If you are creating any kind of circus theme, or looking for circus STEM activities for your class to do, then you’ve probably thought about how to make a DIY circus tent!
Kids love the circus (as a fully grown adult, they even make me a bit giddy still), and so why not indulge their interests with a large-scale circus tent made out of paper!
Follow along with our step-by-step directions for making a circus tent out of paper below. You won’t believe how easy it is to whip up a circus engineering challenge or a circus backdrop for your classroom.
And check out the rest of the circus STEM activities for even more circus science fun!
How to Make a Circus Tent Ceiling
If you are learning how to make a circus tent backdrop, you’ve come to the right place! This circus tent is made from paper and so easy and inexpensive to make!
What You Need to Make a DIY Circus Tent
- White and red crepe paper (you can also use plastic tablecloths)
How to Make a Circus Tent Out of Paper or Plastic Tablecloths
Make your own DIY circus tent using the steps below. If you are doing this as an engineering project with kids, don’t tell them how to make it and see if they can figure out how to do it on their own!
Keep reading to learn how to make a big top circus tent! You can use this as part of circus theme classroom ideas or you can use it as an engineering project for circus STEM experiments or circus science experiments.
Step By Step Directions to Make a DIY Circus Tent
Before you get started making your circus tent, decide if you want to use crepe paper or tablecloths. Because the tablecloths are larger, it will take fewer of them and less time to make.
However, it will also be more expensive.
Crepe paper rolls are thin and will take a long time to create your circus tent, but it will be much, much cheaper.
Measure the length of the area from the center of the ceiling where you want to build the tent to the wall, then from the top of the wall to the floor. I used the crepe paper and added a little swoop to make it look more tent-like.
Cut the streamer to this length.
Use the streamer as a guide for the rest. I ended up using about 30 strands of each color, but you might need more or less depending on the size of your corner.
One at a time, drape the streamers from the center of the ceiling to the edge where the ceiling meets the wall. Let the free end of the streamer hang against the wall. I started with the 4 “corners” of the tent and filled in from there. Alternate between white and red streamers.
Tape the streamer to the center of the ceiling and where the ceiling meets the wall.
By the time you start filling in the edges, your center strips with overlap. That is fine, and shouldn’t cause any problems. However, the more strips you can stick to the ceiling the better.
That way, if one streamer falls they won’t all fall. I only built three walls on our tent, but you could make a complete tent this way if you wanted.
Happy circus tent making!
More Circus STEM Ideas
20+ Exciting and Creative Circus Art Activities for Curious Kids
20+ Exciting and Hands-On Circus Math Activities for Kids
Kid-Pleasing Circus Science Experiments