Glitter Balloons and Confetti Balloons Made Easy

Tissue paper confetti balloons for a 1st birthday

My absolute top 5 must-have-in-the-house list of party supplies goes like this: (1) striped paper straws, (2) sturdy white paper plates, (3) colorful birthday candles, (4) tissue confetti or fine glitter depending on preference, and (5) clear balloons. With just those items, you can make a celebration out of anything!

Clear balloons win in my book because they’re so versatile. They go with any color scheme, work for all ages, and in a pinch you can even pop money and small toys into them to create a fun gift. Most of the time, though, we fill them up with glitter and confetti. The secret to doing this without making a huge mess is a water bottle top.

Glitter Balloons and Confetti Balloons Made Easy

Cut the top of  water bottle off, attach the balloon (just barely so you don’t struggle getting it off!), and dump in your balloon filler. Remove the balloon and blow it up carefully, either with a helium tank or with your lungs. Note if you choose the latter: don’t inhale on accident or you’ll get a mouth full of confetti!

Fill clear balloons the easy way

What you put in your clear balloons actually makes a huge difference. Super fine glitter produces a really pretty iridescent look but it can be hard to make out the exact color of the glitter, while chunky glitter creates a shiny constellation of sparkles.

Glitter balloons Superfine glitter and chunky glitter in balloons

Confetti also comes with some challenges. It can be tempting to use big shapes, especially if your party has a theme, but the larger the confetti is the more likely it is to just settle to the bottom of the balloon. These balloons are still fun to shake and kick around, but they don’t have quite the same decorative impact as the teeny tiny shapes.

Using confetti in balloons Filling balloons with confetti

The good news is that the longer the balloons sit around full of confetti, the more the confetti will stick to the sides. This is true even if you’ve dumped a ton of confetti in BUT you have to remember that the more confetti you add, the less likely they are to float normally if you’re using helium. Personally, I like these balloons better when they’re just floating around on the ground anyway. They’re just begging to be picked up and played with, especially by your littlest guests.

Easy party decor with confetti and balloons Filled balloons

For little birthdays, my absolute favorite is chunky tissue paper confetti – the kind that comes in big circles. You can buy it online but it’s not hard to make yourself if you invest in a one inch hole punch. Fold tissue paper over on itself until it’s about ten pieces thick and then punch it out (you may need to adjust the width depending on your whole punch). If it’s a little stubborn coming out of the punch, keep a pair of scissors nearby to trim that last edge. Yes, it’s definitely more work than bagged plastic confetti or cans of glitter but I just love the effect. Plus, you can make extra to toss around!

Tissue paper balloons Fun and easy birthday balloons Confetti Balloons Made Easy

Can you believe The Tank is going to be one this Friday?! He’s rocking his birthday onesie from Petite Lemon in these shots and there’s more to come because we had an early celebration. (I’ll be at BlogHer in San Jose on his actual birthday. This will probably scar him for life. I need to find him a Kids of Bloggers support group. Le sigh.) More pics of this cute face to come!

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  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    My buddy is such a cutie! Happy early birthday Calvin! I love when you do these shoots with the balloons. They always turn out so cute…of course it helps tremendously that your kids are all kinds of adorable though! 🙂

    July 23, 2014 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Celia

    Hi there. I am wanting to do confetti filled balloons for my daughters 3rd birthday next weekend. I would prefer helium but I have read that the confetti doesn’t stick to the insides very well and tends to pool at the bottom instead. Is this true and can you give me any tips please? I think I will use smaller confetti inline with your advice above. Many thanks.

    June 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm
    • Reply Lori

      I’ve read that if you take the time to touch each piece of confetti, it increases the static electricity. I’m trying this in two weeks for a baby shower.

      June 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm
      • Reply Carly Morgan


        June 20, 2015 at 2:45 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    I tried this with the Martha Stewart irredecent super fine glitter and clear balloons. Some of the glitter looks great spread around the inside of the balloon, but the a little bit of the glitter is sticking in clumps in a few spots inside the balloon. Any advice on how to get it to spread around and not stick in clumps?

    January 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm
  • Reply Greg

    Great post

    September 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm
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