With the Covid-19 pandemic plaguing the entertainment industry, I find myself doing more balloon decor outside, which brings me to my nemesis, the wind. It never fails, every balloon delivery, installation, or balloon show, and the wind begins to below. Balloons have no weight, and bends, twist, and vibrate in the wind at will.
The challenge is to make a balloon display that would work on windy days.
My first thought was, “I want the balloon display to spin.” How can I mount the balloons to make them spin? Now I could go to the hardware store and drop $20 and buy a bunch of gadgets, but why over-complete it. I must have something in my garage that I can use. After all, if I could use a toilet paper roll as a sizing template, I could find something familiar to use in the garage.
What spins? A paint roller! But on close examination, it would have to cut, bend, and deal with a frame that holds the paint roller in place. That was too much work. However, the basic concept was there, and I needed to figure it out. Having an idea, I now questioned myself, “Can I use my goto materials for framing?”
Conduit and PVC pipe have been my go-to for years when building balloon frames outside. With that idea in mind, I’m off to the big-box hardware store. There I find the perfect PVC pipe, with an end cap and a 1/2-inch conduit pipe, all for just over five dollars.
My idea is to place the end cap on the PVC pipe, then slide the PVC pipe over the 1/2 conduit pipe.
Success. The PVC pipe spins around the conduit pipe. All I needed to do was place a balloon design around the PVC pipe, slide it on a 1/2 conduit pipe and let the wind spin the balloons.
At least that’s what I thought.
It turns out the space between the 1/2 conduit pipe and the PVC pipe was more than adequate. The problem was the flat top of the conduit pipe.
Arriving home, I quickly made a cluster of 10″ round balloons and secured them to the PVC pole.
As good as the idea was in the big-box store, the test at home showed, the top of the conduit pipe was flat and rubbed against the PVC cap. The friction prevented the tube from spinning smoothly in the wind.
Idea number two.
Change 1/2 conduit pipe to 1/4 steel garden rod. The garden rod has a sturdy, smooth top that will create a smaller pivot point. The PVC pipe will slide over the rod with no problem and has a big enough gap to allow the rod to spin freely.
Watch the video as I take you through the process.
Improvements You Can Make
I have a couple of thoughts on spinning balloon yar art. First, the PVC pipe can be made smaller as the excess tubing is not needed. Secondly, the garden pole needs to be placed straight into the ground; otherwise, the PVC pipe runs on the garden pole. Lastly, if the balloon design has a segment of balloons dedicated to catching the wind, I feel a better balloon model will have better spinning action.
Overall I think this was a success.
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