36 In Pregnancy

Paint Balloon Archery Inspired Gender Reveal: How We Did It

Happy Friday! Is it just me or has this week flown by?? I’m excited for another weekend at home without any major obligations, and plenty of sunshine and playtime with my favorite tiny human.

Today I wanted to talk about our gender reveal. To refresh your memory, or if you’re new to the blog, I shared our reveal in THIS POST.

unique gender reveal using paint balloon and bow and arrow

Our gender reveal has since been pinned on Pinterest over 29,000 times (<—WHAT!!!!), and has been featured on several “gender reveal roundup” posts around the web. I pinned it just to give other soon-to-be mamas an idea, and never imagined it would be re-pinned so many times and now be one of my all time top posts on Sweet Miles. How fun is that?? (PS there are so many AMAZING gender reveal ideas out there, and one is certainly not better than another! Revealing the gender of your future child is always special no matter what!)

gender reveals on pinterest

Adam and I found out around 17 weeks that we were having a girl, and we wanted to tell our families and closest friends in a fun way. After scouring Pinterest and brainstorming ideas ourselves, we knew we wanted to do something a little different, and something that would involve both of us. We thought of a great idea, but after our location plans for it fell through, we opted for Plan B. I don’t want to share what that idea was in case we do it for our next child…but it was definitely our first choice!

We decided on a different take on the traditional balloon pop reveal and the paint balloon darts reveal. We thought doing something with Adam’s bow would be more reflective of Adam and I wanted a way to “keep” our reveal. We concluded we would fill a balloon with pink paint, pin it to a canvas, and take a video of Adam shooting the balloon. Then we’d send the video to our friends and family, many of whom we Skyped or Face Time’d with while they watched it so we could see their reactions. So to get started, we headed to Hobby Lobby to buy our supplies!

For our reveal supplies we used:

-1 16X20 blank canvas (or maybe bigger, I can’t remember the exact dimensions)

canvas for gender reveal
-1 2 oz tube of pink, blue, and grey acrylic paintbabypinkpaint

-Paint brushes

-1 normal sized black balloon (found in a pack of black balloons in the party/birthday aisle at Hobby Lobby)

To decorate the canvas, I spent all of ten minutes painting “He or She?” at the top of my canvas. Ok, the actual painting took maybe two seconds, but I practiced and practiced on old newspaper because I have the worst paint handwriting ever and didn’t want to mess this up! Anyone else’s hands shake before they try to paint something important?? I’m no Monet, that’s for sure.

I let the canvas dry overnight, and we planned to do our big video the next day after work.

cute gender reveal idea

Now for the actual process.

I’ve had several people ask how we filled the balloon with paint. To do this took some steady hands, but it really wasn’t that difficult. We just stretched open the opening of the balloon and pulled it over the paint spout as best we could, then squeezed maybe half of the 2 oz tube of paint into the balloon. Maybe not even half, maybe like a fourth. It took one of us holding the balloon open and the other squeezing the paint.

Then we blew up the balloon just like you normally would, tied it off, and shook it up so that paint would coat all over the inside of the balloon and *hopefully* splatter somewhat evenly.

To attach the balloon to the canvas, we just used a push pin/thumb tack and hung it in the middle of the canvas. We also propped up the canvas against a big stump in our backyard, and laid a tarp down under everything so paint wouldn’t get all over our yard.

Then it was time to shoot it!

I stood off to the side with my camera and Adam stood up on our back deck with his bow and arrow, maybe 20 yards away?? As luck would have it, it started raining seconds before we headed out to set everything up, but we were so excited to finally tell everyone what we were having that we didn’t care and went ahead and just did it really fast.

Side note – our backyard looked like a jungle of weeds, and our back deck was a hot mess from cleaning our chair cushions off so everything was just scattered all over the place. Whoops!

As soon as I said go, Adam fired away, and the rest is history. Easy peasy!

paint balloon gender reveal

Thankfully, everything went perfectly and the paint splattered just as I had envisioned it, and we now have a fun canvas in Adeline’s room as a keepsake. I’ll never ever forget seeing the reactions of our loved ones, and being able to share in their excitement and joy for a new niece or granddaughter. It was definitely worth it to put a little extra time into the way we told them!

I think that about covers it, if you have anymore questions, let me know!

What did you do for a gender reveal? Did you do a gender reveal at all? There are so many amazingly cute ideas out there, I’d love to hear your own idea!

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  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 9:56 am

    wow, what a fun, creative way to do a gender reveal! so sweet that you could keep it to have for your daughter.
    Taylor recently posted…Weekend Recap 5.23.16… Rachael visits & a day full of doggiesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      May 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Thanks Taylor! It was fun, and we love having it as a reminder of how excited we were!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Hi! How far in advance can I fill up the balloon with the paint? I am worried it will dry up!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      December 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      Do you really need to do it super ahead of time to begin with? Just do it right before you plan to shoot the balloon and you should be totally fine!! 🙂 And it takes a LONG time for a lot of time to dry up, like if there’s enough in there to make a puddle, you shouldn’t have to worry about it!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    This is brilliant! I hope you don’t mind my husband and I borrowing your idea, this was an awesome how-to guide!…. except I’m growing the baby so I’ve decided I’ll get to take the shot- hah!
    Ontario, Canada

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      January 5, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Haha don’t mind at all! 😉 So excited for you!

      • Reply
        June 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        Did you use helium?

        • Reply
          Sweet Miles
          July 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm

          No…just blew it up like normal. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Do you put the reveal paint in the black balloon just before the reveal? To avoid the paint drying?

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

      We did everything all at once, just within a few minutes of shooting the balloon. There wasn’t a huge delay or anything between filling the balloon and shooting it 🙂

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Did you leave the arrow in the canvas after or take it out? My sister wants to use this for her gender reveal but doesn’t want a hole in her canvas. I’m worried about hanging the balloons above the canvas and the paint not falling onto the canvas at all though. Cute idea!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      February 27, 2017 at 8:55 am

      The arrow went through the canvas yes, like it left a small hole. We did not leave the arrow, but we did leave the part of the balloon that stuck there. The hole isn’t THAT noticeable 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    What size balloon did you use?

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      March 1, 2017 at 11:22 am

      1 normal sized black balloon (found in a pack of black balloons in the party/birthday aisle at Hobby Lobby)

  • Reply
    March 20, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    How much paint did u use in the balloon? 🙂

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      March 20, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      Maybe a quarter of the container of paint, just enough to feel like you can coat the inside.

  • Reply
    Aaron C.
    August 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I like how you mixed up the usual baby shower with a clever idea! Sounds like something I try to do but people roll their eyes when I suggest stuff like this. Thanks for writing.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    What type of arrow did your husband use to shoot the balloon? We are considering this for our gender reveal and we aren’t sure what type of tip to use on the arrow.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      August 8, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Hi Kelsi – I actually don’t know what kind of arrow it was! It was just an extra arrow he had laying around 🙂

  • Reply
    October 8, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I absolutely love this idea and my husband and I are wanting to do it for our reveal. Only problem is we aren’t going to know the gender either therefore we are having a third party fill the balloon with paint about 4 or 5 hours before the actual reveal, do you think if they put enough paint in that it won’t dry in that time?

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 9, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Ooh I’m not sure! 4-5 hours is a long time! But paint takes a while to dry if it’s a large quantity so it might be ok?

  • Reply
    December 14, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Hi Sarah! do you think this will work if I use a dart instead of an arrow, I’m doing this for my friends and I really don’t think he has this particular skill, but I LOVE the idea of hanging this at the baby’s room

    • Reply
      December 14, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Sure, I don’t see why not! You’d have to stand closer, obviously 🙂

  • Reply
    April 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Did you use your mouth or helium to blow up the balloon

    • Reply
      April 16, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Mouth – no need for helium – it’s just a basic balloon 🙂

  • Reply
    July 29, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Hi! We tried this idea a couple of years ago and the acrylic paint kept eating the balloons and made a huge mess so we had to srap it last minute and fill a balloon with confetti and my husband shot that. We are wanting to do it a second time around but are scared the paint with eat through the balloon again. Hellpppp! Lol

    • Reply
      July 30, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Hi! That’s really weird. We just used a regular thing of paint and a regular balloon. Nothing special at all and we didn’t have a problem of any kind!

  • Reply
    Brittany Harvey
    September 22, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    We could probably use a dart and get the same effect right??

  • Reply
    Jessica Thompson
    January 2, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Hello Sarah! This post is really made my day. Your idea is fantastic! Now I will also tell my family in fun way. Thank you.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Hey! Me and my husband plan to do this tomorrow! We are using a shot gun instead of a bow… will this still work?

    • Reply
      April 2, 2019 at 10:02 am

      I would imagine so? It might have a slightly different effect though, maybe?

  • Reply
    April 23, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Hi doing this tonight for my best friend. Thinking of the long term especially with leaving the balloon attached…. thinking about spraying it with lacquer?… thoughts?

    • Reply
      April 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      I think that could work! We left remnants of the balloon on for a while as well 🙂

  • Reply
    December 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Question: you said you pinned the balloon to the canvas. How so exactly without having the balloon pop?

    • Reply
      December 31, 2019 at 9:34 am

      The bottom tied part of the balloon that’s not connected to the part that’s inflated 🙂

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Iam hoping we didnt fill the balloon to early. We did it last night for the reveal today hope it doesnt dry but we did get extra paint and more balloons just incase.

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