand or pebbles beneath the packets. Tie the ribbon around one of the rocks or pebbles set in the bottom of the pot, and then add in the other stones. Decorate small metal buckets or plant pots with craft paints, noting the day of the event or the reason for the party. If you use buckets, tie the balloon's long ribbon to the handle. Use short mason jars as weights you can reuse or repurpose for other events. Slide the balloon ribbon along the rim of the jar and then secure the metal ring over the ribbon, trapping it between the glass and metal. Fill the jar with colorful glass gems. If space allows, put a battery-operated tea light inside the jar, and then cover it with glass gems for an illuminated balloon weight.