A quick and easy way to inflate foil balloons if you do not have a hand pump is to use a straw. There are some manufacturers who even include a straw in their packaged balloons, but if there is not a straw included then any straight straw will do the job.

How to Inflate a Balloon with a Straw

  1. Begin by locating the valve on the tail end of the balloon.
  2. Insert the straw into the seal between the two layers of plastic. Keep in mind the inner seal will open once the straw is fully inserted all the way. 
  3. As you blow into the straw the balloon will begin to inflate.
  4. It is important to pinch the sides of the straw so the air does not come out. If you pinch too hard you may block the airflow, if this happens then loosen up your grip. 
  5. Do not over-inflate the balloon because it will cause the balloon to burst. Once the balloon is fully inflated, gently remove the straw while pinching the tab.

If the balloon has a self-sealing balloon, no further steps need to be taken. However, if the balloon requires heat sealing, be sure to have the heat sealer ready before inflating so air is not lost. See How to Heat-seal a Balloon.


  • Choose the right width straw so air flows quickly into the balloon, but make sure it is not too wide or else the straw will damage the balloon self-sealing valve. 
  • Use a flexible straw rather than hard plastic, metal or wood straw to avoid damaging the self-sealing valve or tail of the balloon
  • Insert the straw into the balloon only as far as needed to inflate the balloon or else you risk damaging the balloon.