Inflating is the most critical part of working with balloons. Getting the air in is not critical, but getting all the balloons to be the same size is the key to a professional appearance over an amateur one.
The line is available in 40 colors, a variety of textures and prints, and a nice moir pattern. The #3 width is perfect for tethering 16" balloons, and it can be split evenly for use with 11" balloons. The #40 makes great table garlands, and is great when hung between balloon elements for a head table or throughout a room.
If you can't find a local source for this locally, contact:
I've found them to be reliable, competitive, and quick!
I have been asking Qualatex to make these balloons for years! If we had them on a regular basis, we could "create" any color polka dot we wanted. I thought I was all alone in my quest for clear with polka dots! Maybe some wise distributor could special order a case or two for us...
Qualatex does not stock them. But I did find a distributor that special orders them for his inventory and sells them. He doesn't charge anymore than local distributors for printed balloons:
Crown Rubber 1 800 525-3114 Milwaukee, WI
18" round 0.5
18" heart 0.4
18" oval 0.4
20" star 0.6
36" round 3.8
36" heart 3.1
36" star 2.3
Party bears 0.6
Banner bears 0.7
THE CUTAWL COMPANY
Rte. #6, 16 Stony Hill Rd., Bethel, CT 06801 USA
Phone: 203-792-8622#Fax: 203-790-9832
Contact: Charles Olson
Hours: 8:00AM - 4:30PM, Mon - Fri
Manufacturer of unique saw that cuts all display materials. The Cutawl knife, chisel, and saw blades swivel 360 degrees; to cut even the most complicated curve, pattern, and design with sharp, clean edges.
The CutAwl machine can be seen at http://www.displaycostume.com/products/111097.jpg
You draw your design on the fome core and then place this device on top of the board and guide it around your lines. The only downside is the cost ($600-700).
and the following web pages talks about how to cut it:
The ultrasonic knife is like an electric carving knife, except the blade moves back and forth by only a the thickness of a hair, but it does it at 20,000 times a second. Think of it as a "power Exacto knife"... it cuts as easily and as accurately as you can "draw" with its handle.
It is called a Versa-Tip by Dremel. Basically it is a hot (electric) Exacto knife. Although it is not as precise as a Cut-Awl (which costs $700-800), for $20.00, it is well worth the money. I needed to make 30 foamcore stoplights. Each had 12 3" round cutouts. In addition, I cut large sheets into 4 sections and removed foam from the corner areas. I did all of this with ONE blade and it worked just as good on the first cut as the last! Using the knife was like cutting through butter... and I didn't get any blisters on my fingers! I found it at Wal-Mart in the tool department.
Keep your Exacto knife at about a 45 degree angle and make the cut continuous, trying not to stop and start too much on straight lines or curves until you come to an angle. Cut out all the inner, small cuts first. Change your blade when the foam starts making those dreadful little pea-like thingies.
Again, keeping a sharp edge on your cutter is VERY IMPORTANT!!! Some craft stores carry foamcore cutters. It works okay but a sharp-bladed Xacto works just as well.
A few quick swipes on a cheap whetstone or oilstone (the kind used for sharpening pocket knives) will keep cut edges looking clean and add extra life to those expensive little blades.
After cutting, turn over the piece and finish any cuts/corners that might not have gone through. Cut away from narrow pieces like "arms" to keep them from "cracking". Try to keep your wrist flexed. Keep working with it - it gets easier and easier, and you will LOVE all the things you can do.
Another thing I have found that makes the edge look better is to outline the edge with a permanent black marker and to finish the surface of the edge with a paint brush loaded with black paint. The black outline seems to disguise most of the raggedness. Gary Wells taught a class where he suggested taking a black chisel point marker, angling it on the edge of the Fome-cor between your thumb and index finger, and then tracing along the edge of the Fome-cor with the tip of your index finger. It's finished in a snap and gives a really perfect outline along the outer edge. I don't recommend it for hiding rough cuts, though.
The cutting wheel also has a few replacement wheels: pinking and wave edge, and if you look in the the office supply stores you can find other replacement wheels: scallop, squiggle, victorian, tiara and deckle edge. The extra wheels are great when you want a decorative edge. The straight edge is also great if you want to cut a round piece of mylar paper. I use a dinner plate from my kichen and trace around it to get a perfect circle.
The nice thing about the cutting board is that it keeps the cutting wheel sharp, and it doesn't mess up other surfaces in your work place. The cutting board has one inch square marker which make easy reference for cutting.
It also works great on tulle and netting. I buy my tulle/netting by the bolt. I can then cut 4 - 10 inch strips or 4 - 16 round circles.
I have had my cutting wheel and board for about a year and use it on an average of two - four times a month and I'm just getting to the point where I will have to buy a replactment straight edge.
They also have a web page that can give you more information:
I love mine and wouldn't trade it, I hope this helps.
What I have done in the past is use velcro. It allows you to "adjust" positioning of balloons or change colors if necessary. If a balloon is nocked off, just put it back in. No ripping the surface. No danger of burns to the artist from the glue. It's slower, a little more expensive for materials, but gives you some flexibility. If, after a day or two, some foils deflate, there's no need to get the pan glue out again. Just apply half velcro and replace. Also, when the "prop" has served its purpose, you may wish to retrieve it and bag up the balloons with (half) velcro on them and use them for a future mural or sculpture using the same method.
You can buy giant rolls of velcro to save money. Use scissors to cut into half inch pieces for the balloon - and 1" pieces on the board. This allows you some adjustment space. If (after repositioning a balloon) you expose a piece of velcro on the foamboard, leave it stuck on and just touch up paint over it. To simplify maintenance, always put the smooth half of velcro on the balloon and the rough half on the board.