4 New Uses for Leftover Balloons

Make a party invitation
How’s this for an imaginative invitation? Inflate a balloon (for sanitary purposes, use an electric pump, if possible). Pinch off the end, but don’t tie a knot in it. Write your invitation details on the balloon with a bright permanent marker; make sure the ink is dry before you deflate it. Place the balloon in an envelope, and mail one out to each guest. When your guests receive it, they’ll have to blow it up to see what it says.

Transport cut flowers
Don’t bother with awkward, water-filled plastic bags and such when traveling with freshly cut flowers. Simply fill up a balloon with about 1/2 cup water and slip it over the cut ends of your flowers. Wrap a rubber band several times around the mouth of the balloon to keep it from slipping off.

Mark your campsite
Bring along several helium-filled balloons on your next camping trip to attach to your tent or a post. They’ll make it easier for the members of your party to locate your campsite when hiking or foraging in the woods.

Make an ice pack
Looking for a flexible ice pack you can use for everything from icing a sore back to keeping food cold in your cooler? Fill a large, durable balloon with as much water as you need and put it in your freezer. You can even mold it to a certain extent into specific shapes — for example, put it under something flat like a box of pizza if you want a flat ice pack for your back. Use smaller latex balloons for making smaller ice packs for lunch boxes, etc.

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