How to Decorate Tent Poles

Tents have become part of the design theme for many large events. They are most often used for outdoor weddings, but their uses are certainly not limited to that. A decorated tent can be used for any holiday or special event. However, while most people plan on the decor of the tent, they might not give as much thought to decorating its poles. The process doesn’t have to be complicated. It's really just a matter of deciding on an overall decorating theme and applying it to the tent poles as well. Sometimes all that is required is a few ideas to get started.

Go for an enchanted forest look by stringing grapevine garland up and around the poles. You can drape the garland from pole to pole and hang soft paper lanterns from its branches.

Create an exotic theme for your decor For example, if your wedding is 1,001 Arabian nights, adorn the tent poles with a loose, brightly coloured silky material, Arabian bells or chimes and foot lights made from brightly coloured candles.

Ring in a Mardi Gras-themed event by wrapping the tent poles in purple, green and gold gauzy material. Then hang Mardi Gras-inspired accessories such as jester masks, long beads or Mardi Gras-themed door hangers on the poles. Add coloured lights to complete the look.

Complement a black-tie affair by covering the poles with billowy white material, then fasten it to the pole with a series of black bows. Start the bows at the top, keeping them about a foot apart. Bunch the material so that it looks like puffy sleeves. If you leave about a foot of material free at the bottom, you can create a skirt.

Hang large pieces of black fabric from pole to pole, then tie orange and black balloons to the tops of the poles for Halloween. Add inflatable skeletons or masks to the mix to finish the look.

Go green by fastening soft evergreen branches to the poles. Add lanterns to the top and arrangements made from bouquets of wildflowers. Dried flowers also work well with this theme.

Step into a sea theme by stringing sea shells on fishing line and hanging them at the tops of the poles. Add buckets of sand filled with more shells and citronella candles to the foot of the poles to create lighting accents congruent with the theme.


Brainstorm for a decorating theme. Consider your event's colours, patterns you like or design eras or styles you’d like to emulate. While you are decorating a whole tent, the poles should not be left bare unless you are going for a minimalist look. Keep a cork board handy. You can post ideas and photos of your decorating theme on it. The decor on the tent poles should be an extension of the design in and around the tent.

Things You'll Need

  • Tent
  • Tent poles
  • Decorative accessories
  • Candles
  • Fabric
  • Lights
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About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.