DIY : When in doubt, craft it out. – Meghan Marie Stephenson – Medium

Ive decided I should start a crafter-noons vlog or something based on all the DIY projects i’ve had to do throughout my career. Though I love it, im not a pro. Whenever possible, vetted professionals are a better route. But when your budget is having a DROUGHT, sometimes you got to CRAFT-IT-OUT.

The ask: Create something original for Valentine’s Day, in a corporate space that wasn’t about love, or too pink, or have any candy, since apparently they employee the only health conscious developers in San Francisco. And the thought of a love letter post card station made my client want to punch their own face. So this had to be something completely new, neutral, Insta-worthy, OH, and under $250 for both of their offices… What-to-do, what-to-do…

I flipped through one of my favorite blogs Oh Happy Day, and I got totally inspired to make their balloon version of a box of chocolates!

This was my inspiration from ohhappyday.com

To make it relevant to the client, I used all of their colors, and played around with the balloon sizes to fit on one of their office walls in each of their San Francisco offices.

First:

  • Apparently, plain dark brown is not a popular balloon color…
  • But they do have brown spray paint. I bought the shapes & sizes of balloons I wanted from Party City ($0.25 each)
  • And then, I got to sprayin’. (45 balloons, duration: 2 hours)
  • I made sure to have extras since, well balloons pop… Cant trust em’!
Pro tip: create a large covering under your spray area with something like newspaper, or cardboard. Like, larger than you think. I got a $700 fine since I spray painted in my apartment’s garage, and the spray area really travels.. and no, it doesn’t come off easily.

Second:

  • I wanted to make sure that the company’s colors were represented in my design, but that it still looked like little chocolates. I wanted to make sure the designs that I was hand painting on each one looked the same after I blew them up so I decided to bring all of the empty balloons to the venue, blow them up, then paint them.
  • I printed a lot of pictures of boxes of chocolate to get the ideas for the designs I could paint on top as well as a picture of the company logo which I would also attempt to paint on a few of the chocolates.
  • After I hand blew each of the balloons up, I placed them out on the floor the way I wanted them to hang on the wall, and I got to painting! (3 hours)
  • After I was done with all the designs and they were dry, I mapped out their wrappers. For the wrappers, I used Italian crepe paper in the clients colors/ or at least as close to their pantone and I could find. I stretched the crepe paper around each balloon in a circle, and super stretched the top part of the crepe paper to make it crinkle up and sort of bunch up around the chocolates. (2.5 hours)
  • Then I stuck them up using Shure Tape (found on amazon, bought a few rolls, each about $20). I taped the crepe paper, and because I pre-stretched them out, it created a little basket-like home for each balloon so I put more tape on the balloons and popped them up there. Yeah see what I did there — I definitely popped a few, maybe 5 in total so I would have liked to have bought even more balloons to be safe. Also the Shure Tape made me super nervous, it ultimately held up but I was applying to a brick wall in one of the offices, and it was sketchy on a few of them.

Third:

  • I had our in house designer (Stefanie Fasciocco) make little popsicle stick photo props to encourage people to use the installation as a photo opp.
  • We made them all have different puns related to chocolates or Valentines Day which was the perfect fit for this trendy San Francisco tech office.

The End Result:

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