Start a balloon arrangement business that provides decoration and giveaway items for social events.
There’s an emerging market for alternative decorations and giveaway items such as balloon arrangements. Charish Villasenor, a resource speaker at the Businessmaker Academy, says that may companies are now shifting from flowers to balloons for decorating their events because the later are cheaper and pliable.
Start-up capital is P900 for the materials and around P3,000 to P10,000 for the balloon-making tools, depending on whether you’ll use a hand pump, a compressor, or an airbed pump. It is better for start-ups to use a hand pump to begin with and to just get a compressor or airbed pump when the orders or bookings grow bigger. Time to finish is 1 hour.
- 1 pc canister, P10/pc
- 10g plaster of Paris, P35/kg
- 1/2 cup tap water
- 11 yds curling ribbon, P1/yard
- 1 yd 1.5″ ribbon, P55/50m roll
- 1 sheet cloth wrap (cut into halves), P15/sheet
- 12 pcs AV5 rubber balloons, P8/pc
- 1 pc AV9 foil balloon, P48/pc
- 1 pc AV16 clear balloon, P120/pc
- 5 pcs striped balloon stick with cap, P2.50/set
- 1 pc glue stick, P25/pack of 10 pcs
- Scotch tape, P18/roll
- Balloon shine, P400/8oz bottle
- 2 pcs cylindrically cut styrofoam of 3″ in diameter, P32.50/pack of 5 pcs styro balls
- 1 pair scissor
- 1 cutter
- 1 glue gun
- 4″ electric sealer (P600)
- 1 hand pump (P250)
- 1 spatula or spoon
- 1 compressor (P9,500, but you may instead get an airbed with pump and 4 nozzles for only P2,000-P2,500)
- Start making a base or weight for your centerpiece by placing 10 grams of plaster of Paris in a canister. Then pour in the tap water. Mix until the plaster dissolves completely. Let it harden for 5 minutes at room temperature.
- While waiting for the base to harden, start designing the edge of the cloth wrap. Fold the cloth wrap crosswise 3 times, then cut off the edges. After that, check if the base is already set.
- IF the plaster has already solidified, get two styrofoam cylinders and insert them into the canister. Then get the cloth wraps and arrange them in a crisscross pattern. Place the base at the center, and cut 1 yd of curling ribbon.
- Gather the cloth wrap to cover the whole base, then tie it using the curling ribbon. If there’s excess ribbon, curl it by slipping it through the scissors. After that, spread the edges of the cloth wrap by holding the tied portion while stretching each corner apart. Set the cloth wrap inside.
- Inflate an AV5 rubber balloon using a hand pump. After inflating, twist its end and entwine in the balloon cap. Make sure that the caps are glued to the stick. Make 3 more balloons.
- If you are already done with 4, get a 24″ balloon stick with a big cap and put it at the middle of the 4 balloons. (Use a 12″ stick with a small cap for AV5 balloons, and use 24″ stitch with big cap for AV16 balloon). Tape the sticks.
- Then cut the sticks slantingly using the cutter. Get the base. Spout the glue on the tip of the sticks, then insert the sticks to your base. Set aside to let the glue dry.
- While waiting for the glue to dry, get another AV5 rubber balloons, inflate them, and knot 2 balloons together. Do the same with the other 2 balloons. Then plait the 2 pairs of balloons together. Get your semi-finished centerpiece and use it to plait the 4 balloons to the lower part of the sticks. Do this by entwisting the nearest two balloons into the sticks. Set is aside.
- Before inflating the foil balloon, switch and turn on the sealer to #3. Now, inflate the foil balloon. Overinflation may break the foil balloon, so check if there are still wrinkles on its edge. The wrinkles diminish as the air fills up the balloon.
- Seal the foil near its opening; this way, you can reuse it by cutting the sealed portion to deflate it so it can be kept for the next use. Also remember that turning the sealer higher than #3 will break the foil; on the other hand, turning it lower won’t allow the balloon to seal completely.
- Tie a curling ribbon at the sealed portion, and using the excess ribbon, tie it to the sticks near the base. Make sure to hide the balloon’s tail.
- Now get the AV16 clear balloon and inflate it using the compressor. After inflating, don’t knot it as yet; just hold it in one hand while getting 4 AV5 rubber balloons and a balloon stick without cap. Insert the stick into the rubber balloon, then insert it at the tip of the clear rubber balloon. Both ends of the rubber and the clear balloons should overlap. Take off the stick and inflate the small one while it’s inside the clear balloon.
- The latter can actually contain 12 AV5 rubber balloons if undersized. After inflating, stretch the end of the rubber balloon and release the bigger one. Knot the former and again, hold the end of the latter to release the rubber balloon inside the clear balloon. Do it to the rest of the rubber balloons.
- Check if the clear balloon has already attained full size; if not, pump more air using the compressor. Before entwining it unto the empty cap (the one at the center of the four rubber balloons), knot its end first. Then entwine it unto the cap.
- Cut 1 yard of a 1.5″ ribbon and make a bow out of it. To make a bow, create loops and fold it at the center. Cut each side of the folded area and tie it with a curling ribbon. Spread each loop and twist it toward your direction. Attach the bow on the big cap using the excess curling ribbon.
- For finishing, cut 8 pieces of a 1-yard long curling ribbon. Curl them using the scissors and hang them by 2’s to each small cap. And to keep the color of your balloons vibrant, apply the balloon shine except to the foil ribbon.
- Do not overinflate the balloons, as they will burst.
- You can still reuse your foil balloons as long as it doesn’t break.
How Much Will You Make
You will get a production cost of P340.95, to which you should add a 50-65% markup, including overhead costs. If you add 60% to their total, your selling price would be P545.52. Villasenor says that this kind of centerpiece sells for around P550-P600 depending on how elaborate it is and on the number and kinds of balloons used. You can also sell the upper part or the clear balloon separately for P250 and the lower part to P300.
source: Mishell Malabaguio, www.entrepreneur.com.ph, photos by Walter Villa