How to Make Tent Style Ceiling Drapes

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Use draping to decorate a tent for a wedding reception.
Use draping to decorate a tent for a wedding reception. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Draped ceiling decorations enhance a formal party such as a wedding reception or high school prom. The drapes can hide a multitude of unattractive features of a party location such as a gymnasium or large tent. Party-decorating services are happy to create a draped ceiling, but you can do it yourself with fabric and a few small hardware items. Making your own tent-style ceiling drapes is a simple affair, but you should follow certain guidelines to make sure the drapes stay up.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Lightweight draping fabric
  • Embroidery or hula hoop
  • Monofilament
  • Eyelet screws
  • Stapler and staples

Design the ceiling drape plan. Decide if you want all one color or a combination while ensuring that the design fits with the party theme. Determine if you want drapes only from the middle to the four corners or if you want drapes to the side walls as well. Sketch it out on paper and make notes if it helps you keep the design in mind.

Measure the party space from the center of the room to the corners. If you want drapes to the side walls, measure those distances, as well. Add 15 percent to 20 percent to each measurement. These numbers are the lengths of fabric you need for the draping.

Buy enough of a lightweight fabric such as tulle, organdy or sinamay mesh to make all your drapes. Avoid heavy or silky fabrics, because they are difficult to shape once they are hung up. Cut it to size according to your plan’s measurements.

Suspend a large embroidery hoop or even a Hula-hoop from the center of the ceiling. Use monofilament to tie it horizontally to an existing chandelier, ductwork or tent poles.

Screw small eyelet screws along the sides of the room. String monofilament along the sides using these eyelet screws. If you are decorating a tent, tie the monofilament to the tent poles.

Insert one end of one of the fabric drapes through the large hoop in the center of the room. Fold it 2 or 3 inches over the hoop and staple it to itself. Draw the other end of the drape over the monofilament along the wall. Bunch this end of it to about half its total width. Adjust the draping of the fabric the way you want it. Staple it or just let it hang down along the wall. Repeat this process for all of your fabric drapes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put flowers or string strands of tiny decorative lights in the draping to enhance the atmosphere of your party.

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