Like most twisters, I've struggled to find a suitable method of storage, organization and transport. I've tried a Twist 'Em Up apron, but was unsatisfied with the hook and loop strips. After consulting with folks here on the forum, I started using a Stanley rolling toolbox with PVC tubes to hold the balloons. I was happy with it, but loading the PVC took time, and there was setup and teardown involved at each event.
I recently came across the website for Apollo Balloon Carts (http://apolloballooncarts.com/
) and decided I could build one myself. I took my Filbert pump, attached it to a plywood base and added wheels and a stopper to the base. I cut a second piece of plywood to a 16" circle, cut a circular hole in the center for the pump mechanism and attached it to the handle of the Filbert. I took a large storage bucket, cut a hole in the bottom and flipped it over to fit on the plywood circle. I cut an over-the-door shoe organizer and attached the pockets to the bucket. I added Ball plastic jars with twist-off lids to the top of the bucket. To finish it off, I added a PVC handle and two cabinet knobs so that I can remove the bucket for transport.
Total cost of the project was under $50. The bucket was on clearance at Walmart and I picked up the shoe organizer there as well. The wood, PVC, lawnmower wheels, 3/8" threaded rod (axle), pipe straps and various nuts and bolts were purchased at Lowe's. I used a jigsaw, drill, sander and Dremel rotary tool.
I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. If I was to do it over, I would have used larger wheels and mounted them so that the cart was a little more mobile. I also would have had the pockets custom-sewn so that it looked a little more professional.
I know that this seems like overkill, because each pocket will hold 100 balloons easily, but I love it for the ease of loading. I absolutely hated the constant re-stocking of my previous balloon cart. Now, I take a bag of balloons, get all the nozzles facing the same direction, fold the bundle in half and shove it in a pocket -- done. Hearts, Geos, and 321's are in the plastic jars.
Photos of the new cart, as well as my old set-up can be seen in the Balloons Album of the Photo Gallery on my website.
I'd love your impressions and feedback.
Wowza the Clown
Bubbles and Wowza, LLCwww.freewebs.com/bubblesandwowza