Jack’s Party: Decorations

Posted by on Mar 28, 2012 | 10 comments

Jack doesn’t really like any one particular character enough for me to be able to say, “Oh, we’ll have a _______ party.”  He is just now getting into Toy Story, he loves helicopters and motorcycles, but he’s not totally obsessed with any one thing just yet.  Well, except one thing. Balloons.

About six months ago Jack got a balloon.  We went to the dentist.  He screamed the whole time because of a chipped tooth trauma from a while back.  He hates the dentist.  But when he got that balloon his whole demeanor changed.  And when we got home, all he wanted to do was play. with. his. balloooooon.  And so, the love affair began.

The balloon obsession, combined with the fact that about 90% of the time Jack is one happy boy, I decided to just throw a party with some fun balloon decorations and keep it happy.  That is, after all, my theme this year.

Just a reminder that I’m saying thank you to my friend, Tonya, for all of the pictures she took.  You’ll be able to pick her work out because I thank her in all of the pictures that she took. :)

First, I made this balloon wreath.  If you search “balloon wreath” on Pinterest you will see lots of examples, but I was particularly drawn to this one at Landee See, Landee Do (say that three times fast).  I decided that I want this wreath to be a family tradition.  We are going to hang it on our door for each child’s birthday, and I’ll make a new center circle for it for each child on each birthday.  Now that the main work of making it is over, I think it will be easy to keep up with.

I didn’t use ribbons the way Landee did and like the simplicity of it.  I may go back and throw in more purple- we’ll see. I ended up with very few purple in my bags for some reason.  I bought the balloons for this wreath at Dollar Tree; I think I bought 8 bags but only used about 7.  These balloons are cheap for a reason- if you blow them up they are super tiny.  Doesn’t matter for the wreath, though. :)

In her post Landee says her thumb was sore for days- I must have tough thumbs.  However, I did make this over a few nights, not all at once.

For the center circle I just made a graphic in Photoshop Elements and cut it out with a circle cutter.  The font, if you’re interested (I love it) is Ribbon from Lost Type.  I used the coordinating ribbon and attached it with more floral pins to the top.  I also hung the wreath with wire and covered it up with ribbon- it is rather heavy and I wasn’t sure if the ribbon could hold it alone.  Just looking at this wreath makes me smile, and Jack loved it.

The other decor that I just loved were the balloons themselves.  I’ve seen these big balloons so many places and just loved how different they looked.  They are HUGE.  I got them at Shop Sweet Lulu.  They ship very quickly- both orders I placed for this party were shipped the same day I ordered them, and each order came with a piece of taffy.  Yum!  I’m sold.

One thing I will say: these balloons took all the helium I had.  How much did I have?  I had two Balloon Time tanks*; one was used from a previous party and one was brand new.  By the time I filled up all three of these balloons, the helium was g-o-n-e GONE.  I think next time I will call Party City and see how much they’d charge to fill them up.

The balloon banner was made the night before and slept in our playroom.  I woke up before the kids and hung it outside on our newly-paved patio (my husband is awesome) and was elated with how bright and cheery it was.  I was inspired by Design Mom, and you can find her tutorial here.

While I didn’t get a raw thumb from the balloon wreath, I did get raw fingers from tying off all of these balloons!!!  My husband would have helped but he came home with back spasms the night before Jack’s party so I let him rest so he could be my work mule the day of the party.   It was really easy to make.

In Design Mom’s post she uses an upholstery needle.  My moment of desperation was laying out all of my balloons, getting my string (she used waxed twine but my plain ol’ string worked great, too), and realizing I wasn’t sure I had a needle that would work.  Then I went through my knitting supplies and found my plastic yarn needle and it worked perfectly.  What’s even better- I didn’t have to worry about popping the balloons because there was no sharp metal tip to wield.  Hooray!  Time-wise, start to finish, I think this took me about an hour and a half to make.   Totally worth it- when Jack saw it he said, “Mommy, my balloons! My balloons!”  He loved it.

Lastly, I made these streamers:

I saw these on Made, and Dana’s tutorial was great.  I could spend hours on her tutorials alone.  I wasn’t even planning on making them and then when I was at Walmart getting a few things I saw them and thought, “Oh, what the hey, I’ll give it a try.”  It was a bit cumbersome at first and then I found my magic tool:  a wooden spoon.  Dana had a dowel, I think, in her tutorial, and she used it to keep her streamers from getting tangled up.  I didn’t have a dowel, so I went with my longest wooden spoon and it was perfect.  You hit a rhythm after a while, and then just as you think, “Hey!  I’ve got a rhythm going here…. ”  …your bobbin runs out of thread.  I rolled these up and will use them for other parties.  They are so cheery and fun!

 In case you’re wondering how long the big balloons lasted in terms of float-i-ness…  the green one popped in the wind the next day, but orange and red lasted from Saturday to Monday night.  We brought them inside and the kids were in heaven playing with them.  This is them on my birthday on Sunday:

Up tomorrow: the scavenger hunt!

*I did NOT pay the price you see in that link to Walmart for my tank. If you get them in-store they are much cheaper!




  1. I love that balloon wreath! It’s always the simplest ideas that pack the most punch it seems. Happiest Bday to Jack!

    • Thanks, Betsy!

  2. I’m extra impressed with your streamers because I’ve tried sewing streamers before and I am TERRIBLE at it. The huge balloons look so fun!

    BJ’s has that 50-balloon helium tank for only $22, which is even less than Target or Walmart. I think I have three empty ones in my basement…I wonder if I can get them refilled somewhere?

    • I’m not sure, Suzanne- I’ve never heard of refilling a helium tank but would love to be able to. I hate going to get balloons- it’s a pain to get them in the car, and it feels like such a rip off. Have you seen Dana’s tutorial? She explains things so well. My streamers were definitely not perfect- in a few places I lost track of one and there were gaps, etc.- but I sewed lots of extras for that reason. :)

  3. I love all of it!
    My favorite is that balloon wreath and I totally want to make one! I love the banner too. I’ve used that particular at-home helium tank before and I don’t think the balloons last as long as if you were to have them filled at Party City. Another idea is having them do it at a grocery store – I bet it’d be super cheap vs. a party store.
    Cute stuff!

    • Oooo- good idea! The balloon wreath is SO EASY and SO FUN to make. I just hope the colors hold, but even if they don’t, they will be easy enough to replace. I’m also thinking this would make a great gift for a baby shower or something… So many possibilities! I never even thought of trying the grocery store- good idea!

  4. It was such a great party Nat, you did an amazing job with all the decorations, thank you for inviting us.

  5. Your son’s party looks awesome, well done! How long did your balloon banner last? I’m trying to figure out how far in advance I can make one for my son’s 1st Bday party!
    Thx, Jenn

    • Hi Jenn! Thanks! I made the banner the night before and let it “sleep” in our living room. Then I hung it up as soon as I woke up so that it would be out of the way of little feet & fingers while we were getting ready. It did last quite a while- I let it stay up until it looked pretty darn sad. I would say you could make it even a couple of days ahead of time, with the caveat that it should stay inside and out of direct sunlight. Maybe test your balloons, too, to make sure they don’t shrink on you. Have fun!

      • Thank You so much! You’ve given me the courage to go ahead and try it a couple days ahead!! That could really help me out. There’s so much to do last min!


  1. Teacher Appreciation Week - Crafting Crazy | Crafting Crazy - [...] super cute.  I also sewed together some streamers thanks to the amazing Dana.  I made these for Jack’s Party…
Read previous post:
A Birthday Party for My Sweet Boy

My son, Jack, is 3. Pardon me while I pause and soak that in... What is it about 3?  I...