How to Drape a Room

Updated February 21, 2017

Fabric can be draped to create different effects for different situations. For example, drapery can be used to transform a bland space such as a marquee into a spectacular setting for a wedding reception, or to create an interesting twist to straight-hanging curtains, or a canopy over a bed. The art of draping fabric can be challenging at first, but with some patience and practice, you will soon be able to transform any space into something extra special.

Draw a plan of how you want the room to be draped. This is especially important if you are draping a room for a special occasion such as a wedding reception. One example is to have fabric draped from each corner of the room, meeting in the centre. A backdrop will focus attention on a specific area, such as a head table, podium, or DJ booth, so include this in your plans.

Measure the amount of material your draping plan requires. An easy way to measure for fabric is to drape string in the exact way you want the fabric draped. When you are happy with the way the string is draped, take it down and measure it.

Choose a colour scheme. The fabric that is draped around the room should complement items such as table decorations. Many draping fabrics are available in a range of different finishes and even with glittery patterns that add an extra special touch to the decor.

Select your fabric. Suitable fabrics for draping are shimmera, a lightweight, iridescent fabric; gossamer, a lightweight, sheer fabric; taffeta, a much heavier fabric with a shiny finish; and tulle, which is finer than netting and even lighter than gossamer.

Drape the fabric according to your plan. The method of securing the fabric depends on the type of space you are draping. For example, in a marquee, the fabric can be tied in bows around the frame. If you are using lightweight fabrics, well-hidden masking tape will be sufficient to hold everything in place.

Hang an ornamental curtain rail from the ceiling, in the area where the focal point is going to be. Drape the fabric over the curtain rail to create a backdrop. The backdrop can be created with a single sheet of fabric, or several layers overlapped. Experiment with what you think looks best. One idea is to drape a sheet of fabric over the rail, place another on top, then pull the top sheet back and secure in place to expose the first sheet.


There are no rules when it comes to draping fabric. As long as it is fairly symmetrical, just experiment until you are happy with the result.


Ensure fabric is not draped near open flames or hot light bulbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Fabric
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Curtain rail
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About the Author

Based in England, Tami Mason writes for and various other websites. Mason has worked as a proofreader and copy editor since 2007 and is a trained interior designer who also specializes in art history, art and crafts.