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How to Hang Tulle for Wedding Receptions

Hanging tulle for a wedding reception serves many purposes: it adds drama and color to the event space, it makes a large room feel more intimate, and it covers up any flaws in the venue ceiling and walls. How you hang your tulle depends greatly on the type of ceiling you work with, but the same general steps apply in nearly all situations. Hanging tulle can be done simply as long as you have the necessary tools and, at least, one extra pair of hands to help you.
Things You'll Need
Measuring tape
Sewing machine (optional)
Curtain rods (optional)
Velcro strips
Staple gun and staples
Tape or hooks (such as peel-and-stick removable hooks)
Preparing and Hanging the Tulle
Contact the venue owner and ask permission to hang draperies in the space. Ask if there are any safety codes you must follow to do so. Some municipalities require you to use flame retardant fabric for decoration.
Ask the venue owner what installment options are available to you. For example, will the venue owner allow you to drill holes for hooks? Will the room's structure inhibit certain designs? Ask if a member of the venue's staff can help you hang the tulle.
Measure the size of your venue, taking into account the ceiling height, plus the length and width of the room. Or, ask the venue owner to provide you with accurate measurements.
Consider what style of tulle draperies you would like to install: octopus (long panels of fabric extending from a central point); canopy (long panels running symmetrically along the length of the ceiling with slight drapes); or banners (individually gathered fabric lengths hanging with deep swags at various points on the ceiling).
Purchase enough tulle to create all of your draperies. Consider that you will need to double or even triple the length of the tulle, compared to the length of the ceiling, depending on how far down you want the fabric to drape between hanging points.
Sew lengths of tulle together end-to-end to create the desired length if the individual pieces are too short. Or, make sure the ends of each fabric piece will end at the ceiling junction when they are installed.
Install the tulle the day of the event. This is when having an extra set of hands available is most helpful. One person should work on the ladder while the other person holds the tulle and hands the person on the ladder tools, fasteners, and so on.
Tailor your installation method to suit the type of draperies you have chosen and the venue ceiling. Install them as far in advance of the event start date as possible, so any difficulties can be resolved before the wedding begins.
Tie the fabric around each beam, or simply lay it across the beams, attaching the fabric to the beams with self-adhesive Velcro, staples, or nails, if the ceiling has exposed beams. If you are working with a repeated drop tray ceiling, hide the fastenings in the lips of the trays, using tape, hooks, nails, or any other fastener the venue allows. If it is a tiled ceiling, lift the tiles out of their frames, attach the fabric to the frame, and replace the tile at each hanging spot.
Sewing Tubes for Curtain Rods in Draperies
Sew tubes into one end of each length of tulle if you need to install curtain rods. You may need to hang the tulle by curtain rods in some instances. This depends on the type of ceiling you are working with.
Fold the end of the tulle around the curtain rod snugly; do not make it tight. Pin the body of the tulle in a line where the end meets it, but not the end itself. Remove the curtain rod.
Pin a one-half-inch hem along the end of the fabric. Sew down this hem.
Fold over the fabric so that the sewn edge of the hem meets the line of pins (where the fabric met itself while wrapped around the curtain rod). Pin the sewn edge to the body of the fabric.
Sew the tulle along the new line of pins, creating a tube in which you can slide the curtain rod. To install, slide the curtain rod through the tube, then hang the curtain rod from the ceiling with a hook.
Tips & Warnings
You can add decorations to the tulle while you are installing it, such as glitter or paper chains.
Leave the location in the same condition it was in before you hung your tulle to ensure a happy venue owner.
Find an online supplier that sells tulle in bulk or at heavily discounted prices.
If time allows, practice your drapery technique to make sure it is strong enough to hold before attempting it in the venue.

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