Not every wedding venue is visually ideal, and even stunning hotel ballrooms can appear empty and cold. Draping the room in fabric from floor to ceiling or from corner to corner adds drama and warmth to the setting. For small rooms, draping fabric is a cost effective way to dress-up walls and incorporate wedding colours. For large rooms, the cost of fabric may strain your budget. However, strategic draping behind the bride and groom's table or at the altar creates a frame for the couple, and swags over the dance floor define the area.
Measure the wall from the ceiling to the floor. When draping floor to ceiling, consider if you want the fabric to hit the floor or puddle. Puddling can soften the floor, but it adds cost. Add 4 inches to the measurement to allow for a rod pocket and 1 inch for a bottom hem, unless you are puddling the fabric.
Select and purchase a fabric. Gossamer or tulle will add shimmer to the walls but will not cover dark stains or panelling. Silks and linens cover walls completely but may cost more. If you are only draping a small area, consider purchasing curtains that you can use later in your home.
Purchase hemming tape and adhesive Velcro strips to create no-sew drapes. Iron 2-inch strips of hemming tape every 6 inches along the bottom edge of the fabric. Fold over 1 inch and iron again. Place 2-inch Velcro strips every 6 inches along the top edge of the fabric. Fold over a 2-inch section and adhere the other side of the Velcro to create the rod pocket.
Use 4-foot dowel rods, fishing line and thumbtacks to hang the fabric from the ceiling. Do not hang more than two panels of fabric from each dowel rod. Thread the fabric panel(s) onto the dowel rod. Cut a 3-inch piece of fishing line and tie one end around the dowel rod. Repeat with another piece of fishing line on the other end of the dowel rod. Tie small loops in the loose ends and press thumbtacks through the loop into the ceiling. The loop should be small enough that the thumbtack holds it flush with the ceiling.
Draw a plan to drape the ceiling. Identify any fixtures you can use as an anchor. Decide if you want to drape from a corner to the centre of the room in a single swag or use several swags to cover the distance. You can also drape from wall to wall across or down the room.
Take measurements based on your draping plan.
Add 15 to 20 per cent to each measurement. This extra fabric will create the swag. For ceilings 15 feet high or taller, add up to 50 per cent to compensate for the extra height and bring the fabric into guests' eye line.
Use 3-inch dowel rods, fishing line and thumbtacks to secure the fabric to the ceiling. For wider swags of fabric, use longer dowel rods. Cut a 3-inch piece of fishing line and tie one end around the dowel rod. Repeat for all dowel rod ends. Tie small loops in the loose ends and press thumbtacks through the loop into the ceiling. The loop should be small enough that the thumbtack holds it flush with the ceiling.