There are all kinds of festive and affordable ways to decorate a room or a backyard for a party, such as colorful streamers, music, tablecloths, and of course, balloons, such as wholesale latex balloons or foil balloons. At party stores, a buyer can find packages of wholesale latex balloons and inflate them at home, and a wedding or prom may feature hundreds or even thousands of colorful wholesale latex balloons, and some foils ones, too. But what are some key differences between wholesale latex balloons and the foil kind? Some balloons are best used as decorations, and others make for great gifts. There is more than one way to inflate them, too.
All About Latex Balloons
The very idea of balloons is an old one. Back in 1824, a certain professor Michael Faraday invented them when he fused together the edges of two rubber sheets and inflated them, and balloons have been made ever since. But today’s balloons are made out of latex instead of rubber, since harvesting that much rubber would put some serious strain on the world’s population of rubber trees and possibly lead to deforestation. By contrast, a latex tree can safely provide material for around 40 years without getting killed in the process, so latex is much more sustainable for rubber where balloon manufacture is concerned. Though people with latex allergies should be careful around these balloons.
Latex balloons are quite affordable and can be bought in packages with many inside, though they are a choking hazard for small children and most pets until they are inflated. And when a latex balloon is popped or deflated, it should be disposed of properly for the same reason. But otherwise, latex balloons are a safe and great choice for decorations, and they can be filled with either air or helium as needed. Party supply stores don’t necessarily stock helium pumps, but a balloon customer can find these pumps elsewhere, and they can find helium filled balloons at carnivals and county fairs just for fun. Helium balloons need to be tied to strings and held onto or weighted down, of course, so they don’t float away. Meanwhile, it’s easy to fill latex balloons with air, using a regular pump or even a person’s own breath, though these balloons will not float. It may be noted that air filled balloons will last longer than those with helium in them.
Buying Foil Balloons
The idea of foil balloons goes back to the 1970s or so, and these balloons offer some unique properties. They are made when two foil sheets are cut into shape and fused together at the edges, and they are nearly always filled with helium. These balloons are not limited to the teardrop or heart shapes of latex balloons, either; foil balloons can also be shaped like squares, circles, numbers, and letters, depending on how they are cut. What is more, foil balloons can have images and patterns printed onto them, such as “happy birthday” or any variety of pop culture images. Foil balloons can be bought in packages and inflated later, though many customers find it more convenient to buy pre-inflated foil balloons at grocery stores. On display, a filled foil balloon can show off its shape and image to customers, and will probably come with a string.
Decorating With Balloons
So, where and when should decorative balloons be used? A fine time for balloons may be a child’s birthday party, such as setting up foil balloons with a “happy birthday” image and number-shaped balloons to represent the child’s new age. Latex balloons can be taped to the walls or backs of chairs, and for outdoor parties, helium filled balloons can be tied to strings and attached to a wooden deck’s railing, for example. Balloons can also be used to decorate a room for a bridal shower or baby shower (often pink and white balloons), not to mention high school proms. At a prom, hundreds of balloons can be used to form archways and other decorations, all filled with regular air (and not helium). Foil and latex balloons make for great gifts too, such as for a hospital patient (they make “get well soon” foil balloons) or heart-shaped balloons for Valentine’s Day.