Decorating with pipe & drape is the easiest way to transform a space quickly and cost-effectively.  Whether you’re using pipe & drape to cover one wall or the entire space, it’s a proven solution for professional event planners.  When designing an event, think of the décor in terms of layers.  The higher the budget, the more layers you can add.  The first layer will be pipe and drape in some form, and then you can build out from there by adding layers of décor.  Below you can find some examples that range from simple techniques to more elaborate and time-consuming methods.

Specialty Drape for Events

If you want to make a big impact, but can only afford to do the drape, you may want to think about using a specialty drape.  Gold pipe and drape gives you a dramatic background for an awards show or wedding, while still keeping it a simple and quick installation.  There are multiple styles of rental drapes available.  Even if you need to ship it in, the pipe and drape hardware is widely available in most rental markets.

Pipe & Drape for Holiday Events

A favorite for holiday events is red pipe and drape.  We like to use red velour drape as a basic background for simple holiday displays.  If you’re setting up a Santa’s display, simply add a throne, some winter and toy accents, and you have a nice setting for photos.  You can also stripe in one or multiple colors, depending on the look you want.

Pipe & Drape with Lights

Another technique is to use pipe and drape with rental backlighting for events.  We like to use a white or silver translucent drape and backlight it with either one or a series of LED lights.  With this technique, you can light your drape any color, and change it as you see fit.  You can also use solid colored pipe and drape with lights in front.  With a powerful enough light, you can also add color to solid drape, or project patterns.  

Staged four-tier wedding cake in front of rose and white pipe and drape setup at wedding

Pipe & Drape for Weddings

For a wedding or elegant affair, we like to use pipe and drape with greenery backdrops.  Because of pipe and drapes nature, it’s easy to attach greenery to the uprights or crossbeams.  There are also simple attachments that can be added to support pipe and drape with flowers or hanging baskets.  Many florists will use pipe and drape with white flowers and greenery, creating a lush display for a wedding ceremony.  

Pipe & Drape with Backdrops

Another simple way to decorate for a themed event or a stage background is to use a digitally dyed event backdrop.  Simply slide the backdrop over the pipe and drape frame and you have a seamless background that looks great, and sets up in 10 minutes.  You can add additional décor as the budget permits.  We once used over 500 running feet of an outdoor forest background, and added fresh greens and plants, brown furniture and natural décor elements to bring the display to life. 

For the true professional, there are special caps that can be added to the top of a pipe upright, giving you two layers of drape.  A very dramatic effect is to use one color of drape on the back level, and another color in front pulled back to reveal the rear drape.  Use rope and tassels to tie the drape back, or simply use a zip tie and pull the drape over to conceal it.  If you still want to take it a step further, add an additional pin and upright on the base, and add a third level of drape of a vallance.  If you decide to use this style of drape, you may want to add a base weight or sand bag for extra support.

Wedding stage area with white pipe and drape, floral backdrop, and traditional decorations

Pipe and drape can be the perfect way to accentuate your existing event decor, or create the elegant look you’re looking for. For even more decorations and backdrops for your wedding, trade show, or other event, check out the rest of our event supply rentals.

Pipe and Drape is a combination of four key components used to create temporary walls. The components are bases, uprights, crossbeams, all of which support fabric drape or printed backdrop panels. The setup is simple. The uprights are slipped over the base nipple, and the crossbeams connect the uprights. Then the drape, which has a sewn pole pocket, is pulled over the crossbeam to create your temporary wall.  Generally, this system is used indoors, or other environments shielded from the wind.  Pipe and drape walls are very functional and often used for crowd control, trade show booths, dividers, and temporary covers for indoor areas that may be under construction.  Pipe and drape is also used to create a wide variety of styled backgrounds (or alongside event backdrops) for weddings, and other live events. 

Pipe and drape set in royal purple, white, and navy blue, with flower accents and golden curtain pulls around white sitting furniture

Now let’s take a deeper dive into these essential parts:  

Pipe & Drape Parts and Setup

Bases

Steel bases come in a variety of sizes and weights, depending on the height and weight of the drape being used.  For instance, if you are using a 3’ tall section as a divider or entry area, a smaller base is sufficient.  The taller and heavier the drape material used, the larger and heavier the bases will need to be. Drape may be floor supported up to 25’ Tall.  In this instance, we recommend large heavy weight bases, as well as additional sand bags or base weights.  Anything taller should be supported from a flown truss or rail.

Uprights

Like bases, uprights come in a wide variety of heights and levels of adjustability.  Typically, most companies will stock fixed uprights in 3’ or 8’ heights for standard room divider walls, crowd control, trade shows or office partitions.  We also stock adjustable uprights so you can have the exact size needed for the room.  Popular adjustable upright sizes are 6’ – 10’, 7’ – 12’, 9’ – 16’ and 14’ – 26’.  Adjustable uprights are 2” O.D. and quickly adjust to any size within the range.  The upright top has four slots that can receive the crossbeams every 90 degrees.

Crossbeams (Telescoping drape supports)

Running between the uprights supporting the drape are crossbeams.  Crossbeams come in a wide array of adjustable sizes ranging from 2’ – 3’ to 9’ -16’.  The most popular sizes are adjustable from 6’ – 10’ and 7’ – 12’.  Typically, we run our drape crossbeams at 10’ wide.  If you have a larger area to span, you can use the wider options.  Keep in mind, the wider the crossbeam, less drape it can support.  If you need to hang drape wider than 16’, you should consider a truss support.

Drape

We’ve covered all of the pipe elements of pipe and drape, now to the most important part, the drape.  Drape comes in a wide variety of colors, fabric styles, and weights.  At Display Group we routinely create custom drape for clients, and that’s how we’ve built our massive inventory.  Some of the more popular drape styles are banjo, for trade shows and expositions; velour, for corporate theater and meetings, and specialty for a wide array of weddings, events and temporary experiential environments.

Printed Backgrounds

Digitally printed backgrounds are easily hung on pipe and drape frames, if you’re looking for a more thematic  or custom look .  We stock 100’s of existing styles and designs, and our custom event fabrication team is happy to create a custom background just for your particular needs.

Gold wedding furniture and loveseat in front of rose, purple, and white pipe and drape setupsIn conclusion, if you want to create temporary walls with a limitless number of possibilities and looks, pipe and drape is a great solution.