There are SO MANY fun tutorials, DIYs, and party ideas on Pinterest and the general interweb, but not really any for Christian parties. Granted, it's a little niche, but all the way through the Bible we read stories of feasts, gatherings, parties and celebrations - something which hasn't really translated into 21st century church life. So call us mad for taking on a fairly massive cultural challenge, but we're going to change that! There'll be more on the blog about why we should be party people and the theology behind celebrating over the coming weeks, but suffice it to say that we take celebrations seriously, and we want to equip and encourage you to do so as well.
We're starting small, but this year we're going to take a particular theme for a variety of different celebrations and general excuses for a party, and we're going to provide you with a series of party tutorials and DIY gift ideas that will hopefully inspire you and your local community to put on some seriously top quality events for your friends, small groups, and churches.
Giving thoughtful, inexpensive gifts is a great way to bless and encourage people, and putting on top quality parties for our communities is a great way to show hospitality and build relationships! BUT, we know it can be overwhelming, especially if you're a lone voice trying to put on a church event, so we want to be there for you with inspiration and easy-to-execute, cheap-to-complete party ideas.
So with the introductory spiel complete, let's get on with the show! Welcome to the first post in our Christian Valentine's Day series: how to make some seriously extra biblical compliment balloons.
* Editor's Note: To demonstrate the definition of "extra" for any of our readers not familiar with the slang usage, I present to you: Salt Bae. Possibly my favourite gif of all time. (Fun fact, he's Turkish just like me!)
The idea behind this DIY is that you can fill up your balloons with helium, seal them in your decorated cardboard box, and either mail them to a friend or leave them on someone's doorstep as a surprise. The great thing about cheesy Biblical compliments is that you can joke around with them to friends or loved ones! If you'd like to bless a few people, you could make the same number of balloons but get five smaller cardboard boxes, pop some confetti in there with your helium-filled balloon, and post them off to five different friends for some seriously random but fun happy mail.
What you'll need:
- A selection of foil balloons in your chosen colours (we went with red, pink, green, yellow, and blue)
- Inkjet Temporary Tattoo paper (we got ours on eBay here)
- Our balloon tattoo templates
- Some coloured cardboard (coordinate it with your balloon colours for a cohesive finish)
- A craft knife and cutting board
- A large cardboard box
- Some curling ribbon
- Balloon weights
- A canister of helium
* None of our links are affiliate links - we do recommend trying to source items locally where possible, and avoiding Amazon where you can!
Making Your Balloon Tattoos
- Firstly, you'll need to download our Biblical compliment PDF templates, which are ready for you to print right away. If you decide to use a different set of compliments or alternative wording, you'll need to make sure you use a bold typeface and mirror the text before printing it so that it transfers onto your balloons the correct way round.
- Your tattoo paper will come with instructions for printing - you'll need to pop the InkJet paper into your printer, keeping the adhesive sheet to one side for later. Once you've printed out your wording, you need to leave the tattoo paper to dry for an hour. While it's drying, you can decorate your box (see Step Two below).
- Once your InkJet paper has dried, it's time to apply the adhesive. You need to apply this over your lettering and make sure you don't get any air bubbles in it (think of it as applying a protector to your phone screen). Give it a good rub with the flat of your hand to make sure the adhesive is attached properly.
- Cut out your wording, trimming the edges as closely to the wording as you can without cutting into the words.
Applying Your Balloon Tattoos to Your Balloons
- You'll need some water, some cotton balls, and some paper towels for this stage. Before you get started, you also need to decide which wording you'd like on which colour balloon.
- Lay your foil balloon top-side up on a waterproof surface (this may not matter depending on the brand of balloons you're using, but some foil balloons have manufacturer information around the edges on the back). Make sure your balloon is as flat as possible.
- Now you need to add your words! Before you stick them, make sure you've decided on placement (and make sure they're the right way up!). Try to keep them at least 8-10cm from the edges so the words stay readable when your balloon is inflated. Once you're happy with the placement of them, you need to remove the clear plastic backing from the adhesive layer, and then you can stick it onto your balloon. Be careful not to touch the adhesive with your fingers as it may damage the tattoo.
- Once you've stuck your compliment face-down onto your balloon, you need to apply water to the temporary tattoo paper using a cotton ball until the paper is fully saturated. The backing will come away (it'll be kind of slimy!) and you'll be left with your Biblical compliment balloon! Yay! Pat the wording dry with your paper towel, and then your balloon will be ready for filling with helium.
For this step, we recycled a brown cardboard box that had arrived with a new office chair in it (!). Using the coloured card, the craft knife, and the cutting board, we cut out lots of love hearts and the letters for "Open Me!" and then glued them onto the cardboard box using some Bostick glue.
The sky's the limit with this step, so you could choose to pare it back and make it look boring for an unexpected surprise inside, or you could go mad and paint a mural on the exterior. Whatever you choose, be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can see the results of your creative genius!
Inflating Your Foil Balloons
You can buy a helium canister, but they can be a little pricey. The good news is that you'll get many, many compliment balloons out of it, so it's a good option if you're planning a Valentine's Day party at your church. (Compliment balloons make great party favours!)
For smaller quantities of balloons, you can pop to your local card shop and they should be able to inflate them for you using their industrial helium canisters for a nominal fee.
If you're inflating your own balloons, you need to be incredibly careful not to over-inflate them. Foil balloons make an extremely loud bang when they over-inflate - waaaay louder than a normal latex balloon. I know this because I over-inflated the 1.0 version of "You clearly sprouted from the good soil" and sadly, it exploded. The dog is still pretty traumatised, and it took a few minutes before my ears stopped ringing. It was particularly sad because, as you'll see from the photographs of the finished balloons, the back-up green balloon is pretty vom.
Boxing Your Balloons
Once you've inflated your balloon, fold the tab in half and tie a length of curling ribbon around it to seal it and create your balloon's tail. If you have balloon weights, you'll need to attach one of these to the end of your ribbon. Rinse and repeat this step until all your balloons are happily inflated and bobbing around.
Finally, pop your balloons complete with their tails and weights in your decorated box. Add a flourish of confetti if that's your vibe, seal the box, and it's ready to be delivered! Helium balloons will stay fly for around a week before they start to look baggy and sad, so long enough for you to post them first class to your favourite people.
When deciding which Biblical compliments to use for our Valentine's Day DIY tutorials, we had a list as tall as an oak of Mamre, but not all of them were short enough to fit on a balloon. It can also be fun to come up with some seriously obscure compliments and see how well your friends know their Bibles. The obvious ones will get a faster laugh, though!
Around 35 characters is the maximum that stays readable, so the following five were our Chosen Ones:
- Is your name grace? Coz you're amazing!
- Your face shines like you've been up Mount Sinai
- You clearly sprouted from the good soil
- Bathsheba had nothing on you
- Werkin' it on the Sabbath
A option where anyone called William is involved: "Hey, I'm Will. God's Will."
* Editor's Note: We have a number of compliments that made it on to other DIYs, so stay tuned for those! Another favourite of mine was "You run through my head like Asahel through an open field" but that was way too long for any of the tutorials we came up with, so it's been shelved until we have a project that needs an incredibly obscure Bible compliment.
You should not let balloons go into the atmosphere, as it's extremely damaging to the environment and can cause death to wildlife as well as adding to environmental pollution. Please dispose of balloons responsibly.
So that's a wrap for our first Valentine's Day DIY tutorial! We'd love to hear what you think, and we'd love to see your take on it if you decide to add some colourful humour to this grey and drab winter, so don't forget to take pictures if you make your own set of balloons! I'd love to hear any of your favourite Biblical compliments, so pop us a comment and let us know yours.