Balloon Arch Calculator

Created by Davide Borchia
Reviewed by Anna Szczepanek, PhD and Rijk de Wet
Last updated: Sep 23, 2022

If you are planning a fancy party with a LOT of balloons involved, our balloon arch calculator will help you calculate how many balloons for a balloon arch β€” the perfect one! 🎈

Learn how to make a balloon arch with the just-right number of balloons: keep reading to learn the different types of arches and how to calculate how many balloons you need!

Here you will learn:

  • How to make a balloon arch;
  • The types of balloon arches; and
  • How to calculate the perfect number of balloons for your decorations.

Do you need a balloon arch?

If you are hosting an important event, from a graduation πŸŽ“ to a wedding πŸ’’, and you want to spotlight a certain part of the venue, you may need a balloon arch.

Who doesn't love balloons? Ok, maybe not everyone loves balloons, but if they don't explode or fly away, they look nice! That's why a balloon arch may be the best choice to create that ethereal doorframe where you can take the best pictures of the event.

But it's not that easy!

How to make a balloon arch?

To make a balloon arch, you first have to choose how you want it to look: tall, short or balanced? This will help our balloon arch calculator give you the correct answer. Choose the size of your arch: the essential measurements are the height and the width.

You then have to choose how the style of your arch: a single row of balloons or a complex garland?

And then some other details: do you want air-filled balloons or helium-filled ones? And what about the size and color?

A balloon arch
Aren't balloon arches beautiful? But don't let any of the balloons float away!

If you plan to make an air-filled balloon arch, you will need a rather sturdy frame to hang them. A metal wire or other appropriate support you can easily find online will do the job. On the other hand, helium will make balloons float: you won't need any support!

We explored the science of helium-filled balloons and their ability to float at our helium balloons calculator and buoyancy calculator.

πŸ”Ž A string of helium-filled balloons would create a curve called catenary curve: find out more about them in our catenary curve calculator.

If you decided to make a single row "pearls' string" arch, you will have to secure each balloon apart from the other. If you opted for a fancy garland, choose how many balloons you want to use for each "turn", and tie them together.

Once you get your balloons, it's time to inflate them. We strongly suggest you buy a pump: you may end up with almost 200 balloons, and trust us, you don't want to blow them up yourself!

How many balloons for a balloon arch?

The critical quantity that you need to know before buying too many balloons is the length of the balloon arch. To calculate it, first choose the height hh and width ww of the arch. Then, follow the formulas to find it:

L={h+w if  w>h1.5β‹…h+w if  w≃h2β‹…h+w if  w<hL = \begin{cases} h+w & \text{ if }\ w>h\\ 1.5\cdot h + w & \text{ if } \ w\simeq h\\ 2\cdot h+w& \text{ if }\ w<h \end{cases}

To calculate the number of balloons you need for an arch, we apply a simple formula, which depends on the diameter dd of the balloons. It's not really scientific, but it works!

To find the perfect number of balloons for your arch, round the results to the nearest integer. If you choose a single row arch:

N=Ldβ‹…0.87N=\frac{L}{d}\cdot 0.87

This means that to cover a meter of arch with balloons with diameter 11"11", we need:

N=39.37"11"β‹…0.87=3.11β‰ˆ3N=\frac{39.37"}{11"}\cdot 0.87=3.11\approx 3

33 balloons for each meter of length of the arch, around 11 balloon per foot. Use our length converter to switch between meters and feet!

If you chose to make a garland arch, you can use two formulas according to the number nn of balloons in each turn:

N={4.8β‹…Ldif  n=46.3β‹…Ldif  n=5N = \begin{cases} 4.8\cdot\frac{L}{d}& \text{if }\ n=4\\ 6.3\cdot\frac{L}{d}& \text{if }\ n=5 \end{cases}

Again, remember to round your result: half balloons are not good balloons!

How to use our balloon arch calculator

To find how many balloons for a balloon arch, define the type of arch in our calculator:

  • Input the height and width of the arch
  • Select if the arch is single row or garland.

Then insert the measurements of your arch, and select the diameter of the balloons. And... that's it!

Let's say that you want a 1010 feet tall, 66 feet wide arch, and you chose a fancy five balloons garland. Since the arch's height is bigger than its width, we calculate the length using:

L=2β‹…h+w=2β‹…10+6=26 feetL=2\cdot h + w= 2\cdot 10 + 6=26\ \text{feet}

Do you want to make it with 11"11" balloons? Easy: insert the value in the Diameter field, and remember to choose the correct units in our calculator: we will do the math for you:

N=6.3β‹…2611/12=178.7β‰ˆ179N=6.3\cdot \frac{26}{11/12}= 178.7 \approx 179

Note that we applied a conversion from inches to feet.

That's quite a lot of balloons! That's why you need that pump. πŸ˜‰

πŸ™‹ If you want to fill the gaps between the balloons in a garland, buy some small balloons (for example, 5"5") and put them in the holes: the overall effect will be fabulous!

The price of a balloon arch

We added a quick functionality that allows you to calculate the budget for a balloon arch! The price obviously varies (and usually, the more balloons you buy in a single batch, the less you pay for them): we gave you some indicative values that can help you estimate your expenses!

πŸ™‹ Select the desired type of balloons in the type of balloons field of our balloon arch calculator: it's that easy! We chose the price of $0.10 for a normal balloon, $0.30 for a metalized one, and $0.70 for a personalized one.

Let's talk about the environment

We have to say this: balloons look nice, but they are bad for the environment. Apart from being single-use (making a lot of waste), they pose a great risk to the wildlife, in particular if they float around.

And trust us β€” they float a lot: the author once found the remains of a bright green balloon a few meters shy of 3 km above sea level, in the deep of the mountains!

Remember to dispose of them correctly and not to let them escape. They look nice to us, but they might like food for many animals. And if you care for the environment, search for more friendly alternatives: paper makes beautiful decorations, or fly some kites! You will be as happy, and nature will thank you. 🌎

FAQ

How to build a balloon arch?

Choose the type of balloon arch, then use our balloon arch calculator at omnicalculator.com to find out how many balloons you need for the perfect balloon arch!

Then arm yourself with patience, and start gluing together all of the balloons: are you going to make them in a single row? Simply tie them to their support. Are you going to make a garland? Tie as many as you need together and create a crowded decoration!

How many balloons do I need for a garland arch 10 feet high and 7 feet wide?

To build such an arch, you will need about 140 balloons. Use the formula:
N = 4.8 Γ— (L/d)
Where:

  • N is the number of balloons;
  • L is the length of the arch; and
  • d the diameter of the balloons.

If you need more balloons in each turn of your garland, change the factor 4.8 to 6.3!

Do I need a balloon arch?

No! Balloons are bad for the environment, and you can find many other alternatives for your decorations. Go for paper flowers and garlands, kites if you are outside: bring nature to the party with you!🌸

Can I use helium for a balloon arch?

Yes, you can use helium for your balloon arch. In that case, the arch will float, and you won't need to support it in any way. But remember: helium costs a lot (there is a shortage), and the balloons float around. Stick to air: better for your pockets and the environment!

Davide Borchia
Size of the balloon arch
Height
ft
Width
ft
Type of arch
How packed is your arch?
Single row
Number of balloons
Diameter
in
Price
Price
Normal balloons
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