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August 10, 2022Now Trending

Nothing is more exciting than when the circus comes to town! But you don’t have to wait until the next carnival when you can create your very own DIY circus tent. If you’re wondering how to make a circus tent, then step right on up and we’ll show you how! A DIY big top tent is perfect for birthday parties, themed events, or just plain, good old fashioned fun! Keep reading for tips and advice for the best big top tent circus party.

Why a Circus Party?

When you think about the circus, you probably have images of clowns, trapeze artists, and elephants. You may also think that the circus is just for kids. While it’s true that children love the circus, a circus themed party can be fun for people of all ages! If you think that planning a themed party has to be a three ring circus, don’t worry! You don’t need monkeys or acrobats to make your party a success. With a little planning, and help from American Tent, planning your circus party will be a breeze.

Planning a Circus Party

So, let’s stop clowning around and get down to planning your next circus party! Believe it or not, a circus party doesn’t have to be, well, a circus. Kitsch and the circus go together like popcorn and peanuts, but, if you wish, you also can plan a circus-themed party that is both fun and elegant. If you look online, you’ll find plenty of circus party ideas, and some may be fairly pricey. Make sure you check out budget party ideas that won’t hurt your pocketbook. 

#1 “Big Top” Tent

big top tent

Come one, come all, and welcome to the greatest show on earth! A circus just wouldn’t be a circus without a big top tent. If you want to make party planning, set up easy, and take down easy, try looking into big top tents. Circus tents can be customized and add fun and flair to your outdoor circus party. Choose a big top canopy manufacturer that will work with you and promise a fast turnaround time and one-on-one customer service.

Make a DIY Circus Tent

All you need is a little time and a few dollars for a DIY indoor tent. 

Things You’ll Need

For a budget do it yourself circus tent, you’ll need the following: 

  • Scissors
  • White and red crepe paper or plastic tablecloths
  • Tape

Steps for Making a DIY Circus Tent

If you are tight on budget and have limited handyman skills, this DIY circus tent is so easy that you can enlist the help of your youngest circus goers. This is also a great option for apartment dwellers who don’t have a yard.

Step 1

To create a tent effect indoors, begin at the center of the ceiling of the room where you want to build the tent to the wall, then measure from the top of the wall to the floor. You can use colorful crepe paper and add swoops for a more authentic tent environment.

Step 2
Hang a test streamer to get just the right length and use that streamer as a guide for cutting the rest. You can alternate with as many different streamer colors as you wish, but crisp red and white streamers will create a classic effect. 

Step 3

Beginning at the center of the ceiling, drape the streamers to the edge where the ceiling meets the wall. Then, let the remaining length of the streamer hang against the wall.

Step 4

Keep filling in with streamers until you get the desired effect. Try to stick as many directly to the ceiling as you can for maximum sticking power. 

Step 5

Be sure to have fun while creating your DIY big top tent!

#2 Circus Theme Party Invitations

diy big top tent

Whether you are making a budget DIY circus tent or making a splash with a big top circus tent, you still need to invite guests for the big event. Plan to send out invitations at least a few weeks before the party and ask your guests to RSVP so you’ll have an idea of the head count. You have lots of fun options to choose from, such as:

  • Tickets: Include tickets for your guests with the party invitations. They can be as simple as the basic “admit one” ticket or as elaborate as you’d like to make them. 
  • Wristbands: Wristbands will add authenticity to your event and can easily be coordinated with your circus themed tent.
  • Online Invitations: If you want to be environmentally friendly and eliminate paper waste, send out online invitations via email or social media. 
  • Vintage Circus Invitations: If you really want your guests to save the date, create vintage circus invitations that are so pretty your guests will want to frame them!

#3 Circus Party Menu

Now for the fun part - circus theme party food! If you want to let someone else serve up the snacks, ask local food trucks or caterers to take care of it all for you. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with circus classics; but why not think outside the crackerjack box? When you serve a variety of snacks for guests to enjoy under the big top, you can please every palate. 

  • Popcorn: Rent or invest in a popcorn machine for fresh, salty, crowd pleasing snacks.  
  • Hot Dogs: Always classic, hot dogs are easy to prep and require no clean-up.
  • Candy Apples: Satisfy your guest's sweet tooth with tasty and festive candy apples.
  • Pretzels: Crunchy pretzels are also an easy and inexpensive snack option.
  • Cotton Candy: Kids young and old love this sugary confection! Buy it prepackaged or rent a machine to delight your guests. 
  • Snow Cones: After those salty snacks, snow cones are a refreshing and budget-friendly treat.
  • Animal Crackers: We love it when snacks can double as decor. Cute boxes of animal crackers will add to the festive environment.
  • Cupcake Clowns: For those who love to bake, try making these cute cupcake clowns. If baking is not your thing, ask your local bakery for the work.
  • Mini Cuban Sandwiches: For a more sophisticated snack, assemble simple sandwiches with Hawaiian sweet rolls, deli ham, provolone, and your favorite condiments.
  • Caprese Skewers: For a healthier option, layer cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil on skewers and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

#4 Circus Theme Party Decorations

The best thing about a circus theme party is that you can get as flashy and creative as you like! The circus tent is not meant to be stuffy or overly formal, so have fun with the decor. Party decorations can include: 

  • Balloons: Stick with red and white for a cohesive palette and send the balloons home with guests as party favors. 
  • Circus Trapezes: For a young children’s party, make a craft project with empty paper towel rolls, string, and cute stuffed animals to hang on the “trapeze”. 
  • Circus Tables: Save time by shopping online for circus themed table coverings and other circus theme party decorations, paper plates, cups, and napkins.
  • Welcome Clown: If you are hiring a clown (or enlisting a family member or friend to dress up) ask your clown to greet guests. If you don’t have a live clown, a cardboard cut-out will do. 

#5 Circus Themed Party Favors

how to make a circus tent

Circus theme party favors don’t have to break your budget. In fact, you’ll probably have just as much fun choosing party favors for your circus big tent party as your guests will have to receive them! Fun ideas include:

  • Circus Goodie Bags: Fill colorful, inexpensive gift bags with circus themed circus goodies, such as clown stickers, elephant tattoos, miniature circus monkeys, or finger puppets. You also can include animal crackers, peanuts, jellybeans, and lollipops.
  • Bags of Peanuts: For a simple circus party favor, send your guests home with cute bags of circus peanuts. 
  • Clown Make-Up Kits: The circus doesn’t have to end when the party is over if you give guests clown make-up kits and clown temporary tattoos. 

#6 Circus Theme Party Games & Activities

Keep your guests busy with fun circus party activities. These are just a few circus themed party games and activities:

  • Bubbles: Children love bubbles! Hand out individual containers of bubbles or go all out and buy an inexpensive bubble machine. 
  • Hula hoops: Appoint a lion tamer and have little guest lions jump through. Or, just have a hula hoop contest and see who can hoop the longest.
  • Face painting: Enlist the help of an artistic friend or hire an expert to paint clown faces.
  • Clown pinata:  Fill the pinata with circus-themed treats and trinkets and let guests take swings. 

Looking for the Very Best Event Tent Manufacturer?

Whether you’re looking for a compact 10 x 10 pop-up tent or want to browse different options from our catalog, American Tent can help make sure that your next circus party will be one to remember. Contact us today!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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