When it's time to celebrate, it's time to break out the balloons -- just a few for a low-key gathering, or a full-on balloon bonanza for a large festivity. Simply throwing a few helium balloons into a corner may bring the idea across that it's time to celebrate, but such a display is far more drab than fab. Balloons, especially in quantity, can be arranged in creative, playful displays that add almost as much festivity to the space as the event itself.

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An Arch of Awe

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A balloon arch signals a grand event such as a graduation party, wedding reception, holiday gathering or family reunion. Whip up a themed arch with two colors of helium-filled balloons for a school graduation party by tying the knotted ends of two balloons of the same color together repeatedly, and continuing the process with the second color. Wind fishing line over the loose material of the two-balloon knot to create a strand of balloons of the same color. Twist the second color pairs over the first until a large balloon string is made. Turn it into an arch by bending the shape and tying the ends onto weights to keep the arch in place. Air-filled arches are made in similar fashion, but require a plastic support structure, available at a party supply shop.

Elegant Baubles

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Columns of balloons in metallic or pearly colors, such as gold, silver or opalescent white, frame a room with elegance. Repeat this theme by twisting various colored balloon columns around one another and tied with a fishing line support in the middle in much the same manner as building a balloon arch. These columns attach to the ceiling with clear removable tape or a tack, and a weight tucked into the base of the structure. Go for gold, or red, green and gold metallic colors for a Christmas party, or gold and white for a New Year's Eve gathering, emulating the look of bubbles of champagne.

Worlds of Wonder

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For an otherworldly effect, create arch after arch of balloons, all interconnected, for a tunnel fitting of a themed party. A child's birthday party with an adventure theme may feature a tunnel with successive shades of gold, tan or brown, opening up into a room decorated like the child's favorite adventure movie. An underwater theme begins with balloons in shades of light whites and blues, arching up toward a ceiling and lit from above. A rabbit-hole tunnel uses successively darker balloons in a long room, finally opening into the party area.

Child's Play

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A combination of helium balloons and flexible long balloons -- the type used to create balloon animals -- creates fantasy centerpieces for a child's party. A large helium balloon in blue or pink serves as an octopus head, with squiggly skinny balloons emanating out as its tentacles. Stick-on googly eyes and a drawn-on smile decorate the octopus head. An alien form also begins with a helium balloon head, using assorted narrow balloons for the body, arms or legs, anchored with a weight tied to a ribbon. Decorate a series of tables at a child's party with one type of balloon creature each, such as an elephant, dog or fish. Children sitting at each table become a team, such as the fish team, for assorted group party games.