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DIY Last Minute Halloween Decoration

Don't panic, I tell myself. Yes, there's less than one week to go before Halloween, and I haven't prepared anything for my party yet. Just don't panic ... oh, I'm afraid I actually DO panic!

If you are like me and tend to leave things to the very last minute, you might be in desperate need for a Halloween decoration that

- is easy and quick to do,
- doesn't strain your budget too much and
- will earn you some admiring 'Ohs' and 'Ahs' from your guests.

Here comes the 'Spooky Bouquet' to the rescue! For one bouquet you'll need:

- four high quality 11" latex balloons, preferably with Halloween design, but if you can't get those, three plain black and one plain orange balloon will do as well,
- color matching curling ribbon (5mm wide),
- a plastic or ceramic pumpkin for the base (or any other small item that fits the theme and to which you can attach the ribbons) and
- a small flask of helium to fill the balloons.

How to make it?

You start with inflating the first of your black balloons with helium. Before you tie the knot you should make sure that the balloon is fully inflated to its 11" size. This is important as the bouquet will only look good if all balloons are blown up to the same size. There are two easy ways to do this: you could make yourself a simple 'balloon sizer' by cutting a circle of 11" diameter out of a piece of cardboard or you could set up two chairs back to back, so that the distance between them equals 11".

So, before you knot the balloon, pass it through your sizer and if necessary, deflate or inflate the balloon until it fits. Now take about 1m length from your curling ribbon and tie it to the balloon neck, leaving ca. 30cm loose for curling. Then attach the other end of the ribbon to your base. The overall height from the base to the top of the balloon should be about 80cm.

Repeat these steps for the other two black balloons. Position all three balloons at the same height.

O.k., just one more step to finish your Spooky Bouquet. Take the last balloon, in our example that would be the orange balloon, inflate it as described above and attach it to the base, so that it floats in the center of the three black balloons and just above them. You found the perfect position, when the top balloon just slightly touches the three black balloons.

Congratulations. You're done! Now stand back and admire your floating bouquet. There are so many Halloween themed balloons, both latex and foil, that you can easily create variations of this basic design. For example, you'll get a nice effect, if you replace the top latex balloon with a foil balloon - it could be a crazy pumpkin, a flying witch or a ghastly ghost ... whatever you prefer.

One special tip: as this is a last minute decoration idea, it might be too late to order a helium tank from a specialised balloon supplier. Maybe you know a small corner shop in your neighborhood that sells balloons. They probably have helium too. If it's not for sale, ask them to inflate your balloons on the spot and take the inflated balloons home with you. Of course, you should go there prepared and take the curling ribbon and the balloon sizer with you.

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Do It Yourself???

Do it yourself, often referred to by the acronym "DIY," is a term used by various communities that focus on people creating things for themselves without the aid of paid professionals. Many DIY subcultures explicitly critique consumer culture, which emphasizes that the solution to our needs is to purchase things, and instead encourage people to take technologies into their own hands.
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