In the first of a series of articles, we intend to write here at Potters Party Balloons, we will introduce you to Balloon Stuffer Machines as part of discussing the options available to you for the tools you will need in creating some of our party balloon ideas.
We will produce an article based on each tool that you will need to do balloon decorating. The options we will discuss will range from making your own tools through to the all singing, all dancing tools available on the market. So whilst this article is based on reviewing the Balloon Stuffer Machines available to purchase, we will also actually give you some options to stuff your balloons that do not need a machine.
We also recognise that everyone is on a budget, and whilst some people are making a business out of balloon decorating, others are simply doing it as a hobby or as one-off to produce that wonderful unique gift for a loved one.
If your interested in a Balloon Stuffing Machine that is all singing and dancing, then I suggest you scroll down towards the bottom of this blog and look at the two choices we discuss, but I warn you they are not cheap. If your looking for an inexpensive or even free method to stuff your balloons then please carry on reading from here.
Stuffing Balloons for Free Using Your Hands
It may sound ridiculous, but it is actually quite practical and possible.
Supplier – You
Price Range – Free
Use For – Small soft teddy bears etc.
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Stuffing balloons are actually very durable and stretchable, therefore it is quite possible to stuff a balloon with a small (up to 10cm) soft toy without using any tools. Simple (or awkwardly) stretch the balloon opening over the soft toy and push the toy inside the balloon slowly.
Before stuffing your balloon, you should tie a length of arch (or fishing) line onto the top of the soft toy and make sure that the other end of the line remains outside the balloon. This will allow you to set-up the soft toy in the balloon. After inflating the balloon, get the soft toy in the ideal place and then tie the arch line within the knot as you tie the balloon.
The main issue with stuffing balloons by hand is the danger of bursting the balloon. Long finger nails or sharp tags on the soft toy can all potentially pierce the balloon.
A final warning! Stuffing balloons by hand can be awkward, time-consuming and frustrating.
Manual Balloon Stuffing Using Your Pump
Very easy with a little practice but limited uses.
Supplier – You
Price Range – Free but need a pump
Use For – Smaller balloons
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Again, with stuffing balloons being durable and stretchable, it is quite easy to insert a non-inflated smaller balloon into the neck of the stuffing balloon, but ensure you keep hold the tail of the smaller balloon.
Whilst the smaller balloon is inside the stuffing balloon, simply inflate the smaller balloon using the pump until it is the right size. Tie off the smaller balloon and push the tail inside the stuffing balloon. Depending upon the size of the smaller balloons that you require for the display, you could quite easily repeat this process 5 or six times. Finally, inflate the stuffing balloon using your pump and tie it off.
The only real issue with stuffing balloons with smaller balloons by this method is to ensure you keep the tail of the smaller balloon outside the stuffing balloon whilst inflating to ensure that you can tie it off.
Whilst using this method is a little awkward, it can achieve the result you require, quite easily, after some practice.
Balloon Expander With a Pump
Easy set-up a reasonable easy to use but limited uses.
Supplier – Amazon
Price Range – low but need a pump
Use For – Balloons.
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Works by inflating the stuffing balloon with it being attached to the balloon expander with a self-closing valve. Non inflated smaller balloons can then pushed into the stuffing balloon through the valve, ensuring you keep hold of the tail of the smaller balloon.
Whilst the non-inflated smaller balloon is pushed through the valve, simply inflate the smaller balloon using the pump until it is the right size and tie it off pushing the tail through the valve. You can easily repeat this process until you have the required amount of smaller balloons inside. Finally, take the stuffing balloon off the expander and tie it off.
The main advantage of using the balloon expander over the manual method is that you are able to see your presentation as it comes together because the stuffing balloon is pre-inflated.
A slight concern would be the negative 1 star rating that the expander has on Amazon. But on further investigation it can be seen that this is only actually one individual’s review. We have used the balloon expander here at Potters Party Balloons and have had no issues.
DIY Balloon Stuffing Machine
We have to include it as an option because it is something really worth considering.
Supplier – You
Price Range – Low but need vacuum machine
Use For – At the moment only soft toys and smaller balloons etc. But we have ideas!!!
Potters Party Balloons Summary – We have included a link to someone else’s video which shows you how to do this. It looks interesting and certainly worth trying. We are not recommending it because we haven’t tried it ourselves yet!, but we intend to try it and improve it with some ideas of our own to cover more stuffing balloon possibilities. We will keep you informed.
Manual Super Balloon Expander
Unreliable and very awkward, only included because we tried it ourselves with limited success so thought others may have the same idea.
Supplier – Amazon
Price Range – Medium
Use For – Small soft toys and smaller balloons etc.
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Place the neck of the non-inflated stuffing balloon over the prongs of the balloon expander and press on the handles to open up the opening.
Attempt to stuff the stuffing balloon with your soft toys or inflated smaller balloons whilst ensuring the stuffing balloon remains on the expander.
If you manage to stuff the balloon, whilst keeping it on the expander, then this can be an effective way of stuffing. Unfortunately, with the amount of handling you have to do, this operation frequently results in the stuffing balloon coming off the expander and you needing to start again.
At the end of day this is a very unreliable and awkward method that we would not recommend. In theory, it is a good idea but in practice it doesn’t really work.
Balloon T-Rex Stuffing Tube
Clever portable design, durable machine reasonably easy to use.
Supplier – Amazon
Price Range – Medium to High and still needs separate pump.
Use For – Small to medium (20cm) soft toys and smaller balloons.
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Attach the T-Rex balloon stuffing tube to your pump and then stretch the stuffing balloon over the end of the T-Rex balloon stuffing tube. Stuff the balloon with smaller (5 inch) balloons and small to medium size soft toys.
The machine works by blocking one end of the tube with your smaller balloon, which causes the pump to inflate the stuffing balloon on the other end. Once the stuffing balloon is inflated, you simply push the smaller balloon straight through the tube into the stuffing balloon. The stuffing balloon with automatically deflate again.
If you want to stuff the balloon with a soft toy, then you use a smaller balloon to push the soft toy through the tube. As per our manual method, you should tie a length of arch line onto the top of the soft toy before pushing it through the tube, making sure that the other end of the line remains on the other side of the tube. This will allow you to set-up the soft toy in the final inflated stuffing balloon.
When you have stuffed the balloon with everything that you want, you simply remove the stuffing balloon from the tube, inflate it using a normal pump and then tie it off with the arch line included in the knot, if you have included a soft toy.
A minor disadvantage is that you are not able to stuff the stuffing balloon with a soft toy individually. You must use a smaller balloon and therefore smaller balloons must be part of your final display.
The cost of the machine is quite high considering you are still only really able to stuff your stuffing balloons with soft toys and smaller balloons etc. Obviously you can include confetti and/or shred, which is very simply done. Practically it is very easy to use and quite quick to stuff balloons so certainly worth considering if your intend to stuff balloons as a regular hobby or part of a small business.
Electric Keepsake Balloon Stuffer
A table-top all singing, all dancing balloon stuffer, just a shame that it’s difficult to get hold of.
Supplier – Only available in America as far as we can tell.
Price Range – High
Use For – Anything you want
Potters Party Balloons Summary – All singing, all dancing is not an understatement. Whatever you want to stuff your 18inch balloon with, this machine is the answer.
The balloon stuffer works by stretching your stuffing balloon around the rim of a plastic globe shaped bowl (similar to a large fishbowl). The bowl then sits onto an included vacuum machine and once turned on the stuffing balloon inflates to the size of the bowl. Scientifically a vacuum is caused which means when you turn off the machine the balloon remains inflated.
This allows you to insert your hand into the balloon and literally stuff it with anything you want. A bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates, the possibilities are endless. Setting up the display is totally up to you and there are several videos available that will give you ideas. The challenge is to tie the display off therefore making sure it remains stable when you move the balloon around.
Once you have stuffed the balloon and displayed it accordingly, then you simply remove the balloon from the rim (the scientific vacuum should stay in effect) and tie it off. The plastic bowl separates in half, so you can remove the balloon from the bowl. Hey presto!
This machine is table-top, unlike it’s main competitor, and is available for a great price compared to it’s main competitor. But! There is always a But!, currently we can only find it available from American suppliers and delivery makes it almost as expensive as it’s competitors. Still worth considering as it is table-top.
Electric Super Balloon Stuffer
A full size all singing, all dancing balloon stuffer, just a shame about the price.
Supplier – Amazon
Price Range – High
Use For – Anything you want
Potters Party Balloons Summary – Again, all singing, all dancing is not an understatement. In fact this machine does appear to have a slight bigger opening than it’s main competitor and so may give slightly more (bigger) options for stuffing. Really whatever you want to stuff your 18inch balloon with, this super stuffer machine should be the answer.
The machine works by stretching your stuffing balloon around the collar of a plastic globe shaped bowl, using a supplied balloon expander. The bowl already sits on a large vacuum machine and once turned on the stuffing balloon inflates to the size of the bowl. Like it’s main competitor, a vacuum becomes in effect which means when the machine is turned off the balloon stays inflated.
You now can insert your hand into the balloon and literally stuff it with all things bright and beautiful. Once more, the possibilities really are endless. There are many YouTube videos available that will give you ideas. The most difficult part is to tie or glu-dot the display so it doesn’t move inside the balloon.
On completion of stuffing and displaying the balloon, you remove the balloon from the rim and tie it off. The plastic bowl separates so you can remove the balloon. Bang! A simply great stuffed balloon display.
This super stuffer machine is full size, so can be difficult to store away. The price is high but this is not surprising considering there is very little competition for an all singing, all dancing machine. It should be noted that the machine is durable and should last for years. It is definitely worth considering if you’re running a business that will frequently offer balloon decorations.
The Choice is Yours
As always, Potters Party Balloons has tried to give a full honest review of some of the many options there is available for your balloon decorating.
Balloon stuffing can be as simple, awkward, cheap or technical as you so desire. Really the choice is down to you and what you need.
For the infrequent hobbyist, some of our free options should be considered, whilst the all singing, all dancing balloon stuffer machines will pay for themselves if you’re running a business.
If you have enjoyed our article, then please bookmark our site and return to us for some more great advice and reviews here at Potters Party Balloons.