Decorating A Barn For A Wedding Reception?

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?

Thank you.

By mimi from Northbrook, IL

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April 20, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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?


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April 19, 20110 found this helpful

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.


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April 19, 20110 found this helpful

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, 20110 found this helpful

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, 20110 found this helpful

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, 20110 found this helpful

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. :)


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