How to Drape Tulle on an Arch

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Tulle-draped arches are wedding staples -- a garden or a beach wedding is even dreamier when a breeze is stirring delicate drifts of sheer gauze like wisps of cloud. The idea works for special occasion events, too -- parties in the rec room are more magical when the head table is set in front of a filmy arch or when guests enter the room through one. A princess bedroom is doubly enchanted for Her Royal Fussiness with a pretty pastel tulle-draped arch.

Portal to a Marriage

An arch is a romantic focal point to enclose you in a picture-perfect frame as you take your vows outdoors. Under a spreading tree on a grassy lawn, drape a woven grapevine arch with generous yards of white tulle by tying two long pieces together at the apex of the arch and suspending a flower-covered kissing ball from the knot on a short satin ribbon. Then loosely wrap the tulle around the top of the arch, catching each piece in a knot on either side, where the vertical columns start. Add more bunches of flowers at the knots. Wind the tulle halfway down each column, tucking sprigs of greenery and flowers into it and securing the tulle to the columns at the halfway point with more satin ribbon. Let the rest of the fabric cascade down and pool on the ground.

Cut the glare at a beach wedding with a double arch and a tulle cover.

  • Tie long lengths of tulle across the top of the arch catty-corner to make a taut "X" overhead.
  • Wind the excess tulle around and down each of the bamboo or other support poles and secure it.
  • Stretch open lengths of tulle across the "roof," tacking them to the top of each corner pole. The filmy overhead cover creates a shady shelter for a table to hold flowers, a protected candle or other items for the ceremony.
  • Attach columns of tulle, gathered at the top, to each corner post -- the tulle columns should be white or pick up one of the wedding decor colors.
  • Festoon the double arch with bunches of flowers and dangling satin ribbons in all four corners and more ribbons, flowers, seashells, and strings of faux pearls or crystals, looped, tucked-in, and wound around for a fantasy shelter.

Party Arch

Tulle is a budget-friendly way to set up a terrific photo station at a graduation party. An arch made of plastic plumbing pipe, garden trellises or two potted trees with a string stretched between them gets tulle-wrapped in school colors, then draped in looser loops of the tulle, brightened with color-coordinated balloons. Back the arch with a giant mural of yearbook photos, a picture of the old high school or a scene from the college campus, or a "curtain" of crepe paper strips in school colors, tied to a dowel and hung on the wall behind the arch. Dangle a gold graduation year number overhead at the mid-point of the arch, or fix a "Congratulations!" sign to the wall so it is visible through the frame of school colors.

Fairy Tale Headboard

Decorate the Royal Chambers with a magical arch fit for the princess-in-residence that expands her simple headboard into a sparkly gateway to dreamland.

  • Mount a curtain rod or a dowel horizontally on the wall over the head of the bed and loosely wrap it clouds of pastel and white tulle to match the bedroom decor.
  • Position the bar about a foot above the headboard or at least 3 feet above the bed pillows, if there is no headboard.
  • Hang a string of white or clear fairy lights from each end of the bar to dangle down the wall on either side of the bed, and swirl generous lengths of tulle around the lights, from the bar to the floor.
  • Secure the twinkling tulle columns unobtrusively to the bed frame with clear cable ties, to prevent any tripping over them or pulling on the light strings. Tie short satin ribbon streamers to the tulle-wrapped bar, each ending in a tiny satin rosebud.

Benna Crawford

Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .