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How can I "set" marker on a latex balloon?

by Stacey
(Texas)

We're making balloons that look like pigs for my daughter's upcoming party. We are using Sharpie markers to make the faces on pink and patterned balloons, but it still rubs off on the skin.

I'm thinking of using a bit of corn starch on the decorated parts to help set the marker (hopefully)... any suggestions?

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Update for Anonymous On Using Cornstarch
by: Stacey

In response to Anonymous who asked for help--I'm re-posting what I'd written before. This is how we "set" the Sharpie marker on some latex balloons that we drew pig faces/feet on. When we made Hedwig helium balloons for our Harry Potter parties, we didn't use the cornstarch because the balloons were floating/not really handled by people. Hope it helps!

Using cornstarch: This worked! After drawing piggy faces/ears/hooves w/black Sharpie markers, we daubed the faces we drew w/cornstarch (we powdered their little faces using a cotton ball dipped in cornstarch). It's a messy job and even after wiping them down w/dry paper towels they were a bit dusty--but so much better than getting all that ink on hands and clothes.

I liked the idea by another commentator about doing the sharpie and then turning the balloon inside out--would only work well on translucent balloons though (like that person mentioned). And I wondered how much it would smudge when turning it inside out.



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Keeping marker decorations on latex balloons
by: Anthony

After reading your suggestions I realized I have no corn starch in my house. I turned my balloon inside out, rubbed a small amount of baking soda on permanent marker, and returned it to the original setting.

The baking soda stopped any marker from transferring while turning it right side out, and being inside it, it will never be touched.

Of course this only works with translucent balloons, but i found it worked very well.

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How to use cornstarch on balloons with markers
by: Anonymous

This is the only place I've found that talks about using cornstarch to prevent markings on the balloons from smearing.

We already made our balloon decorations and then my son got hold of one and decorations came off!!!

I cannot possibly do all this over with different markers. I see that cornstarch worked but don't see anything on what to do with the cornstarch. Please help!

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Re: Margit
by: Stacey

Thanks Margit--I did see those comments about the paint markers, but there was nothing about how they would be if touched. It looked more like decorative balloons that were never meant to be touched.

I think the problem is the latex of the balloons--not the type of marker. Sharpies are, after all, permanent markers. I'd love to know if paint pens would actually stay on the latex, even when handled--but I don't have anything like that to test it right now.

The cornstarch did work very well (see my other comment) although it was a bit messy (when applying--not when the kids played the games) and looked a bit "dusty."

Well worth it to have the Sharpie stay put for the birthday party games. When the balloons shrunk (over the next day or two) the marker did start to come off on the hands a bit--but hardly anything came off when they were fully inflated/dusted w/cornstarch at the party.

I'll do it again in future unless I hear of something that's definitely better before then.

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It worked!
by: Stacey

Just in case anyone ever reads this--using cornstarch worked.

Here's how to do it:

After drawing piggy faces/ears/hooves w/black Sharpie markers, we daubed the marker w/cornstarch (we powdered their little faces using a cotton ball).

It's a messy job and even after wiping them down w/dry paper towels they were a bit dusty--but so much better than getting all that ink on hands and clothes. Cheers!

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Writing on Latex Balloons
by: Margit

Hi Stacey,

Have you tried different types of markers? For example, the balloon artists over at BalloonHQ.com recommend RoseArt Metallic Markers or Qualatex Metallic Balloon Markers for writing on latex balloons.

Please let us know if applying a bit of corn starch did the trick.

Best of luck,
Margit

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"Setting" the marker...not marker type.
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the feedback, but I already know that Sharpies can be used if you're not concerned w/balloon longevity. What I cannot find (and I searched quite a while a couple days ago) is how/if you can "set" permanent marker so that it doesn't rub off on clothing/hands when playing a game with the decorated balloons. If the cornstarch works (won't know until later today or tomorrow) I'll come back here and post it.

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Alternative
by: Zenobia

I am sure if you check "Youtube," you'll be able to find how to make balloon animals, the person doing the presentation will mention what type of marker to use. Also, you can use the stick on button nose for your balloon animals, you can find it at any craft store or Walmart.

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