Monday, September 25, 2017

HI-FLOAT - the low-down on this magical sticky stuff!

It's truly amazing how the balloon industry has developed over the past thirty-five and more years! Who would have ever thought that there would be a liquid that would make our latex balloons float for up to twenty-five times longer! 

HI-FLOAT® is a product that we certainly take for granted and no professional balloon company could be without it. But I wonder how many of us know how its invention came about?

In 1982, Marjorie Burchette opened a small balloon delivery shop in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. Within a short time, Marjorie became aware that her customers were disappointed that the latex balloons would only float for a day. She felt sure that her husband Don, a chemical engineer would be able to resolve this. Given this task, Don went to work on the problem working at night in his basement shop, and after about a year, he had developed HI-FLOAT. The rest, of course, is history; HI-FLOAT has become a phenomenal success and an essential tool for every balloon professional. 

HI-FLOAT has come a long way since that time. Andrea Burchette Cash, Phillip Cash, and Keith Burchette continue to run and grow the family business — Keith jokingly refers to working in a family business as the "Thanksgiving Dinner that never ends. It tends to be a struggle not to bring your work home with you. I encourage everyone that works with friends and family to do a little research on the subject to ensure that they succeed in their mission."  

Phillip and Andrea Burchette-Cash

Keith Burchette
In 1992, HI-FLOAT introduced an improved formula, SUPER HI-FLOAT, which worked twice as well. In 2002, the next generation of balloon treatment was born — ULTRA HI-FLOAT. This concentrated formula worked twice as well as SUPER HI-FLOAT, and it increased the floating life of a latex balloon by up to 25 times, on average.

So what is HI-FLOAT?

HI-FLOAT balloon treatment is a solution of a plastic material dissolved in water. It forms a coating inside latex balloons that greatly reduces the helium or air loss. 
With ULTRA HI-FLOAT, latex balloons can be prepared a day ahead of time, and balloon bouquets will float for several days.
Helium-filled latex balloons float 25 times longer on average with ULTRA HI-FLOAT, and air-filled latex balloons maintain full size for over one month with ULTRA HI-FLOAT.
HI-FLOAT is very safe. It is non-toxic, non-irritating, noncorrosive, nonflammable and biodegradable. It is similar to the glue on the back of postage stamps.

Average Floating times with and without HI-FLOAT

Float Times  Helium Only Helium and Hi-FLOAT
11” / 28 cm latex  1 Day 1-4 weeks
16” / 41 cm latex  1 ½ Days 3 - 7 weeks
36” / 90 cm latex  3 - 5 Days  6 -20 weeks

It's easy to see why a professional decorator would use HI-Float in all their helium-filled latex balloons!

But you can do so much more with Hi-Float! 

Confetti on the Inside of Clear Balloons — this is one of today's top trends, and can you believe HI-FLOAT showed us how to do this thirty years ago!

It is easy to make festive, eye-catching arrangements by putting confetti inside HI-FLOAT treated balloons. Confetti balloons can be used to create elegant decor for special events such as New Year’s Eve.
The confetti needs to be made of soft foil. Sharp edges could cause the balloon to pop. When inflating a balloon with confetti, safety glasses are recommended.

• 16-inch clear latex balloons
• Foil confetti
• A canning funnel

  • Add ULTRA HI-FLOAT to a 16-inch clear balloon using the grey pump restriction clip.
  • Rub the outside of the balloon in the usual manner to spread the coating over the inside surface.
  • Blow a puff of air into the balloon so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
  • Add about 1/3 cup of chopped foil or other soft confetti into the balloon through a funnel. You can make confetti by cutting up some old foil balloons that have popped, or you can buy it pre-chopped.
  • Inflate the balloon with helium to about the size of a grapefruit.
  • Shake the balloon vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
  • Inflate the balloon the rest of the way with helium, and tie it with ribbon.
  • This same technique can be used to put sparkling glitter inside the balloon.
Tip: The key to getting the confetti uniformly spread over the inside of the balloon without forming clumps is to avoid rubbing the balloon after the confetti is added. Instead, inflate the balloon slightly and shake it.
Note: It is always a good idea when working with confetti to wear protective eyewear.

How about making magical Spider's Web balloons for Halloween!

For a unique Halloween decoration, use HI-FLOAT and clear balloons to make balloons with spider's webs inside. 

  • 11-inch clear latex balloons
  • A small rubber spider
  • Treat a clear balloon with HI-FLOAT. Refer to the clip guide to choose the correct restriction clip based on balloon size.
  • Rub the balloon to spread the HI-FLOAT.
  • Inflate the balloon with air to about 75% capacity.
  • Seal the balloon with a plastic disc or clip.
  • Let the HI-FLOAT in the balloon dry overnight. Place the balloon out where there is good air circulation. It must be very dry in order for the spider  web to form.
  • The next day, remove the clip and deflate the balloon.
  • Insert a small rubber spider.
  • Hold the balloon by the stem and the top as shown below, and stretch it a few times to separate the dry film from the wall of the balloon.
  • Slowly inflate the balloon with helium or air.
  • As the balloon inflates, the HI-FLOAT film will continue to separate from the wall of the balloon in several places and hang to form a spider web. If you inflate the balloon too quickly, the HI-FLOAT coating will totally come off, and the special effect will not work. If the coating does not separate from the balloon as it inflates, deflate the balloon again and stretch it a couple more times. Use caution so the coating does not totally come off inside the balloon.
  • This takes a little practice, but once you’ve mastered the technique, almost every balloon turns out beautiful.
Note: Since the HI-FLOAT coating inside the balloon is no longer intact, the balloon will not have an extended floating life. A long-lasting product can be made by inflating the balloon with air instead of helium and putting it on a cup and stick. Use the dilute-coating technique on the outside to keep it from oxidizing.

You can even use HI-FLOAT to create Confetti-Filled Deco Bubbles. Here are the instructions on how to do it!

• 20" or 24" DECO BUBBLE
• Mylar confetti
• A canning funnel

1) Add a ½ squirt of Ultra HI-FLOAT with purple clip on pump.
2) Rub the outside of the Deco Bubble to spread the coating over the inside surface.
3) Blow a puff of air into the Bubble so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
4) Add about a ¼ cup chopped Mylar confetti.
5) Inflate the Bubble with helium to about the size of a soccer ball.
6) Shake the Bubble vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
7) Inflate the Bubble the rest of the way with helium and tie.

1) Add 1 squirt of Ultra HI-FLOAT with purple clip on pump.
2) Rub the outside of the Deco Bubble to spread the coating over the inside surface.
3) Blow a puff of air into the Bubble so the sides of the balloon are not touching.
4) Add about a ½ cup chopped Mylar confetti.
5) Inflate the Bubble with helium to about the size of a soccer ball.
6) Shake the Bubble vigorously to spread the confetti uniformly inside.
7) Inflate the Bubble the rest of the way with helium and tie.

You can also do the same process when creating air-filled Deco Bubbles! These look fantastic as centrepiece toppers, and because the balloons are air-filled you can use a little more HI-FLOAT and a lot more confetti! 

Design by Sue Bowler, CBA.
Photograph by Cam Woody, CBA.

Note: When inflating a Deco Bubble with confetti, safety glasses are recommended.

As you can see, there are some great design idea tips working with HI-FLOAT. To see even more ideas, click HERE, or visit the HI-FLOAT YouTube Channel.

A huge thank you to Marjorie Burchette for having the initial thought to extend the floating time of the latex balloon, and to Don Burchette who made it happen!

Happy ballooning!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Magical Unicorn - A hot trend and a fabulous new design idea from Luc Bertrand, CBA!

38" Magical Unicorn

If you think that the unicorn is a craze just for children, then you are mistaken. Everyone is unicorn crazy, and it's a trend that is set to stay for a few years yet!

This magical theme is the perfect for birthday parties and Luc Bertand, CBA, of wAw Balloons in Vichte, Belgium, has kindly shared one of his latest designs with the Very Best Balloon Blog!

"Playful Rainbow" Unicorn by Luc Bertrand

Material List

  • 11" Purple Violet Big Stars #38460 - assorted colours
  • 5" White #43607
  • 12" White Quick Links #64151
  • 6" Spring Lilac Quick Link #90200
  • 6" Robin's Egg Blue Quick Link #90424
  • 6" Lime Green Quick Link #90178
  • 6" Pink Quick Link #90180
  • 5" Yellow #43609
  • 260Q White #43962
  • 5" Rose #43600
  • 38" Magical Unicorn #57352

To Make Unicorn Body

  • Make a 4-balloon cluster using the 11" Purple Violet Big Stars inflated to approximately 8". Add a weight into the base.
  • Make 3 x 4-balloon clusters using 5" White inflated to 4".
  • Add one of these clusters into the base cluster.
  • Inflate 2 x 12" White Quick links to approximately 10" and tie together. Connect to the base, and add the remaining white balloons clusters at the centre and to the top.
  • To make the Unicorn tail, inflate one of each of the colours as shown in the picture and decrease the size of each balloon from the Spring Lilac (largest) to the Yellow (smallest.)
  • Inflate the 260Q White balloons to make the arms, add a double pinch twist at the knotted end of the balloon, and secure a 5" Rose inflated to approximately 4". Repeat the process for the second arm. Secure the arms together allowing a little stretch between the knots (see picture 3 above.)
The body of the Unicorn is all air-filled.

The Head
  • Inflate the Magical Unicorn head with helium, and secure to a small weight as shown in picture 1. This will ensure that the helium balloon cannot float away if disconnected from the body and therefore does not break the California Law and follows the Smart Balloon Practice.
  • Cover the weight with an un-inflated latex balloon - Picture 2.
  • Add head to the body - Picture 4.
This is a truly fabulous design and I am sure that they will be very popular with our customers! A huge thank you to Luc for sharing this beautiful design with us all.

Just in case you have not seen the full unicorn range, check out these fabulous new balloons!

18" "Have a Magical Day"
 #57262 (packaged)
 #57260 (flat)

18" "Birthday Magical Unicorn"
#57319 (packaged)
#57317 (flat)

11" "Unicorn" Diamond Clear with Gold Ink

Happy Magical Ballooning!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Fabulous Air-Filled Bubble Garland by Cam Woody, CBA.

Air-Filled Bubble Garland by Cam Woody, CBA of Pioneer® Balloon Company.

Have you tried out the new 12" Air-Filled Bubbles yet? These balloons are all the fun of a Bubble Balloon® but in a smaller size! Sold in packs of 10, they are perfect for air-filled store displays, point-of-sale purchases, and can be used for fun decor accents. 

Follow these simple steps to create perfect Air Bubbles.

Step 1. Remove Bubble from foil packaging. If you do not intend to inflate all 10 Air Bubbles at the same time, I recommend that you reseal the packet using your heat sealer or place into a zip-lock bag to prevent the Bubbles from drying out.

Step 2. Inflate Air Bubble using a hand pump until the balloon is fully inflated and has no wrinkles at the edges.

Step 3. Using a heat sealer, seal the Bubble. I like to start close to the opening of the balloon, rather than higher nearer the actual balloon. This gives me the opportunity to try again if it fails the first time. The heat sealer needs to be set to a low temperature. I recommend starting on setting 2. You may need to adjust slightly, either way depending on your own heat sealer.

Watch the short video below to see how to inflate and heat seal the 12" Air-Bubble.

If you do not have a heat sealer, you can still work with these wonderful balloons! Simply inflate an 11" latex balloon inside! The video below will show you how.

Here is a fabulous idea from Cam Woody, CBA, who shows us how to create this wonderful air-filled Bubble Garland that will last a very long time! Perfect for window displays, long lasting decor, and outside decor too!

  • Air-inflate and heat seal all the Bubble balloons that you need for your Garland.
  • Roll up the neck of each of the Bubble balloons with curling ribbon, then curl gently to create soft curls.
  • Connect each Bubble together using a small piece of Clik-Clik™ Stretchy Balloon Tape. This tape is exceptionally strong and will hold the balloons together really well. 

  • Create connection points at each end of the Garland, once again using Stretchy Balloon Tape and ribbon which will enable you to position your Garland.

I love this Garland. It's fun, strong and very long-lasting! Congratulations Cam on an awesome design idea! 

12" Bubbles are available in a variety of different prints, so you can easily adapt the Garland to suit different occasions or themes. Check out the range by clicking HERE.

Happy Ballooning!


Friday, August 25, 2017

Trade Secrets - Confetti-Filled Deco Bubbles - Tina Giunta, CBA, shares her fabulous technique!

Everyone loves confetti-filled Deco Bubbles. They are fashionable, on-trend and hugely popular with customers. But so many of us are having difficulties making the confetti stick to give an even coverage inside the balloon.

The wonderful Tina Giunta, CBA, of Shivoo Balloons in Melbourne, Australia, has mastered the technique and made this awesome video to show us her top tips on how to create this fabulous effect with success every time!

  • 20" or 24" Qualatex® Deco Bubble
  • Mixed metallic and tissue confetti - 5 - 6 grams (.2 oz)
  • Small plastic funnel - Funnel nozzle should fit neatly into the neck of the Bubble Balloon®.
  • Helium with tilt valve attachment
  • Hand Pump
  • Scrap of 260Q
  • Ribbon
  • Cloth - Tina suggests that you try with different types of cloth: cotton, nylon, wool, even a kitchen cloth!

Tina is one of our fabulous World Balloon Convention 2018 instructors. Make sure that you sign up for her classes early as they are sure to be very popular! 
Tina will be teaching "Yes, You Can Do Organic" along with fellow instructors Chris Adamo, CBA, and Matt Lewis, CBA, and "Theme Party Centrepieces!"

A huge thank you to Tina for sharing this wonderful technique! I am sure that many of us will benefit greatly from your video!

Happy Ballooning!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Fun, Quick, and Highly Sellable Air-Filled Balloon Characters - Step by Step Video

Today, I want to share with you two, fun, quick, and highly sellable air-filled balloon characters. The great thing about both of these designs is that they can be easily adapted for any occasion. These designs are ideally suited for those who are just starting out and learning new and exciting techniques.

Design 1 - "Funsational Birthday Smiles"

Design 2 - "Mini Smile Face Party Guy"

Just click on the video below to see step-by-step how these fabulous designs are made. 

I hope that you enjoyed learning how to create these adorable, sellable balloon characters! Once you learn the simple steps to making designs like these, you can easily adapt your skills to make many other versions.

Like this awesome "Stache-tastic Father's Day" character! 

Or this adorable "Big Graduation Thumbs Up" by Cam Woody, CBA, Pioneer® Balloon Company. It's so easy to add value to a bouquet of balloons by simply adding a little character to the base.

Finding inspiration is easy with Qualatex®
. Simply visit and head to the Inspiration Page; it's packed with so many wonderful designs, and many of these have downloadable recipes if you are a QBN member.

A huge thank you to Rob, Greg, and Balloon Market TV who very generously sponsored the filming and editing of this video. 

Happy Ballooning!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Stuart Davies on Disney and the Pride London Parade.

Photo courtesy of Disney U.K.
After only four years of developing and growing his small family run balloon business, Stuart Davies, CBA, of Beyond Balloons in South Wales, U.K., has already established an enviable client list. Stuart very generously shares his recent experience working with Walt Disney International to create fabulous interactive decor for the Pride London Parade made entirely with Qualatex® balloons!

Stuart Davies at Pride London.

Check out this great video interview with Stuart. It's a fabulous opportunity to learn from another balloon professionals' experience working with a large corporate client on a high profile job. Stuart shares his challenges working with balloons outside and on the move, and also his thoughts on how to develop and grow a successful balloon business.

Preparation work commenced three days before the event, with Stuart spending one day prepping the Disney Logo framework in his workshop, and then two days on site. As you can see, the work area filled up pretty quickly! Stuart worked with a fabulous team of balloon professionals as well as enthusiastic Disney staff who he taught how to inflate and tie balloons — around 13,000 to be precise!

Disney logo made!

Working with balloons is always fun!

Disney U.K. staff on the Pride London Parade.

A big thank you to Stuart for sharing his experience working on this fabulous project and also for imparting so many inspiring business tips. Many balloon companies strive to work with the corporate sector.  Stuart's determination to build his balloon business beyond his small Welsh town is commendable, proving that
location is not necessarily the key to success! 

Happy ballooning!


Friday, July 28, 2017

Chris Adamo Invents a 24" Deco Bubble Balloon Stuffing Tool!

Everyone loves Qualatex® Deco Bubbles. These personalised Deco Bubbles filled with 5" balloons are a top-selling line for many balloon businesses worldwide.

Chris Adamo, CBA, of Balloons Online in Sydney, Australia, is always looking at ways to make his production systems more efficient, and once again he has invented a natty device that will help when inflating 5" latex balloons inside a 24" Deco Bubble using a Conwin Dual Split Second Sizer. If you do not own this type of equipment, you could use a trigger valve outlet on a hose to achieve a similar result.

Let's start by watching Chris's video that will show us how the tool works! Afterwards, we can see the steps on how he constructed it.

Chris is certainly the master of invention when it comes to making production a little easier.

Here are some other fabulous tools that Chris has very generously shared with the balloon industry!

Balloon Industry Design and Calculator

A huge thank you to the wonderful Chris Adamo for sharing his awesome inventions with the Very Best Balloon Blog!

Happy Ballooning!