Make Your Own Balloon Drop For New Year's Eve

Photo: Nicholas Hunt, Getty Images

Making New Year’s Eve extra special with your kids can take a bit of work. You’ve got your sparkling cider, a game night planned with silly gifts for the winners, maybe a movie marathon or a hot chocolate station.

But something’s still missing. You want to up the magic a notch or three.

Ever consider a DIY balloon drop?

You know, those things you see in movies at surprise parties or New Year’s Eve gatherings, with balloons floating and bouncing softly atop giddy and hopping party-goers? Putting one together is not quite as involved as you might think.

Here’s what you need

  • A plastic table cloth or about 1.83m of lightweight fabric

  • Painter’s or masking tape

  • Tacks (optional)

  • A bunch of colourful balloons

  • A balloon pump (I guess this isn’t necessary, but it’s nice to have)

  • Confetti (this is optional—it adds to the magic, but woah, the cleanup)

Step 1

Cut the fabric in two even pieces.

Step 2

Place your two pieces of fabric next to one another, as though they create one whole piece, on the floor or a large table. Tape the two pieces together with one long piece of tape, creating a seam.

Step 3

Once the two pieces are taped, leave yourself a long tail of tape, folding the tape over on itself until you reach the fabric. This is your non-sticky pulley handle.

Step 4

Tape or tack the four corners of your “net” to the ceiling, droopy in the middle so your balloons fit inside. The corners should be extra secure; otherwise your balloon drop might also include a fabric-drop. If you’re worried someone will accidentally tug on the pulley before it’s time, tape that to the ceiling, too.

Step 5

Blow up the balloons.

Step 6

Use a stool to add the balloons and optional confetti.

Step 7

Count down just before midnight (or whatever time you’re pretending is midnight), yank that pulley and... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Check out this video to get an idea of how to set up your balloon drop and what it’ll look like. Yes, this video opts to “stitch” the two halves of the tablecloth together, which also works. We just like the ease of the tape.


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