OK, so now you’ve got a brand new party tent and you’re all hot to trot to put it to good use. You set it up and… it’s a canvas roof with a lot of poles. Beautiful in its canopy simplicity …but not too impressive to the untrained eye, is it? It’s misunderstood is all… but whatever, right? Pearls before swine!
What can you do to make it really pop? Well, your good ol’ Kingpin is here to give you some DIY ideas to elevate your drab, practical structure of a party tent into a real party!
Why not go retro when considering outdoor wedding tent ideas? You can have a ripping great time with a dance fever disco! If you are thinking, “so 70s” the Kingpin points out that the 70s is making a comeback and you can be one of the first to usher in some awesome outdoor tent decorating ideas! All you need to make your outdoor wedding tent decoration ideas a reality is good music, a dance floor and some disco balls. You have the boom box but no money to rent a floor or lights. No problem, you can make your own!
1. DIY dance floor
FOR A 12x16 SPACE YOU WILL NEED:
- 6 pieces ½ ″ plywood
- 30 pieces 2 x 3 8’ lumber (have them cut 18 into 45” pieces)
- Whole bunch 3 inch Nails
- Primer (optional)
- White and black floor paint (optional)
- 2” paintbrushes (optional)
- Painters Tape (optional)
Place two 8’ 2 x 3 pieces parallel to each other and nail one 45” piece to join them at each end. Provide support by nailing in four more 45” inch lumber spaced evenly. You will end up with a 4 x 8 frame, perfect for the plywood. Nail on that sucker and you have one section of your dance floor. Do 5 more of these and you will have enough for a 12’ x 16’ dance floor. You can stop there or you can paint it.
The Kingpin recommends black and white tiles because they will look cool once you get the disco balls up, but you can paint it any darn way you like.
2. Disco balls
YOU WILL NEED:
- Styrofoam balls (any size you like)
- Old CDs
- Craft scissors
- Glue gun
- Barbecue sticks longer than the diameter of the ball
(you can also use long metal hooks)
- Wide metal washers (used ones do just as well)
It is pretty simple. Pierce the ball right through with the barbecue stick and secure to the ball by treading on a washer at each end and using a generous amount of glue. Cut up the CDs into square pieces and glue them onto the ball fitting them as close together as possible. Voila! Disco balls!
Among a host of great tent ideas for outdoor weddings is to add some Eastern mystery. The Kingpin suggests a dash of glamour without the sand. The hard part is over; you already have a tent. Now you have to dress it up. There really nothing to executing these outdoor tent party ideas.
With the cross bars, it is easy enough to drape inexpensive sheer fabric at the center of the tent and then to all sides of the tent to form a billowy ceiling and multi-colored curtains. Make sure that you buy them long enough to extend several feet past the floor so that you can make graceful folds and wrap them around the support poles.
2. Outdoor tent lighting ideas
If you plan a night party, you can incorporate LED string lights into the drapery to impart an air of mystery on the setup. Let them hang free between drapes or string them above the fabric ceiling for indirect lights.
You can use four sections of the dance floor you built earlier to make a platform for your dining area, and place the remaining two sections end to end on top of bricks or pots to make a low table. If you decided against building a dance floor, simply use 6 sheets of ½” plywood.
Cover the table with some more fabric and scatter pillows, bean bags, and folded over towels in pillow cases all around as seats. You will hear a lot of knees creaking but that is all part of the fun.
5. Indoor lighting
You can still use the disco balls if you made them earlier. If you haven’t, you can string together old CDs and hang them from the cross pieces. It will reflect the candlelight nicely coming from the glass bowls or containers with small pebbles and candles you have placed on the entire length of your party table. Scatter flowers in and around the table setting.
Outdoor party tent decorating ideas wouldn’t be complete without a bit of Asian mixed in. After all, outdoor party tents can easily take on the look of a typical Japanese house with a little ingenuity.
We can begin with the obvious--nothing says Japanese like paper lanterns and, man oh man, are they OH so simple to make... well, thanks to this awesome tutorial by the rather mysteriously named, "Heather", that is. Check it out:
1. Japanese lanterns
YOU WILL NEED:
- 7 (8.5” x 13“) Manila folders
- 12 disposable chopsticks or wooden skewers
- Colored tissue paper
- Light bulb housing with long cord
- Glue gun and hot glue sticks
- Pencil, ruler, and box cutter
a. Trim off the curved corners off the folders by cutting straight down with a paper cutter. You should have 16 inches of usable material from edge to edge.
b. Cut three of them in half perpendicular to the spine, and then half again so you have 12 strips of 3.25” x 16” sections, with the spine in the middle. Glue 4 of them together to form a square, binding one side of one section to one side of another section. Do this for all of the others until you have 3 low squares.
c. Do the same thing for the remaining 4 folders that have been trimmed to form a higher square.
d. Cover each square by gluing on the colored paper.
e. Take one low square and skewer in two sticks through one side to the opposite side about two inches apart. Do the same for the other side so that the 4 sticks form a 2” x 2” hole for the light housing cord to go through.
f. Connect all 4 sections (3 low squares and 1 high square) using the skewers and a glue gun. Place one skewer on each of the inner corners of one low square. Let it set for a few minutes.
g. Slip on the high square section with the skewers inside and glue them in place. Make sure you leave a one inch space between the low and high square.
h. Take another 4 skewers and glue them on each of the inner corners of the top half of the high square. Place the skewered low square over it, leaving an inch of open space, and gluing it in place on all 4 corners. Top it off with remaining low square, again leaving an inch of opening.
i. Slip in the light housing cord through the lattice you made to keep the housing secure and so you can easily hang up the lights.
j. Make as many as you need! Easy as pie, right?
Heather Mann has done a lot more work on this project than your beloved Kingpin so don't hesitate to show her some love if you like these lanterns and try them out on your own.
2. Hanging decorations
Printed Japanese paper parasols would be perfect to cover up the cross pieces of the tent’s ceiling. Simply hang them upside down and tie the handles to the poles with wire.
3. Table setting
You can do the same thing for the Arabian nights theme with the table setting, but instead of a cloth cover, try using bamboo placemats, and instead of pillows, spread a basket weave mat for your guests to sit on. Ask them to remove their shoes before stepping on the mat. Aside from flowers, litter the table with sticks of incense. As a centerpiece you can use a smaller paper parasol to tie it in with your ceiling.
4. Origami curtains
Last but not least, you can show off your paper folding skills for outdoor tents for parties, You can fold a lot of origami birds and string them together to hang all over the tent. You can check here for instructions on how to do the bird of your choice. Use light colored paper for a more uplifting look.
Hosting your own tent party doesn't have to be too ordinary. Tents are a graceful thing and you'll be surprised at how malleable they turn out to be if you put your mind to it.
The Kingpin has held a great number of bodacious parties in his time and maybe 98.5% of them have been hosted in an awesome party tent. It shouldn't have to said: this can get old FAST. A great theme for your next outdoor tent event will keep things fresh and have your guests clamoring for more!
Always remember your Kingpin's creed: a tent party is an awesome party, or at least it should be... DO YOUR PART, GET CREATIVE AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!
If you're looking for more tent party awesomeness, check out the Kingpin's Top 21 Tips For Event Tent Party Perfection and make sure you swing your next outdoor bash out of the park.
Party Theme Infographics
What can the Kingpin say? He's a sucker for the infographic. Check out these party theme infographics for some additional inspiration (the picks here are a bit slim but the Kingpin promises to add to this selection in time). Please don't hesitate to give the URLs embedded within the images some love...
This one is for the kiddies! Who doesn't love Disney's smash hit, Frozen??? Every parent who's had to endure a 45-minute Let It Go sing-a-thon, that's who. Let's be honest though, if you really want to make your kid happy you'd better suck up that pride and throw them a badass Frozen-themed tent party.
The Kingpin wants to give out an awesome shoutout to Maria over at The Vanilla Valley for making this awesome infographic and you should too! You can go check them out HERE.
Hmmm... OK this last one just made the Kingpin snicker a bit.