I make a lot of balloon garlands for cake smash sessions. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better and better at them over the years. It’s taken a lot of hours of practice to get them to this point. And now I feel like I have it down to a science where I really love the results every time.

Everything in balloon garlands starts with high quality balloons. I like buying them at LA Balloons. They are thicker than most balloons, and inflate without popping. They have great color that isn’t as transparent as the cheaper balloons.

I prefer to get 11″ or 12″ balloons, and 5″ balloons. Once in a while I’ll do a 16″ balloon as well. Most often I stick to just two sizes though.

I like to work with 3 colors, a dark, a medium and a light tone. This gives nice variety to the color palette. Typically I don’t mix colors unless parents specifically ask me to. My preference is to clump them together by color, which makes it easier when I add in my 5″ balloons. Personally, I like the flow of dark to light balloons.

I always start by blowing up all my larger balloons. Balloon tape is my best friend when I’m making garlands, which is a plastic ribbon with holes in it. I string the balloons using about 8-10 of each larger balloon per color. Then I lay the garland out on my magnetic wall getting a shape I’m happy with. I fill in any large spaces, or twist the balloon tape around until the balloons lay out in a way I like.

Once I have that, I use a smaller hand pump to blow up my 5″ balloons. I use sticky dots to glue the smaller balloons into the garland. My goal is to push the bigger balloons towards each other, while lacing the smaller between them, as if it was a ribbon running through my garland. Sometimes I’ll swirl it around larger balloons if they need something extra. I try to run the smaller balloons just past their same color, and into the next. I think it helps the colors flow a little better than if they all just abruptly stopped at the same time.