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Stuffed Balloons – 
Great Stuff To Surprise Your Guests

A delightful add-on or alternative to a floral gift, stuffed balloons can definitely help you say "I really care." It also makes your friends and family wonder how it was possible to get everything in there. Read our tips below to learn how to create these magic little surprises ... and then choose your material from our finest selection or learn more about balloon stuffing machines.

Why make a stuffed balloon?

There are numerous reasons for someone to stuff a balloon. Imagine, a balloon popping and a pure diamond ring falling into your fiancée’s hands or kids popping a balloon with a bunch of candies falling out at a child’s birthday party. Above all, an exploding stuffed balloon showering your guests with the beautiful smaller balloons.

What can be stuffed?

You can put almost anything in the balloon as long as it fits inside and it can be arranged so that it does not pop the balloon. You san send dolls, toys, shoes, perfumes, candy, clothes, purses, jewelry, flowers, the possibilities are endless.

Stuffing smaller balloons inside larger ones (Gumballs)

The art of putting smaller balloons into a large one has evolved over the years. These 'gumballs' as they are called by the professionals, are great to add an extra accent to your bouquet, column or balloon delivery.

But how do you get the small balloons into the big one? The easiest way would be to use a balloon stuffing machine. However, these machines - if bought new - will set you back at least a few hundred dollars.

There is a manual method as well. Use a small section of drain pipe and stretch the neck of the large balloon (usually a 3') over. Inflate the 3' balloon and then force pre-sized 5" balloons inside. But be warned: the small balloons might come popping out again - at machine gun speed!

An alternative to both the tricky manual approach and the expensive balloon stuffing machine is Conwin's "Insider Balloon Stuffing Tool." Normally used with the Conwin Dual Split Second Sizer or Duplicator 2, there is also an extension hose that will allow you to manually inflate the balloons inside a balloon. The complete set sells for about $160.

Exploding Balloons or Stuffed Balloon Drops

The above described 'gumballs' are ideal for creating a spectacular special effect by exploding the large balloon. Use heart balloons inside for a romantic balloon shower at a wedding, or confetti to add some fun to a birthday or New Year's party. The exploding balloon is normally suspended above a dance floor or placed on top of a balloon column. To explode the balloon you can either use a wand or - if you want to explode it remotely - you need to wire the balloon to a firing box.

For a stuffed balloon drop, you would fill loads of 9" to 11" balloons with just about anything that isn't too heavy when it comes showering down on your guests and suspend the balloons from the ceiling with a balloon net.

How to stuff a balloon manually

  1. Buy balloons that are large enough to stuff (typically 18" balloons or bigger).
  2. Stretch open the top of an already deflated and pre-stretched balloon.
  3. Take the object that you want to place inside the balloon. Begin to place the balloon neck over the item. Inserting a PVC pipe into the balloon neck, as mentioned above, will make it easier to slip the object inside.
  4. After you finish stuffing the balloon, blow it up. The stuffed object inside the balloon should be free to float around.
  5. Tie the balloon close as you normally do.

This method sounds easier than it actually is. It can be quite tricky to get the items inside the balloon, and even trickier to achieve a really good looking result.

That's why balloon professionals use a balloon stuffing machine. All balloon stuffing machines work by creating a vacuum to suck out the air from the balloons which will expand them. There are a number of manufacturers with various sizes and prices to choose from. Popular products are the "Keepsake Balloon Stuffer" with prices starting from $595, or GIAB's "Classy Wrap Machine" with prices starting at $699.

If you consider buying a machine, I would recommend to do a search at eBay for balloon stuffing. I've seen used balloon stuffing machines there for less than $50. You'll also find the 18" stuffing balloons used in these machines and other accessories (like plastic discs for sealing the balloons or gift boxes).

Selection of Balloon Stuffing Materials

Some precautions to consider

The powder in and outside of latex balloons can cause allergy to your child or guests. This powder will get on any unwrapped candies stuffed in the balloon and may cause acute allergic reaction. It is therefore best not to stuff items like gumballs or unwrapped candies and cookies as the children will definitely want to eat their treats.

If done properly, stuffed balloons make great wedding or party decorations and can also work perfectly as fun gifts for your guests.

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