How can I reuse or recycle deflated balloons?

balloon250.jpgWe’ve had an email from Rona:

My daughter turned 13 last week and got some of those helium balloons from members of the family to celebrate her new teenage status. They’re slowly going down now and we don’t know what to do with them when they’re done. Can the foil be recycled like tin foil?

I suspect (but could very easily be wrong) that it’s more like shiny plastic than actual foil so recycling like that is probably out of the question – but does anyone know otherwise?

I used to like keeping that sort of thing but didn’t do anything creative with them – just folded them up in a box. Does anyone have any crafty ideas for using them?

Or what about normal balloons? Any practical or craft-y reuses for them?

(Photo by crayzwalz)

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26 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle deflated balloons?”


  1. Trish says:

    Well, if they are mylar (the metallic ones) you can re-inflate them.

    I use them to put into my scrapbooks.

  2. Mary says:

    I wonder if you could make tote bags out of them–you would have to line them with fabric to give them stability, but they could be cute for the beach.

    Another idea is to use them as gift bags–put a gift in them and tie shut with ribbon–maybe stuff some tissue paper in for contrast.

  3. Delusion says:

    Cut along the seam, the insides are usually silver and reflective.

    These can then be stuck to a board and put behind a radiator to reflect the heat back into the room… means the heating can be kept lower as more heat is put back into the room.

  4. Heather says:

    I have heard of cutting them into strips and hanging them in your fruit trees to discourage birds from eating all the fruit.

  5. Ola says:

    I did ceramics with a guy who re-inflated them (with regular air, and only to the size he needed) and then used them as support for his large-scale ceramic animal sculptures. In ceramics, you need to leave the center of a large sculpture hollow, so he would use them as support on which to build the creatures main body sections. For example, he created a pair of Empire Penguins – about 3-4′ tall each, and used those balloons to form the main bodies. After the clay dried, he simply deflated them and pulled them out.

  6. jenine says:

    Mylar balloons can be re-inflated with helium if you take good care of them (properly and carefully deflate them when they begin losing air, taking care to not damage the valve in the neck of the balloon, fold them up and store them in a cool dark place). When getting latex balloons, ask for Qualatex or Betallic brand. Both are 100% biodegradable and have a half life of about 3 weeks (not very long) both are made with natural latex instead of plastic (which does not biodegrade for a very long time).
    From: the girl who worked in a balloon store for 10 years!

  7. tasha says:

    Cut the rubber rims from the mouths of regular balloons and use them as rubber bands.I was at a show where they were handing out balloons.It got pretty sweaty later on,so i used the rim to tie back my hair.It worked fine.

    • Kacy says:

      That’s so funny. I once used a (new) condom in the same way. I needed a rubber band and that was all I could find in my bag.

  8. Dark Delusion says:

    My partner has just find a great re-use for “normal” balloons.

    You need about 9.

    Cut just before the knot to get rid of it.

    Take 100 grams of dried rice / lentils and pour into 3 of the balloons. Tie them up

    Stretch another balloon over each of these “balls” and then another.

    Viola you have 3 home made juggling balls

  9. jodilee says:

    when i was a kid i had exactly this sort of balloon but in the shape of mickey mouse. when it gave up and died i used the shines foily type material to cover cardboard shapes that I made into christmas tree decoratons and hung with a bit of tinsel………….unfortunatly my mother still has them and puts them up every year at christmas, I made them when I was approx ten and I am now forty!!!! So this foily stuff really lasts.

  10. Isabel says:

    Makes fun gift wrap for small gifts.

  11. daniel says:

    Not applicable to foil balloons but you can actually compost traditional ballooons. They are made of latex- a biodegradable natural product.

  12. francesco says:

    exist any kind of recycable material for baloons?

  13. carrie says:

    mylar is another material that can be put through the shredder and used in gift bags.

  14. Tamara says:

    cut them into loops, tie the loops at the ends… and yarn is born!

  15. Diana says:

    Use them to line your hanging baskets. Punch hole for drainage if required. Can also be used as growbags if you make a hole in them and fill with compost.

  16. Sophie wra says:

    You can sellotape them together and use them to make a blind for the window. People will think it’s your birthday and give you free products and gifts.

  17. Mellony says:

    You can use them as noncoents or tray holders. My sister uses them to make Dollys and tampon sheaths.

  18. Edgar J says:

    Helium ballons can be deflated by taking a small coffee stirring straw and cutting it on a bias, then carefully inserting it into the valve located in the base of the ballon. Once it is properly in place you can squeeze the ballon and get all the air out to fold it for storage.

  19. Adriana Gutierrez says:

    Check out these bags at http://www.doybags.com You should e able to use the balloons to make similar bags. Doy uses a double layer for it’s bags, inside and out.

  20. Lee says:

    Here is an amazing way to recycle balloons and keep the fun going even ater the party. It is a great system that will also take you on a journey in learning more about Anti Gravity flight and our ecosystem.

  21. Petra says:

    You can reuse balloon several times with a plastic bottle cap and the screw part. Put the end of the balloon through the screw part and blow the balloon. Fix the cap. When the party is over you can easily deflate the balloon and store it for another time.

  22. My daughter just turned 3 and wepurchased mylar balloons at the dollar store. One of the balloons has Tinkerbell on it and my daughter loves tinkerbell. I was going to cut out Tinkerbell’s face and adhere it to a piece of recycled cardboard (old cereal box will do). Just adhere it with packing tape so the balloon doesn’t tear. Then I was going to create a mini scrapbook for her out of it with my bind it all and some birthday pictures. In the past, I have also put the balloons in a box, but this way you can incorporate the balloon in the album or your scrap book. Most balloons have sentiments that you can also include in your scrapbooking projects. An inexpensive way to decorate.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure they would make really cute hair bows

  24. Daniella says:

    hі!,I really likе your writing so much! proportion we be in contact extra about your аrticle
    on AOL? I need ann expert in this house to solve mmy problem.
    May be that is you! Looking ahead to see you.



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