What do you do with those shiny, mylar balloons after the party guests have gone home, a week or two passes by, and they start to shrivel up and sink to the ground? I still have a bunch of balloons barely floating in my studio from my son's 1st birthday, and onen from my own birthday last month, which made me think about how I could reuse them. Sure, we can stop buying them, but you may still receive them as gifts anyway from friends and family, especially if you've spent any time in a hospital. (While latex balloons are biodegradeable, they are not allowed into hospitals to protect those with latex allergies.)
Re-Use as Balloons Again:
There is no reason to toss them out and keep purchasing them year after year when they are so easy to deflate and re-use! Cut off or un-tie the string/ribbon from the balloon. Then, simply stick a tube or straw up into the hole until it goes far enough to reach the inside, letting the remaining air out of the hole:
Don't forget to have fun inhaling some of that helium and amuse your kids by singing "Lollipop Guild!" You can now flatten and fold it up, and have it re-filled with helium for your next party.
Use it as a gift bag
Cut the bottom of the balloon off so there is an opening, and insert a gift. Gather the opening together and tie it closed with some ribbon (maybe even the ribbon that was tied to the balloon!). For smaller gift items, you can cut the balloon in half and wrap two with one balloon. Or, separate the front and back and use it as regular gift wrap. Either way, don't forget to add your recycled greeting card gift tag!
Add them to your box of art & craft supplies for yourself and/or your kids. Shiny paper is a pretty cool addition to a collage! You can also use them as scrapbooking material, as I have mentioned in the past, or to make gift cards and placemats. It's a great way to preserve another part of your child's birthday party, by including a balloon in his or her scrapbook!
Shred them and turn them into confetti.
Cut strips and attach them to a hair clip for a festive accessory.
Tie strips to your fence to scare animals away from your vegetables.
...I'm sure you creative readers have more ideas so feel free to comment with more!