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Old 01-01-2022, 12:29 AM
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Yanzuh Yanzuh is offline
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Default Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
I have been thinking about taking up balloon decorating as a hobby to get to work with balloons more and maybe get less anxious around them. I'd only be decorating for myself and there is just one thing making me indecisive about the decision. I don't think that I would be okay with trying to dispose of the balloons when I have to get rid of the decoration. I really don't like the idea of having to pop them when I'm done with them.
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Old 01-01-2022, 10:48 PM
Tony Tony is offline
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
Cut the neck so they deglate but don't pop.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
Originally Posted by Tony View Post
Cut the neck so they deflate but don't pop.
Yes, second vote for this. I did that for many years while I was learning decor techniques. At one party where I was there from setup to takedown, I managed to smooth-talk my way into inviting everyone helping to cut the necks as well, instead of popping them. (Which got one or two confused questions, but somehow people shrugged and did it... *whew!*)

It also depends on what kind of decor you do, but it may not always be necessary for you to be there for the teardown. If you can decorate using only disposable materials (ribbon, line, inexpensive and/or sand- or water-weights, etc.) then you just tell the client the whole decor is theirs to keep after setup. Really, especially for indoor decor, there aren't many designs that require expensive or reusable material that couldn't be substituted for disposable ones -- unless you get into the pro-level sculptures, outdoor arches, SDS walls, etc.

Plus, using all disposable material is easier on the decorator too since they don't have to come back at the end of the event. (Which means they can do twice as many events in a day!)

Balloon decor is such a fun hobby if you're obsessed with balloons like I am. It's a good way to legitimize having balloons and balloon accessories around your home (helium tank, anyone?), people love balloon art for their events, you can charge bonkers prices if you're in the business, and bulk ordering means there are always balloons left over from every event that become part of my personal hoard--- er, collection

And, like you, I started out as a phobic. I've improved somewhat over the years, especially during times when I was decorating an event every month or two so I was getting a lot of regular practice and exposure... so now I actually enjoy both the setup and the teardown quite a bit. It's attending a balloon-filled event with lots of people that makes me the most nervous, now! LOL.
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Old 02-01-2022, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
Thing is that I would only be making decorations for myself, I do not feel comfortable making them for anyone else, mostly because I wanna keep balloons and me secret because I think people would find me doing it odd. I did try the cutting off the neck method today. Did it on some balloons I was gonna throw out anyway. So I just inflated them to different sizes and tied them, then I cut the neck off and it worked a charm. After that I ended up ordering some basic things to try and make a column. I really do like balloons but being around them physically makes me very anxious. I can handle it if it's just me but if anyone else is around I get very very nervous because it adds uncertainty into the mix. I have been close to trying therapy for my popping fear many times but I always end up feeling like it isn't worth it, but it would be is the truth. Because weirdly enough while I hate popping I also love it at the same time. I love watching balloons disappear from existence into a shower of latex shards and the sound can be quite exhilarating. If I was able to I would just make decorations, have them around for a few days or weeks and then pop them and do it all over. But the fact is that just cutting of the necks on the balloons like I did today left me physically shacking.
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
It is a good method though. If you want to try it more until you are less nervous. You will be pleased in the long run.
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
It definitely worked really well, the only reason I really didn't do it more is because I didn't have more balloons that I was gonna throw out. I got some tips from a friend who does balloon decorating for fun and she told me that in her experience that method has been effective like 99 times out of 100. Meaning that it seems like a very safe method. I know that by wanting to do this I am accepting that there will be the occasional pop and that does scare the crap out of me but I really don't wanna be paralyzed by fear anymore.
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:41 PM
Common Loon Common Loon is offline
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
Originally Posted by Yanzuh View Post
If I was able to I would just make decorations, have them around for a few days or weeks and then pop them and do it all over. But the fact is that just cutting of the necks on the balloons like I did today left me physically shaking.
That's exactly how it goes with this phobia though... you get the courage to try something new (like cutting the necks to deflate balloons). It's really hard and you can barely do it, but you do. The key is, to do it again later. The psych-up will still be challenging and it will still be hard, but a little bit less hard to do. So repeat again. Etc.

It takes a lot of repeated exposure to make any given balloon activity bearable, in my experience. But if you keep at it, and practice regularly - even if it's just one balloon and you can do it a couple times per week - it does get easier. Then you start looking for the next direction to push in -- because just because you get more comfortable with thing X with balloons, does not make you more comfortable with thing Y. Every new experience, you kinda go back to square one with in the beginning. What I do in these situations is to fall back to thing X while I'm psyching myself up for Y. Then I'll try Y (scary) at the end of a string of X's (less scary).

Anyway, for when you do start experimenting with the pop itself, using old, softened balloons that have been inflated for a long time is an ideal starting point. It's where I got my start, too: helium balloons that shriveled and deflated over a couple days, as long as they didn't have hi-float, can be really approachable to pin pop for someone just getting started. GL!
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
I have heard that balloons that have been around for longer is easier to pop and less scary. I am still working on the fact that I can't really keep balloons around for more than like 10-15 minutes or a little more. I am so unreasonably scared that they will just pop on their own. I know that like just spontaneous popping is very rare unless there is an outside force driving them to pop (ex heat,sharp things etc etc) I do at the moment have a 16 inch black balloon inflated lying on my bed. It's been inflated for about 3 hours now, not fully inflated and just clipped off so not tied. One of the biggest reason I would like to get comfortable with the pops are because I do find it very amazingly hot when they pop, I was thinking about attending a balloon room event at a convention I'm going to in february. Did talk to some of the medical staff (I'm part of the security staff) and they pretty much said that in their opinion it's probably not the best idea seeing as after a certain hour they start to pop all of the balloons as a part of the event. And while that sounds like the absolute dream scenario and the hottest thing ever I know that at the first pop I would probably run away crying.
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Old 02-01-2022, 07:21 PM
Common Loon Common Loon is offline
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
Originally Posted by Yanzuh View Post
I know that like just spontaneous popping is very rare unless there is an outside force driving them to pop (ex heat,sharp things etc etc)
It sounds like you're doing the right things to get more exposure though. Setting up some decor for yourself will help too... if you put time into making a cool sculpture, cluster, column, etc., you will want to keep it around longer.

And yes, as you say... spontaneous pops of good quality balloons are almost unheard-of unless they're overinflated. It also helps to keep inflated balloons away from all hard surfaces if possible - even hard floors and painted walls can have rough spots that balloons don't like brushing up against. Keep all those in mind and the spontaneous popping rate is essentially zero... though you can't learn that by listening to someone say it. You kind of have to experience it for yourself and learn to trust the balloons over time.

Quote:
I was thinking about attending a balloon room event at a convention I'm going to in February.


If this convention happens every year... maybe February of next year would be a good target to aim for? It's possible to set yourself further back if you try to tackle something too far beyond your comfort and it becomes traumatic. The growth zone is where you can feel challenged slightly beyond your comfort, but still in control of whether and how to take the next step. Being surrounded by tons of people and balloons in close quarters... I don't know how you would experience it, but for me personally I would probably have a panic attack unless I knew and trusted the people and had a quick and safe exit route if I needed it!
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Old 02-01-2022, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Wanting to take up balloon decorating as a hobby
The convention does happen every year, But I believe the balloon even has only been public since 2020 (and of course the convention didn't happen in 2021). It was apparently private before that. But yes it's probably not the best idea to just dive headlong into it and I know that probably the best thing would be to become accustomed to pops by myself at first where I am in control before exposing myself to situations where I'm not the one controlling the popping. Only reason I used to think that having someone else do the popping for me is because I can get very brave when I'm horny and I'll be like "okay this is the moment to try and pop a balloon" and the few times I've done it it's been amazing but I tend to get post horniness regrets where I am like "holy hell I am never doing that again"
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