Monday, October 3, 2011

Carnival Themed Party - The Big Top ~ Day 3

Ok. You might say, this is not Halloween! But I say, what says Fall/October better than a carnival.....ok. Maybe Halloween says Fall/October better than a carnival BUT... you will still enjoy this, I promise. And if not, then you will know there is always tomorrow!

Also, I'm thinking a carnival theme would make for an awesome Halloween party, no?

First, you've gotta have a Big Top.

You start with one of these, an industrial wooden spool. Where do you find one? Good question. My brother got me mine....for FREE! Start by calling your electric company or any other company you can think of that might have large wooden spools designed for holding large type wire? I don't know. The point is, you'll have to do some digging but you can get one and you probably won't have to pay a dime!

Then, you add a nice sturdy PVC pole to the center.

Get several small lengths of small (1/4" or 1/2") PVC that bends easily and enough couplers to put the sections together (or get the kind like we did that fits end to end).

Make a circle out of these the diameter you want your tent top to be.

Take a section of wood, I used a circular piece that was left over from making a mirror, but any shape will do. Attach that to the top of your PVC pole.

Cut several lengths of sturdy string or rope. Make sure it's enough so that your tent top will drop low enough to look like a Big Top but not so low that you can't walk under it. Also, be sure the lengths measure the same or you'll have a tipsy tent. Then again, that may be the look you're going for!

Secure each string to the top of your PVC pole by stapling them to the section of wood you've secured to the top of your pole.

Now, for the fun part! Did you know they make 100' rolls of plastic table cloth material? Me neither! But they do. And they sell them at the Hobby Lobby for 14.99 a roll and they are the most perfect (and cheapest) way to complete this project. Plus, you can use your 40% off coupon which is increasingly available as the holidays approach.

All you do is roll out a section of the plastic, staple it to the wood section at the top of your pole and alternate your colors; red, white, red, white! Then you realize you forgot that a Big Top has to have a flag so you hurriedly cut out something that remotely resembles a pennant flag from some red felt you, thankfully, have lying around, wrap it around a dowel you also happen to have lying around (because you are a hoarder and you cannot throw things away and incidents like this reward your bad behavior) and rejoice as your husband figures out away to attach it even though you're still not sure how he did it.

Now. Don't be like me and roll out your plastic sections all the way to the ground because you're under the delusion that you are actually creating a tent large enough to have sections that go all the way to the ground while still accomodating your guests and being functional, because you are not. And then you're going going to have to go back and cut off all those sections and that's just a waste of time and money. {EDIT} I forgot to mention, I used Loctite Spray Adhesive to attach the plastic to the pvc hoop.

And, voila', there you have it! A Big Top for your next Carnival themed bash.

Carnival themed 1st Birthday post coming soon with more ideas you can use for your Halloween (or not) party!

Linking up to.....
you are talking too much


  1. You are such a genius! How magical!!!

    Can't wait to see more pics :D

  2. I've been trying, (not hard) to figure out how to make a tent, now I know, and I didn't have to think so hard, you did! Thanks Jamie, it turned out great!!!


  3. Thats so awesome, thanks for sharing


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