Article by: Sue Bowler, CBA

The art of putting balloons inside balloons is something at has evolved over the years. Many decorators have found their own preferred way to do this; there is no right or wrong way…

One of the earliest methods I can recall was to use a small section of drain pipe, which required you to stretch the neck of the large balloon over (usually a 3’), which I have to say was no mean feat in it’s own right, but then the fun really began, trying to inflate the  3’ balloon with a section of drain pipe at the neck of the balloon and then force pre-sized 5” inside, the problem I always had was that they kept popping out again at machine gun speed…which I have to say is the funniest thing I have ever seen!

Balloon Stuffing machines are a great tool for creating insider balloons or ‘Gumballs’, which is their actual technical term, great, if you already own one to create gifts inside balloons, but pretty expensive just for stuffing balloons inside balloons. Although a great tool, it can be a little restrictive as to the actual number of balloons that you put inside, this all depends on the size of the stuffing machine and how much it opens up the big balloon and also limits you to stuffing 18” round balloons and bigger.

And then there is the Conwin Insider Balloon Stuffing Tool . The Insider Stuffing Tool is an accessory that can be used with a ConwinDual Split Second Sizer or Duplicator 2 or if you don’t have either of these, the 10ft Extension Hose Inflator Insider Tool Set enables you to manually inflate and size balloons inside a balloon. Probably one of the greatest advantages of the Insider Balloon Stuffing Tool is that you are not limited to loading only one size or shape of balloon into a larger balloon. It enables you to mix and match balloon sizes and shape giving greater impact and profitability…your customer will notice the difference between a balloon company that only ever put 5” balloons inside 3’, with one that creates truly exciting insiders with many sizes and shapes!

So Why Put Balloons Inside a Balloon..?

  • To add excitement to your designs, fantastic for balloon displays, accents for bouquets of balloons, centrepieces, columns, arches and even delivery designs.
  • For the ultimate exploding balloon, filled with heart shaped latex makes the perfect exploder for weddings, anniversaries and engagement parties.

Pink Teddy Bear Design created by Sue Bowler using the Insider Tool to create the bear’s body and floating balloon, the body is air-filled and the floating balloon is helium filled see below for gas theory.

This ‘Noodle’ balloon design was created by Sue Bowler using the Insider Tool with Neon 260’s with 160’s inside.


Insert a 160Q inside and 260Q and knot together at the tip of the balloon and not at the opening/ inflating end.

Hold the 160Q and carefully inflate only the 260Q, the tension created by the 160Q will make the 260Q balloon curl on inflation!

The 5 Minute Gumball

Balloons inside a balloon are amazing, regardless of whether you have 20 or 200. OK that’s not strictly true, because a balloon that has 20 balloons in which only takes 5 minutes to fill wont look as full as a balloon that has 200 balloons inside that takes 1 hour to fill…wrong! This statement would only be true if we were inflating our balloon to the same size in both instances. However, if we use 20 balloons (9”) inflated to 7” or 8” rather than a 5” balloon inflated to 4” or 4.5” then the balloon with the 20 8” balloons inside will look very full!

The Gas Theory

This is quite easy really; if you are using helium to float the outer balloon then you must use helium inside all the balloons within the balloon regardless of what shape or size these are. If put air inside the inner balloons and then fill the outer balloon with helium, the helium will absorb into the inner balloons and eventually they will start to pop! So, the rule really is always stick to the same gases…air with air and helium with helium.