String of pearl balloon arch - everything you need to know (and a little bit more!)
The string of pearl balloon arch is one of the requests we receive most frequently from our customers. Find out here how to use this piece of classic balloon decor to its full advantage, plus how to avoid some common pitfalls.
Plus points - ideal for framing a focal point
String of pearl arches are ideal for framing a focal point indoors, such as doorways, a cake or gift table.
This is a lovely double string example from An Occasion Station.
The balloons are helium-filled and tied to a transparent monofilament line so they float, creating a wonderful sense of movement.
We think the simple string of pearl arch looks best of all when it is made using double-bubbles, which are created by inserting a coloured balloon (usually an 11 inch balloon) inside a clear 16 inch balloon which often displays a printed white pattern, such as hearts, flowers or a filigree pattern. This gives a really pretty effect, which people love to see.
Use to fill a large space
String of pearl arches work well when you need to fill a large space, particularly one with a high ceiling, like this fabulous design for a shopping mall by aballooncompany.com in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Create a canopy
String of pearl arches can also be used to create a wonderful canopy for a dance floor by attaching intersecting lines of balloons to balloon columns achieve extra height, like this fabulous design from Raven Entertainment LLC.
Creating multiple strings of pearl can really create the wow factor, like these designs from Balloons-Denver.
Downsides - a word about our UK weather
Here in the UK, due to our often inclement weather, string of pearl arches are not ideal for outdoor use, so here at Balloon Artworks, we would always recommend them for indoor use only.
Even when appropriately weighted, it only takes a strong gust of wind to ruin the design, or even rip the arch from its weight and send your balloon arch floating skywards, where it risks getting caught in power lines, and creating a hazard to aircraft and wildlife. Better not to take the risk in the first place - there are other options for outdoor balloon decor.
Once your string of pearl arch is in position, it really is best to try and leave the arch where it is for the duration of your event, as the monofilament line does have a habit of getting very tangled up if the arch is moved, and it can be difficult to untangle if you're not used to dealing with this type of structure.
Pay attention to ceiling heights
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see string of pearl arches being used in venues which simply do not have enough ceiling height to accommodate them and the design looks cramped or 'off' in some way.
This is because the overall size of the arch does not fit the scale of its surroundings.
As a general rule, the height of the balloon arch at its apex should be no more than two-thirds the height of the ceiling, leaving a third of the ceiling height as empty or negative space. This allows the arch to sit comfortably within the space and allows room for the eye to appreciate the design within its surroundings.
Take advice from your balloon professional
Whilst string of pearl is the arch most people think of, it's not always the one best suited to your event or venue. Always take advice from a balloon professional trained in the principles and elements of design, so that they can advise you on the full range of balloon decor options to suit your event and venue.
About the author
Melanie Allen CBA is a certified balloon artist and owner of Balloon Artworks in Ripley, Derbyshire. Melanie has a passion for creating beautiful balloon decor that her customers love.
Melanie is a member of both The Balloon Artistes' Guild and the National Association of Balloon Artists and Suppliers (NABAS). Melanie is also a member of the Qualatex Balloon Network (QBN).