How to Decorate a Tent for a Party in 12 Simple Tips

How to Decorate a Tent for a Party in 12 Simple Tips

Let’s Explore How to Decorate a Tent for a Party. Any Party!

Birthdays, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, backyard barbeques … there are a great many outdoor events where a party tent can make a huge difference. Party tents afford your guests fresh air and outdoor scenery while keeping everyone comfy and away from the elements. But knowing how to decorate a tent for a party isn’t especially obvious right out of the gate.

Frame tents lack interior tent poles, freeing up lots of real estate

Without decorations, party tents by themselves are very utilitarian. The style of party tent you choose changes the overall aesthetic, but most outdoor events could benefit from some pizzazz that tents simply don’t offer by themselves.  

So what exactly are our goals when we’re decorating a party tent? That’s not as straightforward as you might think:

  • First, the obvious: make the tent look nice
  • Match up the decor with a theme
  • Find affordable decorations and supplies; make the party tent look great, without making your wallet look sad
  • Use decorations you can store and then reuse later

Let’s learn how to decorate a tent for a party using 12 simple tips. We tried to engineer this list so that the most expensive elements are all things you can use and reuse over and over again, and find other applications for as well.  Everything else should hopefully be low-budget or no-budget. We hope these tips are helpful!

Tip 1: Choose the Best Party Tent for the Job

It’s not just about knowing how to decorate a tent for a party, but knowing which party tent works best for your event. Each party tent style is different, and has its own pros and cons. You’ll want to take your time to learn about the four basic party tent styles—pole tents, frame tents, high peak tents, and pop up tents—and how they differ from each other. 

Related: Understanding the Four Basic Party Tent Styles

Tip 2: Your Party Tent is a Blank Canvas

Don’t think of your undecorated party tent as being drab, boring, or ugly. Think of it as blank. The bland metal tent frame and tent poles, the big slate of the white vinyl tent top and tent sidewalls … you’re not trying to hide the party tent’s unattractiveness. Rather, all of that simplicity is giving you a lot of blank, empty space to fill however you see fit. Changing this mindset will go a long way toward helping you decorate your party tent.

Of course, you don’t want to go full ham here and over-decorate. Think of decorating a tent for a party as making the best use of space, rather than simply filling that space. You don’t want your decorations to come across as being too busy with unnecessary clutter.

Tip 3: Don’t Overwork Your Party Tent!

You can decorate your party tent almost however you want. Almost. But your party tent does have physical limitations. For instance, you can’t expose your tent fabric to extreme cold, and your tent frame and tent poles can only hold so much weight before they become unsafe.

As a general rule, if something is heavy enough to make you question whether or not the party tent can hold it up, the answer is no, it cannot. Party tents aren’t designed to hold up big heavy sculptures or other large items. 

For the safety of your guests and the longevity of your tent, you’ll want to find other ways to suspend these types of decorations without involving your party tent.

Tip 4: Fabrics, Ribbons, Rustics, and More

When tasked with figuring out how to decorate a tent for a party, most people turn to what is arguably the most popular go-to tent decor option: using fabrics, ribbons, or rustics. If it can be draped, wrapped, hung, or tied, it’s going to help make your party tent look awesome.

Use colorful fabrics and drape them from the tent’s frame or tent poles. You may want to blend a few shades of the same color to provide depth without adding too much clutter. You can wrap ribbons around poles or hang them to provide more visual dimensions. And rustics—branches, flowers, and the like—can tie all of that together with an overall outdoor theme (if that’s what you’re going for).

Wondering how to decorate a tent for a party? These twelve simple hints, tips, and tricks will help!

Tip 5: Lanterns, Lamps, and Other Standout Decor

Lightweight decorative items are always a big hit and can make great use of free space under the tent top. Paper lanterns, orbs, and even greenery like flowers give you more ways to fill space with color without making things look too busy.

Tip 6: Focus on Obscuring the Less Attractive Areas

Tent framing and fabric seams may not be “ugly”, but they’re not aesthetic perks either. Try using your decorative efforts to cover up those somewhat unsightly tent features if you can. And given the way most party tents are constructed, you might find that obscuring these areas forms colorful patterns throughout and around your tent.

Tip 7: Furnishings

Are your guests dining? You’ll want to look into folding tables and party chairs. Do you want to set up a dancing area? A portable dance floor would be the perfect addition to your setup. Be sure your guests have places to sit and relax when they’re not cutting the proverbial rug, too.

The great thing about folding furniture is how versatile it is. You’ll constantly find uses for folding tables and folding chairs, regardless of whether your party tent is set up or not. Portable dance floors are a little less universally useful, but you could always lend them out for school functions, church gatherings, etc.

Tip 8: Tent Sidewalls are a Must

If you’re blessed with a particularly gorgeous outdoor space, the idea of hiding people behind tent sidewalls might seem like a big turnoff. That is, of course, until the sky opens up unexpectedly and you find yourself scrambling to move people and furniture away from the weather.

Wind, rain, and harmful UV rays from the sun can rewrite the memories your guests take home from your party or event. Tent sidewalls minimize, if not eradicate, your guests’ exposure to the elements. 

Tent sidewalls provide more surface space to decorate, too. Though it should also be noted that there are several sidewall design styles to choose from, and you might just decide not to decorate them at all.

Let's learn how to get tent stakes out of the ground after setting up a party tent like this beautiful high peak frame tent

Tip 9: To Floor or Not to Floor?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to decorate a tent for a party. But what about the floor of that tent? Is there anything special we can or should do there?

Guests at most types of events will be perfectly content just walking on grass. But there are some portable flooring options available on the market that can cover up that grass. Just note that setting this type of flooring up long term can cause minor damage to grass, and does tack additional costs onto your overall budget.

Tip 10: Don’t Skimp on the Tent’s Exterior

Knowing how to decorate a tent for a party doesn’t just mean knowing how to decorate the interior space. You may want to make the exterior look nice, too. Have some leftover fabric? You might use it as a valance to line the area where your tent top and tent sidewalls come together, or drape it down in evenly spaced sections along the outside of your sidewalls. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Tip 11: Making a Grand Entrance(way) 

Party tents using tent sidewalls have fairly simple, basic entrances. It’s usually just more sidewall rolled up to the top, or two separate segments parted and tied off to the sides. And for some events, that’s going to work perfectly fine. For others? You may want to go the extra mile with something fancier.

Spicing up an entranceway is fairly simple. Just line the entrance with the same materials and decorations you’re using inside the tent. After all, you’ve already established a theme indoors, right? So these entranceway decorations are just a subtle effort to prime your guests for what they’re going to encounter inside.

Tip 12: Tent Lighting Can Make All the Difference

Want to really make your party tent shine, both literally and figuratively? Party tent lighting is a great way to accent your tent and cascade your fabric shades throughout the space. And there’s also the obvious perk of illuminating the tent’s interior, too!

learning how to rent a tent for parties is super easy. Here's how!

That’s It! Now You Know How to Decorate a Tent for a Party!

Knowing how to decorate a tent for a party isn’t as involved as some people think. You just need to take some time looking at the space and thinking about how you’d like it to look. And spending a little time browsing the web for inspiration is a great idea, too.

If you need party tents, tent sidewalls, tent lighting, tent heaters, folding tables, party chairs, or portable dance floors, browse our website or give us a call at 1-716-566-5804. We’d love the opportunity to show you around our products and help you find everything you need to set up a gorgeous party tent for your party!

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Leave a Reply
Steve Smith
Jan 21, 2023 17:35
I love that you talked about how you should also consider the features of the exterior part of the canopy to ensure durability. After moving to our current area, my wife mentioned she wanted to have a canvas canopy for our home to prevent the sun's heat and glare. She asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. Thanks for helping me understand, I'll consult a well-known awnings company in town as they can provide information about their canopies and awnings.
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