All About Balloons

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How can you decorate a room or a back yard for a party? Try some streamers, colorful tablecloths, and most of all, balloons. Today’s foil balloons and latex balloon alike are a cheap, easy, and fun way to decorate any area, and they are available at grocery stores, party supply stores, and more. They can vary in shape, too, such as heart shaped latex balloons for Valentine’s Day. Many of these heart shaped latex balloons and other latex models may come in packets of a dozen or even 50 or so, and large foil balloons can be bought at a grocery store, fully inflated and ready for use. What else is there to know about these fun, air-filled decorations?

Latex Balloons

The very idea of balloons is actually quite old, and professor Michael Faraday invented them in 1824 when he fused together the edges of two rubber sheets and inflated them with air. Today’s balloons are more often made of latex, though, since harvesting that much rubber for balloons would put serious strain on forests. So, latex balloons are the norm, since it is much easier to harvest a lot of latex from trees without killing them. A typical latex tree can provide material for nearly 40 years or so, meaning latex is environmentally friendly for making balloons.

Latex balloons are often tear shaped, which are “typical” balloons that are seen everywhere. Some are heart shaped latex balloons, and they may prove popular for Valentine’s Day and the like. Some of these heart shaped latex balloons and helium filled balloons can be bought already inflated with helium, and they usually come with a long, thin ribbon and a weight so that they don’t get lost. A balloon filled with helium, either regular or heart shaped latex balloons, will probably last for a day or two. A buyer can use a helium pump, if they have one, to fill a balloon.

Or, the owner may buy a packet of latex balloons and simply fill them with air, either from a pump or even with their own breath. An air filled balloon will last for a week or two, and they can be scattered on the floor, taped to the wall, and more. They won’t float, but if there’s a lot of them at once, that may be a good thing, so none get lost.

Foil Balloon Models

A more recent innovation is foil balloons, which are indeed made of two foil sheet that are fused at the edges, and then filled with helium. These foil balloons come in a wider variety of shapes than latex ones, since the foil sheets can be cut into squares, circles, or even number shapes during manufacture. What is more, these foil balloons are tough, and they can have images printed on them before they are inflated. Often, they have a message such as “happy birthday” or have pop culture images printed on them. Foil balloons can be bought in packets, but they can also be bought at a grocery store fully inflated, complete with a string and weight.

Using Balloons

When is the right time for balloons? They make for affordable and charming gifts, and it’s common to give them to a recovering hospital patient, such as a cluster of latex ones or a foil one with “get well soon” printed on it. Valentine’s Day is another fine time for balloons, and a bridal shower or baby shower can easily be decorated with them, such as pink and white latex ones or a foil one with an appropriate message on it. And of course, a child’s birthday party is a great time for balloons, ranging from helium filled ones outside to air filled balloons indoors that are taped to the walls or table. Foil balloons are often shaped like numbers, and they can form the age of the birthday boy or girl.

Don’t forget basic safety. Keep un-inflated latex balloons away from small children and pets, since they are a choking hazard, and if a balloon pops, be sure to collect all of its scraps and throw them away. And make sure balloons don’t get too close to heat sources (such as large light bulbs), since the heat will expand the balloon’s air and make it burst.

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