We’re so happy that summer is finally upon us — time for barbecues, beach sunsets and poolside relaxation under the warm sun. Not only are cacti reminiscent of summer, they represent strength and resilience and make for trendy decor too! These tough desert dwellers make a perfect theme for a summer party.

Cacti come in a variety of sizes and can be incorporated into events like weddings, baby showers and summer celebrations. In order to help you throw the perfect prickly party, we’ve included a DIY cactus balloon tutorial as well as various cactus-inspired mood boards for your perfect celebration.

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Materials + Tools Needed

DIY cactus balloon materials

  • Green balloons — Grab a variety of green balloons in different sizes and color variations. We use 12” and 5” balloons in this tutorial.
  • String — Try picking a fun accent color like gold or pink or use fishing line if you don’t want the string to be visible.
  • Pink pom-poms — Try to select a variety of pom-pom sizes to go with the different balloon sizes. We chose hot and light pink pom-poms to add visual interest.
  • Black marker — You’ll need a thick permanent marker to create the spikes on your cactus balloon.
  • Glue gun — Make sure to use your glue gun on the lowest setting because if the glue is too hot it will make the balloons pop.
  • Scissors — You’ll need scissors to cut the string for your balloons.
  • Helium tank (optional) — If you don’t get your balloons pre-filled when you purchase them you’ll need a helium tank to inflate them at home. Keep in mind that helium balloons only last for 8–12 hours.

How to Create a DIY Cactus Balloon

Project time: 10–15 minutes

This simple cactus balloon project will take your summer celebration to the next level. Follow our DIY steps to create your own cactus-filled desert scape.

DIY cactus balloon step 1

Step 1: Inflate balloons and tie them off.

Place your balloon over the helium tank nozzle, grasp the bottom of the balloon firmly and inflate. Then tie the base of the balloon in a firm standard knot. Repeat this step until all of the balloons are inflated.

ProTip: Keep your balloons in a large plastic bag so they don’t float away.

DIY cactus balloon step 2

Step 2: Secure the base with a string.

For the base of your cactus, use a larger balloon. Tie a string to the knotted end of your balloon. To make sure your balloon doesn’t fly away, secure it by tying it down to a weight, table or chair.

DIY cactus balloon step 3

Step 3: Draw the spikes with a marker.

Take a thick permanent marker and draw ‘v’s on the balloon to create the cactus spikes. For a fun twist, try writing a message on the balloon or drawing a cute face.

DIY cactus balloon step 4

Step 4: Attach smaller balloons with glue.

Turn your hot glue gun to the lowest heat setting and let the glue warm up — this may take three to five minutes. Once the glue is warm take a smaller balloon and attach it to the larger balloon with a small dab of hot glue.

Note: If your glue is too hot, your balloons may pop.

DIY cactus balloon step 5

Step 5: Glue on the pom-poms.

With your hot glue gun on the lowest heat setting, dab a button of glue on to a pom-pom. Stick it on the top of the balloon to mimic desert blooms. Add more pom-poms to achieve your desired look.

DIY cactus balloon step 6

Step 6: Display your balloon!

Now that you’ve completed your cactus balloon, find the perfect spot amongst your party decor!

download the tutorial

Cactus Balloon Styling Tips

DIY cactus balloon styled party shot with cupcakes, cookies and cacti

Now that you’ve completed your cute DIY cactus balloons you’ll want to show them off at your event. Fill a whole wall with the cactus balloons to make a great photo backdrop for guests. Pro tip: Place the balloons against a wall that’s painted a contrasting color so the balloons stand out. If you plan on using these balloons at a children’s party, try making extras with empty space on the front for the kids to draw on and take home as fun little favors.

We also love the idea of using the cactus balloons to bring attention to a dessert or food table — to recreate this look, check out some styling tips below:

  • Play off of cute cactus varieties and create different balloon formations.
  • Take the gorgeous green and pink cactus colors and use them to inspire your party decor. The pom-pom garland ties into the blooms on the cacti balloons as does a pink-tinted beverage.
  • Feature live cacti in your display — they make a great party favor! The llamacorn cactus makes a playful focal point for your party display and a super cute decor piece once the festivities are over.
  • Throw in touches of an accent color to complement the green and pink cactus balloons. We chose blue and brought the color out in the glassware and table runner.
  • Lastly, don’t forget the sweets! Grab some cactus-themed treats, like these cookies and cupcakes that are almost too cute to eat.


Cactus-Themed Party Ideas

Cacti make great motifs in any celebration. For your next summer soirée, bridal shower, birthday party or backyard barbecue, try incorporating these pretty prickly plants.

Cactus Party Inspiration - Mix bright warm colors in with luxe metal finishes like copper and rose gold, then use cacti as a green accent color. Include fun food and drinks like a taco bar, mimosa cart, or a paleta (popsicle) stand. Try creating a balloon arch to display your DIY cactus balloons. In addition to live cactus plants, include bright flowers to represent stunning desert blooms.

Photos courtesy of Abbie Tyler Photography | Gideon Photography


Cactus-Themed Baby Shower Ideas

If you are looking for a unique way to celebrate the arrival of a little one, cacti are a perfect theme option. They are a versatile motif and can be used in neutral, feminine or masculine color palettes.

Cactus-Themed Baby Shower Tips - Use pastel and white color schemes to create a serene and sweet setting for your shower. Decorate place settings and top your desserts with smiling cartoon cacti for a whimsical feel. Have guests create cactus-themed onesies for your little one to wear when they arrive or include other cactus crafts and activities. Mini potted cacti make great party favors that your guests will love.

Photos courtesy of Entertaining with Emily


Cactus-Infused Wedding Ideas

Cacti are especially perfect for summer weddings or those held in desert locations. Don’t be turned off by their spiky exterior — cacti represent strength and endurance, a perfect symbol for a long-lasting union.

Cacti Wedding Decor Ideas - Cacti work great in summer weddings and weddings set in a desert location. Use a petite cactus to top a white wedding cake for an elegant look. Try using mini potted cacti as table numbers and place cards. Mix cacti with other blooms to create a lush desert oasis feel in your table settings.

Photos courtesy of Gideon Photography | Ashley Rae Photography


As you can see, there are so many ways to incorporate cacti into your party decor — from bright playful options perfect for summer parties to more subdued and sophisticated alternatives for weddings. We hope you found the cactus inspiration you were looking for to throw the perfect celebration.

Do you have a unique party theme idea? Let us know in the comments below!