But it can be used for so much more than simply covering a wall. Pipe & drape kits can be a focal point, a room enhancer, and a complete game changer. Talk about versatility: matching the theme of different events is as easy as just changing the color of the drapes. But it certainly doesn't have to stop there! Creative thinking is the main factor that separates relatively ordinary events vs. extraordinary occasions.
In this post, we're going to explore some of the most commonly used methods to elevate the look of your display.
Pipe and Drape Kits with Alternating Drape Colors
This is perhaps the easiest way to immediately give a wow-factor to your backdrop. Instead of using the same drape color throughout, consider using a drape or two that is a contrasting color. This method is particularly useful for weddings that have a two-color theme (such as "White and Royal Blue"), or if you're using a pipe and drape system for a corporate event, where the business has more than one color in their logo and branding.
Alternating drapes in your pipe and drape backdropis a great way to tie together the overall theme of your event. And you can certainly extend your creativity with this method as well! For example, you could use different fabrics, with some being a more basic/flat fabric and using some alternating drapes that have a sheen to them (such as Poly Satin Drapes).
A quick note on alternating drapes: if you're not a seasoned designer or decorator, it might be helpful to get some opinions from family and friends on your ideas for color and/or fabric combinations. Simply alternating colors or materials won't necessarily mean that the combination works well together.
Pipe and Drape Backdrop with Drapery Layers
A fantastic way to get jaws dropping is to use fabric layers in your backdrop. At first glance, this method can seem a bit complicated, but if you have the right tools, it's rather simple to achieve. To create double layer (or even triple layer) displays, the use of Valance Hangers or Double Backwall Hangers will come in handy and make set-up much faster and easier.
There is no limitation to the ways that you can arrange a layered backdrop. You can do a simple side-swooping tie back on each end, as seen in the photo above, or you can have gathered accent drapes for the front layer, like so:
Tip: though not shown in this specific picture, remember that it's all about the look that you want to create. In this case, you could do something like this, but also incorporate drape tieback bands in a certain color as an elegant accent.
Or you can take it even further with a triple layer system that creates an incredibly stunning display, like this:
No matter how you do it, using depth and dimension with drapery layers is an effective way to spice up to the look of your pipe and drape system. If you're interested in learning more about this method, check out our article on some easy ways to set-up double and triple layer backdrops.
Pipe and Drape Backdrop with Lighting
Lighting is where you can really let your creativity shine (pun intended)! Depending on what type of lighting you use, it can drastically change the look of the entire backdrop, or provide a more subtle touch of elegance.
For dramatic and truly over-the-top displays, uplighting works wonders. This method of lighting is best used on a sheer material, such as Sheer Voile drapes, because that type of fabric tends to carry light, rather than dampen it at the point of contact on the fabric (as many heavier / thicker materials tend to do). Extra tip: for best results, use White sheer drapes to keep the color of your lighting purer.
An added benefit of utilizing uplighting is that you can project any color that your lighting system is capable of creating, which is especially helpful if you're unable to find the perfect shade of drapes that match your theme. For LED lights, simply program the color of your choice and you're all set!
Of course, there are plenty of times when such extravagance isn't necessary or even desired. But that doesn't mean you can't still incorporate lights. You can add a whimsical touch to your pipe and drape backdrop with just standard Christmas lights.
To accomplish something like this, you'll want to stay with a sheer fabric -- thicker, heavier fabric will not let much (if any) of the light come through.
Lighting, particularly uplighting, can be a bit more involved; the more complicated the system, the more you'll have to learn how to use the equipment. But as you can see from this method, the effort can definitely pay off big time!
Ceiling to Wall
Our focus so far has been all about the actual pipe and drape display itself, but let's not forget that the area overhead can be used to add so much more to the overall look of the room. If done right, your ceiling can pair with your backdrop in amazing ways.
To accomplish this type of look, you'll need to also become familiar with the nuances of ceiling drapery, if you're not already. But once you've learned how to do both elements, setting up a ceiling-to-wall look will become second nature, and it can serve as yet another great tool in your decorating toolbox.
Make It Your Own
Adding event decor to your pipe and drape kits is an awesome way to make a unique and memorable backdrop, and it can be the perfect addition to the overall theme of your event. This backdrop could have ended with the black drapes, gold swags, and holiday lighting behind it -- and it would have looked incredible. But adding the sombreros, cowboys boots, a horseshoe, some signage, and other themed decor took this display to a whole new level!
Take a minute to go back and have a second look at the photos throughout this article. You’ll notice a pattern in many of them, and that is that you can add various decor to your pipe and drape kits to make them even more unique. From signage and monograms to theme-specific decor, adding additional event decor is a fantastic way to enhance your system. The best part is that these extra finishing touches expand the already endless ways to elevate the look of your backdrop.
What amazing display will you create today?
As you can see, there are tons of ways to turn a regular pipe and drape kit into a stunning addition to your event. You can use multiple methods at the same time, such as lighting + layers + alternating drape colors. The point is, you don’t have to use just one particular method. Practice setting up each type, and then you can start combining ideas into your own creation!
Of course, this list is not intended to be comprehensive of every possibility; they represent just some of the most popular methods of transforming your backdrop. We hardly scratched the surface of the amount of decor that can further enhance your backdrop -- things like balloon arches, or using flowers...the list goes on and on.
Remember that the look you can achieve is limited only to your creativity. For additional ideas and inspiration, we highly suggest searching Google Images, Pinterest, and other online resources. You'll find a plethora of backdrop pictures, and any one of them may shed some light on the perfect twist that you hadn't yet considered. So get out there and enjoy the journey! We hope that you’ll send us a picture of your amazing event.