Note from Design Mom: Hello from Amsterdam, Friends! Today, Celeste is here to keep you company while I’m away from my desk. Enjoy.

Hi. I’m Celeste from on-hand modern, a blog about creative family life.

Right now life is: planning a birthday party for the boy who is turning five. We love balloons (see here, here, and, oh how about here), so it seems only natural that at some point we should have a party based on the classic French film “The Red Balloon”. Some of the details are still up in the air (a weekend in Paris would be tres authentic, oui? alas, not exactly in the budget) but there is one thing that’s for sure: what’s a Red Balloon-themed party without — yes — big round red balloons!

Over-sized round balloons (like the one in the film) are everywhere these days — on blogs, in magazines, at parties. Here’s what you need to know about buying them for your next birthday party, family photo, or other event.

What Size:

For truly round balloons with a lot of visual impact, look for 24″ or 36″ balloons.

Where To Buy (locally):

I haven’t had much luck in my area, but for those of you with Zurchers stores in your neighborhood I have heard rumors that you might find them there.

Where To Buy (online):

If a single balloon (or two) is all you need, try the adorable shops darlybird or Sweet Lulu where they are available for purchase individually in a variety of fun colors. Expect to pay around $4-5 per 36″ balloon, plus shipping.

For larger quantities it makes sense to buy from a wholesale supplier. Car dealers (yes, car dealers!) have been buying from these guys for years. I found this website and this one to have competitive prices and be the easiest to navigate, but you can also try searching the Web yourself for “dealership + balloons”. I was able to get a package of 25 (24″) balloons for about $25 shipped (about $1 per balloon) from one of these sources.

Hope that helps a bit! How about you? Have you ever used oversize balloons before? Any other tips new users should remember?

P.S. — Sunshine and big balloon bouquets to all of you, and thanks to Design Mom for having me!