How to Inflate Foil Balloons: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Mastering the art of inflating foil balloons can be easy with practice, but it can be a difficult task for those who are new to it.

I remember my first attempt at decorating a birthday party with these balloons, and I’ll admit, I had some mishaps along the way. 

But don’t worry; I’ll share my experience and a step-by-step guide on how to inflate foil balloons the right way so you can effortlessly add magic to your celebrations without any hassle.

Easy Methods To Inflate Foil Balloons

Woman Inflating Balloon

Method 1: Fill It With Helium

  1. Insert the helium tank’s nozzle into the balloon’s filling tab. Make sure it goes in about 1-2 inches.
  2. Gently press down on the tank’s nozzle while holding the filling tab. This releases helium and inflates the balloon.
  3. After the balloon is fully inflated, remove the nozzle from the filling tab.
  4. Enjoy your balloon for 3-7 days. Foil balloons filled with helium can last several days and be tied with a ribbon for display.

Method 2: Blow The Balloons Using A Straw

  1. Locate the balloon’s filling tab on the outside. It’s usually near the bottom of the balloon.
  2. Grab a drinking straw and insert it into the filling tab. Slide it through the plastic layers until it breaks the inner seal.
  3. Pinch the straw and the filling tab together to keep the air from escaping.
  4. Blow into the end of the straw to inflate the balloon. Take steady breaths and make sure not to inflate it over.
  5. Remove the straw and pinch the filling tab closed. Seal the balloon by pinching the tab between your fingers and pulling out the straw.

Method 3: Use An Air Pump

  1. Find an air pump with a slim nozzle. A thin nozzle works best for this job.
  2. Put the air pump’s nozzle into the balloon’s filling tab. Stick it between the plastic layers of the tab.
  3. Hold the balloon’s opening tight around the nozzle to keep the air inside.
  4. Start pumping air into the balloon. Use one hand to work the pump and fill the balloon. Be careful not to overinflate it.
  5. Remove the pump’s nozzle and pinch the balloon’s opening shut. Seal the balloon by securing the filling tab with your hand and gently pulling out the nozzle.

Read: How Do You Make Air-Filled Balloons Last Longer?

Can Foil Balloons Be Blown Up With Regular Air?

Absolutely. In most cases, foil balloons can be inflated with regular air [1], offering you versatility in using them. 

This is particularly useful when attaching them to a wall or using them as decorative props on a table. 

“But the true voyagers are only those who leave Just to be leaving; hearts light, like balloons, They never turn aside from their fatality And without knowing why they always say: Let’s go!”

– Charles Baudelaire, French Poet

Unlike helium-filled balloons that float, air-filled foil balloons stay firmly in place, making them suitable for various creative purposes. 

So, whether you’re planning to create eye-catching displays or add a personal touch to your celebrations, rest assured that you can easily inflate foil balloons with regular air for your desired decorative effect.

Find out how you can blow up balloons without using your mouth here.

How Will You Blow Up A Foil Balloon Without Helium?

Inflating a foil balloon without helium is a straightforward process requiring a drinking straw. 

Some foil balloon packages even include a straw, but if not, any straight straw will do the job just fine. Here’s how to do it: First, locate the filling tab on your foil balloon. 

Then, insert the straw into the filling tab, ensuring it goes through the inner seal. 

“Each foil balloon holds the promise of joy and laughter, waiting to be unlocked by the gentle act of inflation.”

Howkapow Gift Site

Pinch the straw and the filling tab together to prevent air from escaping, then blow into the straw to steadily inflate the balloon. 

After inflating the balloon completely, take out the straw and securely close the filling tab to seal the balloon. But how can you blow up a mylar balloon?

Why Doesn’t My Helium-Filled Foil Balloon Float?

Inflating Foil Balloon with Helium

If your helium-filled foil balloon isn’t floating, a common culprit could be that it’s underinflated. 

When a balloon lacks enough helium, it won’t have the buoyancy to rise and float gracefully. 

To ensure your foil balloon takes flight as intended, ensure it’s adequately filled with helium. 

You can easily check this by giving the balloon a gentle tug; it’s likely underinflated if it feels too heavy or doesn’t rise. 

In such cases, consider adding more helium until the balloon feels lighter and has the lift required to soar and add a touch of magic to your celebrations.

How Long Do Helium-Filled Foil Balloons Last?

The lifespan of helium-filled foil balloons depends on their size. Standard 18-inch foil balloons generally stay afloat for 3 to 5 days. 

However, if you opt for larger foil balloons, you’re in for an extended display of up to 1 week or several weeks. 

This durability makes them a convenient choice for decorating your event, as you can fill them a day or two in advance without worrying about deflation.


Do you typically use a high float for foil balloons?

No, you do not typically use a high-float solution for foil balloons. Foil balloons do not have enough buoyancy when treated with a high-float solution. 

This solution is primarily used for latex balloons to extend their float time but is ineffective for foil balloons.

How long can foil balloons last without helium?

Foil balloons can last without helium for about 5-7 days. Their longevity can vary slightly depending on factors like the quality of the balloon and environmental conditions. 

Properly stored foil balloons can stay inflated and vibrant for up to a week, making them a great choice for longer-lasting decorations.

How should foil helium balloons be stored overnight?

To store foil helium balloons overnight, avoid exposing them to cold temperatures in places like garages or cars [2], as helium doesn’t fare well in the cold. 

Instead, keep them at room temperature to maintain their best appearance for the longest time possible. 

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, inflating foil balloons is straightforward and offers various methods to suit your needs. 

Whether you use an air pump, a drinking straw, or helium, it all boils down to ensuring you follow the right steps. 

An air pump with a narrow tip guarantees precision, while a drinking straw can work wonders when helium isn’t available. 

Moreover, helium-filled foil balloons can grace your event for days, with larger ones lasting up to several weeks. 

As someone who has experienced the joy of using foil balloons to elevate celebrations, these shiny things are a fantastic choice for adding that extra flair to any occasion.


Kimberlee Johnson
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