DIY Balloon Garland for Cake Smash- Monterey Baby Photographer

Balloon Garlands have been big hit over the last year, and I’ve always wanted to do one but I was afraid that it would either take an extremely long time, it wouldn’t work, or it would just be a giant pain in the butt! To my surprise I found a process that was fairly quick, worked great, and was super easy! I did my research, watched a couple YouTube videos, read some forums, and basically combined all the different processes together to make it as easy as possible.

Cake Vendor: https://www.blueacesbakeshoppe.com

  • Camera Gear & Settings:
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART
  • ISO 100, F/2.5, 1/160 SS
  • Einstein Flash with white PLM

Step 1: Fishing Line

I used fishing line to string the balloons. It’s actually called Illusion bead cord, and I bought large eye needles ( lord knows I didn’t want to spend forever trying to thread this thing). I rolled out enough illusion cord that would go across the backdrop and a little extra. If you don’t roll out enough it’s no problem, just don’t cut it until your done and you can always roll out more.
Balloon Garland DIY cake smash Monterey_0001.jpg

Step 2: Layout the balloons

I wanted to plan out the color and sizes a little. I laid out the big balloons at the end and tried to mix the colors. I ended up using half the balloons I had originally planned out.
Balloon Garland DIY cake smash Monterey_0002.jpg

Step 3: Fill the balloons

I filled the balloons as I went. I started with the largest balloon and threaded the fishing line through the bottom tail of the balloon. For the rest I made groups of 3 or 4 balloons and then threaded them. When you fill the balloons vary how full they are to get variety of size. I added just a few small balloons to the groups, but most of the smalls I added at the end.
Balloon Garland DIY cake smash Monterey_0003.jpg

Step 4: Groups of Balloons

I would fill 2 balloons and tie them together. Once you had 2 groups of 2 you can twist them together by making a figure 8. If that sounds confusing watch the YouTube video here.

Step 5: String up & Finishing Touches

Once your garland is hung ( I just clamped it to my backdrop stand), it’ time to add the small 5 inch balloons in any holes and areas that need a different color. I just used matte scotch tape to adhere them.
Balloon Garland DIY cake smash Monterey_0004.jpg

Step 6: Fairy Lights

I used 2 fairy light and it was definitely not enough, I ended up using 4 strings. They are battery operated and I just scotch tapes them to the backdrop behind the balloons ( they also weren’t very heavy). They come in 2 colors, a warm yellow and a cool white. I used the cool white. If you want the light really spread out stretch the light stings. If you want denser cluster of twinkle twist the lights into a coil/curl, the tighter the curl the more twinkles close together.

What I learned for next time:
Next time I might not use the large balloons at all, just regular and small. I loved how it turned out, but I think it would be ok with smaller balloons too. I also might try adding different elements to the garland like leaves, flowers ect. Also if I would have pulled baby and cake further away from the backdrop you wouldn’t see the fairy light cords as much, but I don’t have the space for that. If I tucked them a little more too they would have been less visible but I don’t really mind them like they are.

How many Balloons:

  • 16 regular sized balloons(12 inch)
  • 2 large balloons (18 inch)
  • 10 small balloons (5in)

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Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,

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Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
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Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,

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Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,

Gilroy,Hollister,Monterey,Morgan Hill,Salinas,baby,bath splash,birthday,cake,cakesmash,clean,flowers,fresh,milk,milk bath,newborn,photography studio,
Any questions? I’m happy to share, leave me a comment below!

Exactly what I bought:








  1. Corey

    February 14th, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    I love balloon garlands for cake smash sessions and yours turned out so great! Such an awesome tutorial too – thank you for sharing!

  2. Allison Anderson

    February 15th, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    That is such a smart idea! Love how it can tailored to to each individual client.

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