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A Complete Guide to Decorating with Fabric


Decorating with fabric is easy and affordable. There are so many options for any celebration or venue. We’re here to give you a thread-up when it comes to preparing for your next event. You’ll learn how to spruce up ceilings, walls, floors, tables, chairs and more! With these tips, your room will go from drab to fab!

FABRIC TYPES

Fabric comes in multiple flavors. Whether you’re looking for simple and affordable or luxurious and high-end, we have the fabric for you. The below definitions should help these textiles become tactile.

  • Gossamer – Sheer, light-weight fabric that is budget-friendly; easily layered for more intense color
  • Satin – Smooth, silk-like, elegant fabric with a shiny front and a flat back
  • Taffeta – Shiny, crisp fabric with a bit of heft; high-end and drapes easily
  • Shimmera – Crisp and transparent fabric that is shiny and somewhat iridescent; fairly light-weight
  • Metallic – Fabrics that are iridescent, sequined or sparkly
  • Chiffon – Airy, sheer material that is light-weight and iridescent
  • Velvet – Fuzzy fabric with a soft, plush texture; often described as elegant
  • Burlap – A natural, coarse fabric of woven jute or hemp; tough and durable
  • Netting – Extremely light-weight, loosely-woven fabric made of a mesh-like material
  • Tulle – Thin, sheer, net-like fabric; woven tighter than netting

Still not sure what would work best for you? Contact Customer Service at 800-348-5084 to request samples. There’s no replacement for feeling these fibers firsthand.

CEILINGS

Tent Ceilings

Are you planning a night of disco fever? Interested in showcasing a beautiful chandelier at a reception hall? You’re in luck! Tent ceilings are much easier to create than you might imagine.

  • Step 1: Lay a 2’ to 3’ metal ring, wood disc, or hanging wire base in the center of the area to be decorated.
  • Step 2: Determine how long your fabric needs to be by measuring from the center of the ring to the walls. Add an additional 5’ to 7’ to account for swag, then cut. You may want to test with a thin strip first, or hold your strip up before cutting.
  • Step 3: Tie the fabric strips to your ring, or staple them to your wood disc. Continue until the fabric is as full as you’d like.
  • Step 4: Hang the ring or disc from the ceiling using string or hooks.
  • Step 5: Drape the fabric as low as you want, and attach it to the wall. Start with duct tape to see if it holds. If not, add a stronger removable tape or use staples.

Helpful Tip: Don’t want to put holes in the wall? Buy or rent stands; tie wire between them and place against the wall. Now attach the fabric to the wire so your walls are damage-free!

Tents

Want to make a canopy for your little princess’ birthday party? Looking to create a cozy seating area at a venue? Needing a classy tent for a romantic dinner or photo op? Making fabric tents is very similar to creating tent ceilings.

  • Step 1: Lay a 2’ to 3’ metal ring or wood disc, or our hanging wire base, in the center of the area to be decorated.
  • Step 2: Determine where you’d like to hang the ring or disc. The length of your fabric strips needs to be the measurement from the center of the ring to the floor. Add an additional 1’ to 2’ and cut the fabric.
  • Step 3: Tie the fabric strips to your ring, or staple them to your wood disc. Continue until the fabric is as full as you’d like.
  • Step 4: Hang the ring or disc from the ceiling using string or hooks.
  • Step 5: Drape the fabric straight down to create a tent-like effect.

If you prefer, you can attach the ring or disc to a free-standing pole. Drape the fabric and set weights on the ends. The disc or ring should help hold its shape. Tada!

Wave Ceilings

Add texture to any room using fabric to create a wave effect. This is great for covering unsightly ceilings, such as those in gymnasiums or cafeterias. Get creative with lights, or use multiple colors to create the look of water for an under-the-sea celebration. Here’s how!

  • Step 1: Attach wires or heavy cord in a horizontal row just below the ceiling of your room using a staple gun or hooks screwed into the wall.
  • Step 2: Drape strips of fabric across each wire, allowing the fabric to hang a little between each wire to create the wave. Do this until you reach the other side of the room.
  • Step 3: Attach the ends of the strips of fabric to the wall using a staple gun, tacks or removable tape. Cut off any excess fabric.
  • Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 until the whole ceiling is covered with fabric strips, creating waves. Overlap strips by 3" to 6" so there are no gaps.

Helpful Tip: Overlapping strips of fabric can be held together using safety pins or fabric tape. This will help them stay in place so you can enjoy a romantic evening!

With just some simple changes, you can create different effects in your room. These ideas may save you time and money!

Running short on fabric or funds? Then leave space between each strip. This gives the room an open and airy feel.

Don’t want to spend the time attaching the fabric strips to the walls? Allow the fabric to pool on the floor; now your walls are decorated too!

Hanging Ceilings

Maybe you’re creating a jungle for the school play. Or perhaps you want to make a simple dividing line between areas of a room, like sectioning off the food from the dance floor. Then hang fabric strips from the ceiling! It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  • Step 1: Attach one end of a fabric strip to the ceiling using tape, magnets or staples.
  • Step 2: Walk the other end of the strip across the room, most likely the wall across from the one in step 1.
  • Step 3: Attach the second end to the ceiling above the wall with tape, magnets or staples.

It’s that easy! Make the strips all different heights and lengths for more depth.

Interested in dividing your space into a couple different areas? This one’s simple too!

  • Step 1: Determine where you would like to add a "wall" of fabric in your room. You could draw a rough map, or measure on the floor. You may want to use masking tape to make sure your dividing line is straight.
  • Step 2: Attach one end of a fabric strip to the ceiling along the dividing line using tape or staples. You could also tie the fabric strip to a strong cord hooked to opposite ends of the ceiling.
  • Step 3: Repeat step 2 with as many fabric strips as you’d like.
  • Step 4: Let the fabric strips hang straight down to the floor. Cut off any excess fabric, or allow a slight puddle on the floor. Just be careful your guests don’t trip!

Helpful Tip: Take your fabric "wall" to the next level by using various colors and types of fabric, including metallic. Add some hanging paper fans. Your guests will love it!

Curtains

Fabric curtains are a quick, simple way to dress up walls in any space. These curtains are great for decorating classy dances, making a backdrop behind the wedding party at a reception, or adding color at a school carnival.

  • Step 1: Attach the width of a fabric panel to the top of a wall using staples.
  • Step 2: Allow the fabric to hang straight down the wall to the floor. Leave an additional 3’ to 5’ of fabric and cut the strip.
  • Step 3: Gather the strip of fabric in the middle of the length and tie another small strip of fabric around the bunch.
  • Step 4: Depending on how loose you would like the curtain to be, slowly pull fabric out of the tied bunch to create the swag-like effect.
  • Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 above with as many strips of fabric as you’d like. Stapling their widths end-to-end at the top of the wall will make the curtains look more continuous.
  • Step 6: Fluff the ends of the curtains on the floor so they form a slight puddle.

Helpful Tip: You can use more than one color, or pull the ends out wider to create a different look.

More Ideas

Hang fabric straight down, then add some swags and angled pieces. Use lights for an added effect.

Cover your wall with a solid color, then tack up strips of cream, white or yellow fabric to look like sun rays. Set spotlights behind the rays to make the sun look more realistic.

Go simple and just hang a series of fabric strips straight.

Hang fabric strips straight, then wrap the ends in a loose knot. Add colored lighting if desired.

Hang fabric down from the ceiling by a wall. The fabric can then be draped over or wrapped around columns.

Attach fabric close together at the top of a wall. Spread the fabric at the base and add lighting.

Attach evenly-spaced strips of fabric to the top of a wall. Pull the fabric pieces together at the base and secure with a tie, tack or tape.

Attach fabric at an angle to the top of a wall. Spread the base of the fabric at the same angle, allowing the fabric some slack. Add a spotlight.

FLOORS

Fabric is great in decorative areas, just not in the middle of the dance floor! We recommend using heavier weight fabrics. This one’s a cinch:

  • Step 1: Attach the end of one piece of fabric to the floor using clear tape.
  • Step 2: Roll the fabric to the desired length and cut.
  • Step 3: Make sure the fabric is pulled tightly so there is no slack and tape the end to the floor. If the strip is long, tape often along the edge.

Helpful Tip: For larger areas, cover with multiple strips, each overlapping by about 2" to 3" so there are no gaps.

More Ideas

Overlap colors and patterns to make a path.

Use water patterned fabric to make a flowing river.

Use fabric to make a path to your main focal point.

Use a patterned fabric over the floor to give it a textured look.

CHAIRS

Take a seat for some tips for dressing up chairs! This can be done by draping or tying fabric around chairs, or by adding bows and clips for a decorative touch.

TABLES

A simple tablecloth is a great way to dress up the dinner table. Add layers with various colors of fabric overlapped. Wanting to take your table one step further? Let us help you with a pleated table skirt!

  • Step 1: Purchase removable, double-sided tape. If you’re in a pinch and can’t find removable tape, apply duct tape first. Then, stick your non-removable tape on top of the duct tape.
  • Step 2: Lay a sheet of fabric on top of your table and tape it tightly to the edges of the table.
  • Step 3: Attach double-sided tape again around the table’s edge, but on top of the sheet of fabric from step 2 above.
  • Step 4: Using another sheet of fabric for the skirt, stick it to the edges of the table, pinching as you go. Voila!

More Ideas

Cover a table with several layers of transparent fabric.

Swag fabric over tables in a buffet and add LED lights for a romantic look.

Attach fabric tightly around the outside edge of a table and let the fabric hang where pieces meet.

Add lights under a table skirt. For a tropical look, add fishnet and star fish on top of the table skirt.

Attach fabric ties around the edge of a table.

Add lights under fabric. Then, attach several layers of transparent fabric for more dimension.

Add lights and feather boas around the cake table.

Attach a second layer of fabric to the edge of the table in swags.

Cut strips of fabric and drape them in a star pattern over the edge of the table.

Drape multiple strips of transparent fabric over a table and tie the ends to the table legs.

Attach a fluffy fabric around the edge of a table. Tie corresponding fabric over the backs of chairs.

Drape fabric over a table and chairs smoothly, then add a paper border.

FABRIC DECORATING

More Ideas

You can add fabric to just about anything: columns, arches, balustrades, gazebos and more!

Add fabric and lights to walls. You can even create a fabric tree for a jungle-themed cafeteria or classroom.

Use thin strips of fabric as table runners.

Drape fabric over a carport and add lights.

Cover a room completely with fabric.

Make an arch by draping fabric across the tops of columns.

Swag fabric from railings and lampposts. Add lights.

Swag fabric along patio railings.

Radiate fabric from a center post.

Wrap or tie fabric around columns or balustrades.

Drape and wrap fabric and lights around a gazebo.

That’s a wrap! We hope this has been helpful as you plan your next wedding, prom, homecoming or corporate event. Please visit us at stumpsparty.com for more decorating ideas. Let's get your event started!

Author: stumpspartyideas


Stumps Party is the premiere destination for all things for your event. Whether you're hosting a big school function, a corporate gathering or an elegant wedding, Stumps has what you need to make the day a success. View all posts by stumpspartyideas