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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
This year I am going to be having a "Psycho Circus and Sideshow" theme for the Halloween party. The room I was planning on using for the "Psycho circus" section is about 20x12 with an 8 foot ceiling. I was hoping to make it feel like you were inside a circus tent. Some ideas I was toying with were using red and white striped scene setters (or possibly other alternatives like sheets, poly vinyl), etc.) for the walls, and then maybe create an archway/entrance type thing to get into the "tent". I saw a few misc. cardboard entrances online, but they ran from like $70-$250 (and seemed possibly a bit flimsy) so I was considering trying to make something.
I saw a post regarding some outdoor tent ideas, but was just curious if anyone attempted this look indoors. If so, what route you went with. I considered a cheap gazebo inside (maybe chopping a foot or two off the bottom of each leg or something) but with 8 foot ceilings and a ceiling fan to contend with, that might not work. I used upper and lower scene setter rolls last year in the same room to go floor to ceiling and had pretty good luck with that staying up/looking good using sticky tack. So that route for the walls is the front runner at the moment. The room isn't huge, so I am on the fence about the tent "entrance". As cool as it might look, I don't want people to be jammed in a small claustrophobic area. I am planning on having a few full size animatronics in that section as well, so it may end up being a tad crowded...
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!
 

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We did a Carnevil theme years ago. For the tent atmosphere, we used 3M command hooks everi 4 feet, just below the ceiling. We then ran fishing line across the room between hooks. Then we draped gossamer over the fishing line and let it drape down the walls. You can get huge rolls of gossamer from Shindigz.com for a reasonable price.

Eric
 

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Eric,
Thanks for the response! The command hooks are a really good idea. I know they advertise how easy they come off without any damage but I have never used them myself. Just curious how the removal process went for you/if they caused any damage to the walls? Thanks again for your help!!!!
Gary
The hooks work great. Just get the bigger sizes and don't try to use hooks that are too small. That way, the will hold up if someone accidentally pulls on the fabric. They come off clean and easy, but be sure to follow the directions, including the label on the sticky tape that says "Wall Side." I have used these for years and have only had a little damage one time. You should also firmly hold the hook in place when pulling the tape tab downward to remove the hooks. Otherwise, the hook can actually bruise your fingernail area. I learned that one the hard way. It is a great product and will hold a lot of weight. Use at least a 40lb. test fishing line too.

Haywood's suggestion for parachute silk from an army surplus center is a fantastic idea. It would work with the Command hooks and fishing line, and look even more tent like than the gossamer did.

I don't have any photos left of the tent effect, thanks to a hard drive crash (yeah, I didn't back them up externally...another lesson learned).

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haywood and Eric,
Thank you both for the responses/suggestions. Always great to have multiple options. Would never have thought to look into parachutes. I will have to check that out. Thanks for the suggestion! Good to hear the command hooks are easy to get off. Thanks for the tips on installing them as well.
Thanks again for your help!
 

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Dollar Tree table cloths, cheap & very light weight. Cut them into strips, gather them on one end and bring them out. it should give the effect of being in the tent


I used sheets painted with stripes in the garage

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Hey Sullivan, I did this theme in 2014 and bought two large rolls of the vinyl tablecloths from Party City (one in red and one in white) and alternated them draping across my living room. I was lucky enough to have two spots to tie a small diameter braided cord that ran down the center of my room and then put small nails in the tops of my window casings and doorways to secure fishing line along the outer sides of my room. Here is a picture of how it turned out in case you are interested. Good luck to you - I had a lot of fun with this theme.

living room.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
frogkid11,
Thanks for the info!!! That turned out really well!! (really like the clown entrance as well) The tablecloth idea is another great possible route to add to the mix. I really like the way you tied in the ceiling. Really completes the "tent" look. A ceiling fan in the middle of the room makes that a bit tricky in the room I was planning on doing this in, but seeing how nice it looks I will have to see if there is any way I could make it work :) Thanks again for the info/suggestion!
 

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These are plastic stripped tablecloths, about $3 each. I used 3 of them for the porch. The sides are a combination of an old white queen sized sheet and a pair of red curtains that I bought at Dollar General for $8. I cut them into stripes and used iron on "stitch witch" to alternate the colors. They were outside for 2 weeks and nothing came apart, even in heavy wind. Inside the house, I used a red and white striped table roll and draped from the light fixture to the side walls. One roll did a whole ceiling.
Welcome to the Show.jpg
The entrance is pvc pipe with an old painted sheet.
 

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We had a circus theme at work last year, and one effect that got a lot of good feedback was a couple of these zip tied to the ceiling:
81QNVm8cjGL._SY355_.jpg
They are DMX controllable, but we just ran them in auto mode.
With a few clear plastic drop cloths hanging down, the effect was neat on both sides.
 

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I also used the dollar tree table clothes like offmymeds and cut them into strips. It was cheap and very effective. People loved the (circus tent feel).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for your input HalloweenTrick!!

I was grocery shopping this eve and came across tablecloths for under a buck. I picked up 1 white, 1 red, and 1 yellow. Going to put up a few test strips and see how they hold/how they look with sticky tack. (probably will test the command hooks as well here soon) Also want to see if the combo of red & white or red & yellow look better. I will let everyone know how the test goes :)
 

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You can find the command books at craft stores and some grocery stores. I have also used them for years and only had one small area of damage where I couldn't get ahold of the strip correctly to remove it. It is easy to bruise fingers while removing them but once they are off the wall peel the sticky part off the wall and store the books somewhere. You can buy refill packs of the sticky tabs for them (just make sure you get the correct size for the books you have) and reuse the hooks. I know our grocery store krogers and Meijers usually carries them but they are always moving them in the store and they don't always carry the bigger ones. I've had better luck finding the bigger ones in the craft stores.
 

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Oriental trading has striped tablecloth plastic rolls and some other carnival themed items. (popcorn boxes, etc) For your "tent entrance" you could build a frame with 1x3 lumber (braced at the top corners and with braces at the bottom to keep it upright and drape that with either the striped plastic or with fabric as if it is a big-top flap held open with ropes or ties.
 
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