With balloons, practically anything can be made to decorate your event. Even more so, there are so many different types of balloon techniques out there that something as simple as a mug can be made in tons of different varieties. Here I will show a few different types of beer mugs, explain a little bit about their construction, and I will discuss some positives and negatives.
Twisted Beer Mugs with Animal Balloons
Firstly, a beer mug made of smaller twisting balloons. This can be as short as 1 foot high and has a limited shelf life as the twisting balloons don’t seem to hold air as long as the large round decorator balloons. These two examples are actually even smaller than that and show that, even on a small scale, techniques or overall look can be different.
These are actually made exactly the same way, but with different colors used. The one on the left is all out of goldenrod with a white top. The one on the right is made with a clear balloon and a goldenrod on the inside to create the appearance of “beer” inside the mug. We will see this theme appear in more images further on in the article as well.
This photo was pulled from Balloon Therapy Blog where you can learn to make your own twisted balloon beer mug! They have a video and photo instructions for you to follow along.
Foil Balloon Bouquets with Beer Mugs
There are a number of beer mug themed foil balloons out there. Here is a great example of how one was used from Dorothy Wyst of Festive Balloons in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.
This particular bouquet is actually a “false bouquet” as a traditional bouquet of balloons is a helium-filled cluster of balloons with a weight. This is actually a more Earth-friendly green version which is helium-free. It utilizes some of the trending techniques of organic decor and some of the traditional looks of helium bouquets and mixes them together to create a fun delivery piece for their client.
Using a foil balloon, the beer mug is much more accurate than most other options and at a fraction of the cost. The constraints of this design are that foils only come in certain styles and sizes. Often, foil distributors can even stop printing popular designs making it very difficult to duplicate an exact image or style.
Dorothy was able to take the small size of the been mug here and elevate the single foil with some organic accents. The foil allows the theme to be intact while the organic round balloons added to the design help to create a larger, more impactful entrance piece to be delivered.
Even if you are set on a particular foil design, it can certainly be incorporated into classic or trending decor pieces to maintain a theme and keep with the overall look you are shooting for.
More examples of foil decor will be posted in the gallery at the bottom of this page.
Flat Variations of Beer Mugs
As with all types of art, beer mugs (or any sculpture of balloons) can be portrayed a number of different ways. Here we will share a photo from Debbie Medrano from Balloons and More out of San Diego, California. In her rendition of the beer mug, she has chosen to make a larger scale sculpture and has incorporated some additional colors to give the illusion of a filled glass and to really help sell home the idea that it is an actual filled beer mug.
There are a few things I really like about this particular design where it may outshine some of the others we cover. Firstly, it can take up less space. Being a relatively flat design, this mug is only about 2 to 3 feet wide. Because of this, it can go against a wall, be a photo opportunity, or can fit in places where there may not otherwise be a lot of room for a larger, “more accurate” depiction of a beer mug.
Construction for this is essentially 3 full sized columns, placed next to each other to create an “image” of a mug. Then, accents are added to create the handle and the foam. Because of this, sometimes this can be priced lower than a full scale 3-dimensional mug. That said, it also depends on the techniques used.
This particular sculpture was placed outside, which caused the clear balloons to oxidize and go from their natural clear look to a more powdered look. This is GREAT for a beer mug made in this way as it helps give the appearance of a “frosted” glass. Any “imperfections” caused by the natural oxidation process only helps the sculpture look more accurate. I LOVE this effect. It is not every time a sculpture can use nature to help look better, but when it works out it makes any artist happy.
3 Dimensional Beer Mug Designs
There are a ton of 3 dimensional design options when it comes to beer mugs. Because of this, I have decided to put together a small gallery of photos for you to see some pictures. I will then speak of a few different styles shown and how they vary based on circumstances, style, and possibly pricing. From a consumer’s perspective, it may or may not matter the exact technique, but they do all have their pros and cons. I will try to cover some of these to the best of my ability in the following section.
Indoor and Outdoor
One of the first things a balloon decorator will ask when trying to determine the techniques they will be using is whether or not the sculpture will be indoor or outdoor. With indoor decor, colors tend to stay more true to themselves. Outdoor decor has a tendency to oxidize and discolor fairly quickly. Outdoors, the balloons move from their shiney state into a more velvety matte finish. This is a natural process of the balloons and is nothing to be worried about. However, it will change the look.
Outdoor pieces tend to look much better when there is less use of clear in this particular design as it is very obvious when the clear begins to oxidize. Some sculptures use this to their advantage and have the natural oxidised look resemble that of a “frosted beer mug”.
Stacked versus Woven
When it comes to the actual technique of building the beer mugs in a larger scale, there are two main techniques that are used of decorators. (There are more, but only 2 examples shown here.) The easiest way to see an example of the stacked example is to look at the baseball mini beer mugs hanging for the Tampa Bay Rays event in the gallery above. These sculptures are stacked, have a uniform outer appearance, and create a slightly different look and feel to that of the woven designs. Another example of a stacked design is that of AyrBalloons where clear balloons were not used on the outside and the crisp golden color of the beer shows more prominently.
Most of the other examples shown here are woven examples. Most notably, the sculpture by Balloon Designers shows one of the benefits of using a woven technique. It can be scaled rather easily and each balloon bubble is uniform in size and shape. (That only means it is easier for the balloon team to create and follow a recipe.) This is also a technique used by many companies that employ multiple artists as it is able to be broken up in smaller sections that a crew can tackle all at the same time.
There is another type of weave / stack that is pictured here, specifically with the HUDY 14K mug. That particular mug is made slightly different than the others and is another technique. It gives more of the stacked look with a more woven style.
Each of these different types of techniques have there ups and downs for the artist, for the environment, and for the end look. Each style uses different types of balloons, has supplies that cost different amounts, and has a different level of skill required to complete.
Small versus Large
It is interesting to note that the difference in size does not always mean a difference in price. A sculpture that ends up being 3 feet tall might be the same or very similar price to something that is 6 feet tall. If the only difference is the amount of air put into the balloon, that doesn’t make a huge difference. A great example in the gallery above comes from Jenn. She has a photo of 4 balloon beer mugs that are different sizes.
Though her smaller beer mugs and larger beer mugs do in fact take a different number of balloons, a similar effect can be created in some techniques by using different sizes of balloons. Sometimes costs can be similar when the labor cost is the same, the balloon material cost is the same, and the only difference is the size balloons are inflated to.
Another thing to consider is that size can determine the technique used as well. If one wanted a 1 foot tall beer mug, it would be best to use a twisting technique in one of our first examples in this article. For a 3 foot tall mug, the best technique is likely a stacking technique like what was used in the Rays event. For a 6 foot tall mug, there are a bunch of different options that can work with stacking and weaving. When we get to a much larger size of 10 foot and larger, it seems that weaving is by far the best method to use.
If an item is hung from the ceiling, that might determine the best size. If a mug is wanted for a picture spot, that might help determine the size. The budget, the location, the weather, the end use… These are all things that help determine which type of mug to use.
Special Thanks to:
In this section, we had a number of photos submitted for use in the article and I wanted to give a big shout out an thank you to all of those that provided examples. Listed below are the names, companies, and locations where I had the information. I also linked to their sites as well in case you wanted to reach out to them as well.
Dennis Scott of iloveballoonanimals.com out of Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Steven Jones from Balloon Designers in Issaquah, Washington.
Ayriel Rush from AyrBalloons in Belton, Texas.
Leah Weddle of Cincy Balloons in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jenn Nyikos at Fun by the Yard in South Bend, Indiana.
Glen LaValley at Glen Balloon Guy in Edmonton, Alberta.
No matter what your theme, ask your balloon decorators what they think would work best. Give them a little time to look up photos, find examples, and to come up with some ideas that will work best for your event. Myself, and all the other amazing artists listed in this article are happy to help. Just give us a call for your next balloon sculpture and we will be more than happy to put together something fun for you too!
More Photos of Beer Mugs from my balloon friends around the world!
Additional Thanks to:
Melissa Sherk of Balloon Canada in a Box from London, Ontario.
Ray Walsh of Blue Collar Balloons in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
As always, we are more than happy to help you at YTE Events and Balloon Decor, based out of Tampa, Florida. Just contact us via our contact form and we will put together a quote for your event and help create those magical moments we all love to remember.