How do I figure the amount of fabric to drape a barn for a wedding? The height is at least 20 feet tall, and the room size is 56 feet by 36 feet.
I am using poplin fabric in white. I can use 45 inch or 60 inch; wide. What is best?
By Mimi from Northbrook, IL
April 19, 2011
Being it appears that there aren't any outside walls on this barn, just the 2x4s and beams, you will have to have the fabric securely fastened to the wood, in several places on each 2x4, in case it would be windy, or a sudden storm would come up. If it isn't securley fastened in lots of places the wind could make it come lose and it would start flapping. To figure the amount of fabric you need for each wall, measure the height and width, and I do it a real complicated way, I'm sure you or somebody you know can figure it out easier than I do it, but my way works for me. lol I don't think Poplin comes in 60" width, any way where I live I haven't seen it in that width. I have been looking at fabric for lots of years. I am 71 and started making my clothes when I was between 10-12 years old, and my Mother didn't sew.
April 19, 2011
You are going to drape an entire building in fabric for a wedding? It seems excessive to me. I would just drape the front of the room where you will have the podium, stage, altar, bridal table, or whatever you call the place where the center of attention is. It will look nice in photographs that way.
April 20, 2011
I did some quick calculations here, and I think you will need a bare minimum of 245 yards of 60 inch material. This will not allow for for any folds, but will be with the material flat against the wall. If you want it to look like drapes, with folds you will need at least 125 more yards, maybe twice the amount. I checked online, and the price for a polyester poplin, white, was $4 a yard, 58 " wide. This was on sale. Regular price $6. 245 yards at $4 will be $980, $1470 if you have to pay the $6. And I think you will need at least 400 yards to allow for overlapping, working around doorways, a nice draped effect rather than pulled taut. More fabric, more cost, of course. Are you sure this is a project you want to undertake?
You might be able to find a lighter weight fabric that was less expensive, but these just seems outrageously excessive to me, although I am sure that it would be lovely.
You can rent table cloths and napkins and so on, but you will have to buy this type of thing.
I figured this out by adding up the size of walls (56+56+36+35=184) dividing by 5, as 60 inches is 5 feet -- so about 35 lengths of material, and I figured each of these needed to be a minimum of 7 yards (21feet) long. Multiply 7x35 and you get 245 yards of 60 inch fabric, minimum.
And then what do you do with all that white fabric when the wedding is over?
April 20, 2011
What a pretty place for a wedding. I would use the fabric as an accent on the beams and behind the alter area. Use clear xmas lights through out and enjoy the natural beauty.
April 21, 2011
I can't imagine covering the beautiful lighting the slats of the barn walls make! What if you were to just hang 'drapes' in the corners, then swags in between them? Also, if your reception will be running into the night, I would hang some clear xmas lights behind the fabric for a soft effect. Congratulations!
April 21, 2011
I want to thank everyone for all your help in my quest to drape this barn. You have helped me with the measuring and some good ideas. I plan to drape from the highest point of the ceiling over the beams and will put wire across to finish draping down a few areas of the wall. I promise to send a photo when it is all completed. You guys were great. :)
I am helping my girlfriend with her May 3rd wedding in North Carolina. It is a spring theme, although by then most flowers are already blooming and bulbs are done! The reception is in a rented barn. Can anyone help me with ideas for decorating the barn?
Deborah from North Carolina
I live in San Antonio and we have a lot of receptions in dance halls, Chamber of Commerce halls, etc. I have seen a lot of couples string the clear tube lights from the middle to all of the corners and place the white tulle around them and that is really pretty. You can cover all the tables (which are usually picnic tables) with white table coverings and make some kind of centerpiece (not too big) on each table that the quest takes home. I had a round table with the white linen which held the champagne fountain. We use it for punch though. They have these clear hooks that you can use to place all around the cake table and the bridesmaids can hang their bouquet on them and that will dress the table nice.
On the family table you can find some fresh ivy and place it along the center of the table and then get some white candles and put in the clear vase and place along the ivy. You should be able to find flowers to decorate the ivy also. Don't forget the sign in table, that might have a nice flower arrangement or you can use the brides bouquet after ahe arrives, with a nice picture of the bride and groom.
I know the price of fresh flowers is really crazy so maybe you can find someone who makes the flower arrangements for weddings from fake flowers. We found a nice place in a small town by us and she was able to find the same fake flowers we had bought for the wedding party and church and at the florist, and it turned out really nice. So we rented all the arrangements we needed, all sizes and shapes and believe me that saved us hundreds of dollars.
What do you do with all the flower arrangements after the wedding anyway. Watch them die and cry because of all the money that was spent. I am sure what ever you come up with will be beautiful and will be the talk of the town. Good luck and Best Wishes to the lucky couple.
I used pint sized canning jars and took copper wire around the rim as decoration and a way to hang them (you wouldn't have to hang them you could use on tables too) the copper wiring looks really neat, I used a small dried brown bean and a dried split pea and used a layer of each then put a votive in it and of course lit it. A very original idea that you could use. OK I looked all over the internet and found a pic similar to the ones I made (10/25/2008)
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What type of "springy" stuff does she like... birds, eggs, flower buds? There's some cute bud vases http://www.hotref.com/vase-placecard-holder-wedding-favors-p-1755.html that are 98 cents right now that can multitask as decor, favors, and placecard holders. You can put in some fake flowers decorated with hot glue gun 'dew drops'.
If she likes the rustic theme, wedding centerpieces in cleaned aluminum/tin cans are very pretty http://www.sanfranciscoweddingflowers.com/wedding-centerpiece/wedding-marin-flowers.html and you can also make pretty luminaries out of the aluminum cans if you punch patterns in it with a nail. Gingham and lace look rural and accent pretty florals http://www.bloomeryweddings.com/blog/FeaturedLocationBetsysBarnPortersvillePA.aspx .
Hydrangea are 'no fail' decorations, come in a range of colors, and you could probably get them from a neighbors yard. Also daisies, freesia and irises are very 'springy' looking and are summer bloomers. Spring / Eastery decorations are on sale at lots of websites right now, plus after Christmas stock up on white lights to accent the barn beams (or plan on borrowing from friends). (10/26/2008)
I would advise lots of white Christmas lights wrapped around every available beam- very elegant, very cheap, much safer than candles, and you can either reuse them or sell them. You can also put flower arrangements in half gallon sized canning jars (prairie type flowers like sunflowers, baby's breath and daisies- inexpensive, hardy and country-style all in one) and decorated the tables with a checked runner for the country feel.
On a budget you can make candle lanterns out of tin cans. Clean them, strip the paper off, fill with water and freeze. Then punch out the design of your choice with a hammer and nail. If you want to hang them up punch out a hole on each side and add a bailing wire handle. The ice keeps the tin from bending. You can also make lanterns with a candle, a canning jar and some bailing wire wrapped around the top. These can be decorated with herbs or silks, but be very careful of fire- try everything out to make sure it wont catch! Barns are made almost entirely out of combustible materials!
Tulle....lots and lots of tulle. It's cheap(sometimes as low as .97 a yard), comes in every color imaginable and makes everything look romantic. Not only that but anyone can make a tulle bow, you tie it just like your shoe laces and then fluff, no special tools or training needed.
White lights strung everywhere, small ones for a more formal look, or the larger round bulbs for a more rustic, outside bistro look. mason jars for candles and jars full of greenery with just a few flowers here and there. Also collect photos of the couple from childhood through current and place them in small picture frames around all the tables, they are a great conversation starter between guests who don't know each other. ohhh and diynetwork.com has some great craft ideas for decorations.
My number one piece of advise coming from years of experience and many, many weddings...If you are in the bridal party in ANY capacity, don't try to organize any part of the reception on the wedding day. You're only one person, get lots and lots and lots of help, if you are in charge of anything, write everything down, draw diagrams of how you want the food tables set-up so someone else can do it.
Make diagrams of how the guest tables and head tables will look, do as much make ahead as possible so the day of all that has to be done is putting it in place. and did I mention get LOTS of help. With the right kind of guidance even a guy and set a table up. Good luck and best wishes for the happy couple. (10/27/2008)
Sounds like an delightful venue! A barn can be so romantic! I love to see tulle at weddings - it can hide a multitude of sins as it can be used as drapes, wall coverings, chair covers, garlands, etc. It's hugely versatile and it's really cheap!
Tea lights are always a good way to add pretty lighting, just keep it away from the tulle! You could line the path to the barn with tea lights and dot them around inside the barn too. Alternatively, lanterns look great and I think there are quite a few ideas on how to make lanterns on this site.
Balloons are a good cheap way to decorate too. You can easily create archways or simply have a few balloons on each table and in the corners of the room. (11/13/2008)
Just wanted to add some pics for inspiration! (11/24/2008)
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We're planning to hold our fall wedding in our barn, and we've found lots of 'flameless' candles, online and at our local dollar store! We're going to put them in frosted glass containers to mimic tall pillar candles without the safety hazard, and line the walkway outside with the same candles placed in brown paper bags, again - no dangers and no worries about candles going out, tipping over, etc. (01/28/2009)
Have you thought about tobacco canvas? I live in Kentucky and it is easily found here. EXTREMELY cheap at the local farm supply store. Just wrap it in lights and hang and wrap around poles in barn. (03/07/2009)
I"m getting married in July at a lodge and for my decorations I'm using blue mason jars with a mixed flower bouquet in them, colored stones in the bottom and a ribbon (whatever the colors of the wedding are or just some twine to give it the country feel) around the top part of the jar. They look really pretty, and are inexpensive to do as you can get fresh flowers from a greenhouse this time of the year or even Walmart sells mixed bouquets for about 10 dollars that look pretty nice, and can easily be split up or arranged with some greenery however you'd like.
Also I'm going to use the mason jar again with stone in the bottom and then a candle inside of it to light a pathway for our reception. For some additional lighting I'm using Christmas lights that can be wrapped around poles, sounds tacky but it looks really neat, especially with the barn wedding your trying to decorate, straw or hay bales in the corners or outside for some extra seating.
I don't really have any advice for the flooring other than when the dirt is packed it's as hard as cement but a white dress will still get dirt on the bottom. If there really going for a country wedding, you could use pine shavings on the floor, there pretty cheap and can be picked up at any country supply store. Good luck and don't stress. (05/07/2009)