Imagine your wedding reception tables topped with replicas of a hot air balloon! In this easy tutorial, we’ve taken real balloons and made them into small-scale hot air balloon centerpieces for a wedding that also double up as your table number holders. This fun project would be perfect for a summer wedding with a travel-oriented theme! So, let your imagination take flight with this fun decorating idea for a hot air balloon centerpiece you can make yourself! Have fun!
Step 1: Prepare your materials for making the hot air balloon centerpiece.
Begin by assembling the following materials, taking note of the number of balloon centerpieces you will need at the wedding:
- white balloons on sticks (choose a color that suits your party’s color scheme)
- small baskets
- glass stones or marbles (regular small stones may do as well)
- tiny flowers (fresh or faux)
- ribbons to match your color palette (for this project: peach and grey)
- small wooden skewer
- felt cutout table numbers
- crafting glue
- hot glue gun
- pair of scissors
Steps 2 and 3: Secure the balloons on the sticks; and wrap each stick with ribbon.
If you can purchase the balloons already inflated and on sticks, that’s a plus. But if you need to inflate them yourself:
- You can use a small manual pump, available at party supply or crafts stores.
- Or you can go the old-fashioned route of simply blowing up the balloons by mouth!
- Attach the balloons to the sticks, making sure that the ends are tightly inserted into the slots provided and securely knotted
Next, decorate the sticks with different colors of ribbon. Wind ribbon around the entire length of each stick to cover it. And then, apply dabs of white glue or hot glue to keep the ribbon in place.
Step 4: Stand the sticks in the baskets; and use glass stones as weights.
- Stand each balloon-on-a-stick in a basket and secure in place.
- Take the small wooden skewers and cut them to fit snugly from one inside edge of each basket to the other.
- Attach the balloon stick to the skewer with hot glue, then secure with ribbon.
- For added stability, you may put a dab of hot glue to secure the skewer ends to the basket.
- Fill the bottom third or half of each basket with glass stones or marbles.
Step 5: Decorate the balloons with ribbons and flowers.
To simulate the look of hot air balloons, use satin ribbons to complete the decoration. Be sure to:
- Take different colors of narrow satin ribbon and tie them one by one to the base of the balloon stick below the wooden skewer.
- Extend each ribbon up and over the balloon, and secure in place with a few dabs of glue. Warning: Do not use hot glue for this for obvious reasons!
- Repeat this process with different colors of ribbon, until you’ve complete about 5 or 6.
Then, for a pretty finishing touch, fill each basket with a bunch of fresh or faux flowers, like baby’s breath, asters, or any petite blooms to suit your color scheme.
Step 6: Attach the table numbers. Then, show off your balloon centerpiece!
You have the option of keeping these as lovely balloon centerpieces to grace your wedding tables, or let them serve a dual purpose by transforming them into table numbers.
If you decide on the table number idea, simply attach the felt cutout numbers to the balloons with white glue. Hint: Another option is to use erasable markers that will allow you to handwrite the table numbers! Or an alternative would be to simply glue the numbers on to skewers or pretty vintage-style cards, and tuck these into each basket among the flowers!
Be sure to view the full vintage travel-themed wedding table that we created in a previous post!
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Such a fun idea and definitely doable.
Thanks for sharing!
I just saw this on Celebrations at Home link party and had to tell you what a wonderful innovative idea this is! Makes it so easy and cute for a table number, great idea and tutorial.
Thanks so much for your sweet comments, Deborah and Stephanie! We’re always thrilled when readers find our ideas not only inspirational, but doable, too. Cheers! 🙂
in love with this idea so easy + chic!!
I’m having trouble getting the balloon to stay up straight. The balloon tends to want to lay down onto it’s side. Any tips? Do I need thicker sticks?
You used regular air and not helium, correct?
Hi Mike! Thanks for your interest in this project!
Yes, we just used regular air for these balloons, not helium. If you look closer at the photo for Steps 2 and 3, you’ll see that there’s like a little “cup” at the top of the stick that has a notch for winding the balloon opening and securing it in place.
If you’re also having a problem with the stick itself standing in the little baskets, please see Step 4. You’ll notice we secured the end of the stick to a bit of skewer wedged inside the basket. Then, we made doubly sure by tying the stick to the basket handle with ribbon. Hope these tips help! 🙂
So cute! Absolutely love this project!
Thanks so much, Deanna! Coming from you, that’s a great compliment. 🙂
I love the idea for a shower centerpiece, however I’m having trouble finding the little cup piece to attach the balloon to the stick. I’ve only seen websites where I must purchase anywhere from 100 to 1000 of these items, and I only need a few. Do you know if I can reuse ones that have already been attached to balloons?
Hi Rita — So nice to know you’re giving this centerpiece a try! About the cup that attaches the balloon to the stick…yes, of course you can definitely re-use ones you have from past parties. You just detach them from the old deflated balloons. Hope this works!
Have a wonderful shower. 🙂
I’m interested in doing these for my wedding but have a few questions. First, what’s the approximate size of the baskets and where do you find similar baskets? Second, overall how tall was the centerpiece about and how tall was the balloon? I want to make sure it’s not at a height that would block people at circular tables.
Wow! Awesome idea! I’d love if you’d link up to The DIY’ers: http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-diyers-and-our-country-weekend.html
Would like to know the response to the above questions by Megan on July 13th.
Hi Megan and Deee!
To answer your questions: the baskets are about 4 inches in diameter (not including the handle) and you can find similar ones at craft supply stores. The balloon itself is about 12″ tall when fully inflated, but you could blow it up to a smaller size if you prefer. So the total height of the centerpiece is about 20″.
If you’re concerned about blocking your guests’ view across the tables, there is the option of hanging the hot-air balloons overhead using very fine fishing line. They’ll look like they’re actually flying! 🙂
This looks great! I would definitely want to try it but how long will the decorations last? Do you think it would still hold up if I were to make it one/two weeks prior to the ceremony?
I’d probably make it 3 days before just to be on the safe side. A week before might be too risky. It would be difficult to have balloons that run out of air on the day of the event.
I’m thinking of vintage theme and would love to use the balloon centerpiece idea. Can you recommend a good color for the balloons for a summer reception? Thank you.
Hi Annette! So glad you like our balloon centerpiece idea. Summer usually calls for bright, sunny colors. But since you mentioned a vintage theme, you could go for softer tones like peach or lavender. Or for a more “Old World” feel, maybe try looking for dove grey balloons with a pearlized sheen or matte gold balloons!
This is an adorable idea. Thanks for sharing @DearCreatives party! Hope to see you again this week. Pinned.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Theresa! We will surely be linking up to your Dear Creatives party again soon. 🙂
I love this balloon centerpiece! Very pretty and looks easy to make. Thanks for the tutorial!
Yes, it is definitely easy to make! Fun, too 🙂
One of the comments suggested suspending these from fishing line, but I think that might be impractical at a commercial venue. I wondered whether I could use high float helium in the balloons, and anchor it to the table with fishing line? Do you think that the balloon would support the basket and float over the table?
Hi Paula! That sounds like a brilliant idea. Yes, the helium-filled balloons would support the baskets “in mid-air” — but you might need to experiment with the right amount of marbles or pebbles in each basket to keep them stable. Then the fishing line would simple serve to keep them in the right spot above each table. 🙂
Hi, where can I get the baskets ?
The baskets are available on Amazon. The link is in the post under the materials’ section.