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How long before a birthday party should a balloon arch be made?

by Byanca
(Inglewood, CA)

How long before the party can you make your balloon arch? | Share or pin for later!

How long before the party can you make your balloon arch? | Share or pin for later!

I am asking how long before because I am wondering if it can be made the night before or should it be made the day of the party? I'm making it myself and trying to figure out how much time I need.


Hi Byanca,

This depends on what type of balloon arch you are going to make.

If it's a helium filled arch, like a String-of-Pearls Arch, it's best to do the arch on the day of the birthday party.

Helium filled latex balloons only float well for about 10 to 12 hours. If you want to do your helium-filled arch the night before the event, I highly recommend you treat your balloons with hi-float.

If you are planning to do an air-filled arch, then it's fine to create the arch the day before.

Hope that helps! Good luck with decorating the birthday party.


Related Questions and Answers about Balloon Arches

How long will balloons stay inflated with air?

Latex balloons inflated with air will stay fully inflated for several days to several weeks, depending on the environment.

They last longest in a cool, dark, air-conditioned room. Their lifespan is much shorter if they are exposed to sunlight, heat and humidity.

Foil balloons inflated with air or helium can last for years. Check out the reports on my page "How long do mylar balloons stay firmly inflated?" The longest period was 30 years!

Can you blow up balloons the day before the event?

Yes, you can blow up both latex and mylar balloons the day before the event. Make sure to keep your balloons out of direct sunlight and heat.

Best is to store the latex balloons in large, tightly shut plastic bags to keep them from oxidizing. As soon as a latex balloon is in contact with air, it begins to lose its shiny surface.

Can I make a balloon arch the night before?

Whether you can make a balloon arch the night before the event depends on the type of balloon arch you want to make.

Is it a helium filled, floating arch, like a String-of-Pearls arch? Then you should create the arch on the day of the event.

Helium filled latex balloons only float well for 10 to 12 hours, unless you treat them with a product called "Hi-Float."

If it's an air-filled balloon arch, or a floating arch made of foil balloons, you can create your arch the night before the party.

How do you make a balloon arch last longer?

Follow these tips to make your balloon arch last longer:
  • If at all possible, place your balloon arch in a cool, dry location, away from direct sunlight, humidity and air movements.

  • Choose high quality balloon brands, as listed on my page about best balloons for arches.

  • Use larger balloons. The larger the balloon, the longer they will stay inflated.

  • Treat the balloon surface with a silicon compound like Balloon Shine. You can also try hairspray. This will seal the balloon's surface and keep the air longer in the balloon. As a bonus, the balloon stays shiny for longer.

  • Replace deflated balloons with new ones. In organic balloon arches it's quite simple to replace a deflated or popped balloon. Just remove the old one and use a 160q balloon to tie the new balloon to the arch.

    In a classic balloon arch with clusters you'd have to remove the cluster from the frame, replace the duplet with the deflated balloon with a new duplet and put the quad back in place.

How do you keep air-filled balloons from deflating?

To keep air-filled balloons from deflating keep them in a cool, dry room away from direct sunlight. Avoid changes in temperature.

If you need to store them before the event, put them in large, tightly shut plastic bags, like for example these 55 gallon garbage bags.

Another way to keep latex balloons from deflating is to spray them with "Balloon Shine" or hairspray.

Last but not least, always tie the balloon knot firmly to prevent air from escaping through the neck.

How long does a balloon arch last outdoors?

In general, a balloon arch doesn't last very long outdoors. In best cases, the arch will last overnight and for most of the following day. In the worst cases, balloons will start to pop after just a few hours.

Outdoors there are many factors that shorten the lifespan of a balloon arch or other balloon decoration:
  • direct sunlight

  • heat, cold and temperature changes

  • humidity and condensation

  • wind

  • grass blades, sand or other small particles that can be blown against the balloons

Also check out my page about the best brands of balloons to use outdoors.

How long does it take to make a balloon arch?

How long it takes to make a balloon arch depends on a lot of things, like the type and size of arch you want to make, whether you use an electric balloon pump or a manual pump and whether you do it on your own or have some helpers.

First and foremost it depends on your experience! Is it your first balloon arch? Calculate a full afternoon.

You've made balloon decorations before? Estimate about two hours to create an arch with 100 balloons. This estimate assumes that you're using an electric inflator and either a ready-made frame or a balloon decorating strip.

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Reply to Janet: Balloon Arch for Graduation Party
by: Margit

Hi Janet,

If you've never done this before, then purchasing a complete kit may be the easiest solution.

An air-filled balloon arch with a frame is ideal because you can put it together the day before the event.

At Amazon you can get a balloon arch kit complete with stands, metal frame and instructions.

The arch is about 10 feet (ca. 3 m) wide and 9 feet (ca. 2.75 m) tall - so definitely big enough for 2 people to walk through.

This kit does not include the balloons.

Good luck with the graduation!

Arch for graduation
by: Janet

I may do an arch for the seniors to walk through for graduation. Do I need a kit to do that? It needs to look good for at least 6 hours - how do I make that possible?

Can I do it the night before with just air? How wide do I need it for 2 people to walk through at once?

Lots of questions!

Reply to Natalie
by: Margit

Hi Natalie,

I don't think the balloons would deflate unless there was a change in temperature. If the air cools down, the balloons may shrink a bit, and if it gets warmer they would expand.

The main reason why you should store your air-filled balloons in plastic bags is that latex balloons oxidize when in contact with air. They lose their nice shiny surface.

So the best way to do this is to inflate the balloons, store them in tightly shut plastic bags and assemble the arch on the day of the event.

Storing the arch
by: Natalie Nelms

If I made my balloon arch the evening prior to the event. Air filled.

How would I store it? I’ve read if you do not cover air filled balloons in a plastic bag they lose their shape and deflate a bit.

Thank you

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