Circus Tent Tutorial

I’m lucky enough to have a super talented, hilarious, beautiful and generous real life friend who just started an incredibly exciting blog.  Her blog is all about crafting through the seasons–through all of the years fun celebrations. And today she is here to share a tutorial that nearly knocked my socks off.  Meet Gillian Greding (pronounced Jillian Greeting).  She’s just about the craftiest person I know…so get ready for her blog–Seasons Gredings!

Say hello to Gillian’s
Circus Tent Tutorial 

And take a moment to soak in how adorable her baby Wednesday Jones is. Those boots, that romper, those eyes–I can hardly take it!

So if you’ve been following my blog lately, you’ll know I’ve been seriously crushing on county fairs. I’ve been making county fair picnic blankets, cooking county fair food and now I’ve decided to top it off with a circus tent canopy or playhouse for Wednesday Jones (our youngest) and the one most likely to run off someday and join a circus.

The beauty of this circus tent is that there is NO SEWING involved


it took me 43 MINUTES, start to finish, to make it!!!

C’mon! That is sooooooooo do-able!

This is what you’re going to need to make it:

Cut six 66 inch lengths of ribbon

Fold each length of ribbon in half, wrap the central fold around the hoola hoop and loop the ribbon’s ends through it

Arrange the ribbons so that they are evenly spread around the hoop

Gather the ends in the middle of the hoop, fold them over, then knot them, leaving a loop for hanging the canopy

Lay the tulle over the hoola hoop with the hoop in the center

Cut a hole in the center of the tulle and pull the ribbons through

Repeat with another length of the same colored tulle

Cut a slit in the tulle and pull the ribbon through

Repeat process with the next two lengths of tulle

Trim the uneven bottom of the canopy with scissors

Mine isn’t trimmed perfectly, as you can see. Don’t fret over this!

Unfold the felt piece and cut the biggest circle you can out of it. I used a piece of ribbon and a Sharpie as a compass like device. Again, you could easily get caught up in making this perfect, but DON’T! You will never notice.

Now place the circle of felt on top of the other piece of felt and cut out another circle

Okay, so this next part is the most “tricky” part of the whole project and I use the word “tricky” loosely.

Cut 4 triangles (trapezoids, actually) out of the top felt.


Cut out the first triangle and then use that triangle as your guide for the other 3 cuts.

It will not look great at this point. In fact, I thought I’d blown the whole project because my cuts were so uneven looking. Hang in there!

After it’s cut, cut a hole in the center, through both layers of felt.

Now throw the felt over the hula hoop.


Okay, look how uneven and lame it looks.

I think I possibly threw myself to the ground and cried at this point.

Now take the scissors and trim the edge of the felt to the length you want it.

See… see! So much better!

This is the point I possibly threw myself to the ground and cried with joy.

After trimming you can leave it or add some spots of glue to it to hold the layers together and in place.

I left it.

I’m lazy like that.

I’m sure I’ll regret it.

I then took some ribbon and tied open two sides to make a tent opening.

Now go and hang your circus tent canopy from a shady tree and pop up some popcorn and lay down for a spell with your little one and imagine you’re at your very own circus– for two.

Check out this other amazing and simple tutorial from Seasons Gredings:
Penant Banner Picnic Blanket Tutorial

Follow Seasons Gredings on:
Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Pinterest

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)

Ashley Stock


  1. Whitney Abuzeid says:

    Wow! So adorable! and SO simple! I’m having a “party in the park” for my son’s first birthday in a few weeks and these will DEFINITELY be making an appearance! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  2. Cutest thing ever! I have to pin it!!!

  3. Amazing! And I love no sewing!! And I never think to put those fun colors together. But they always look so good when I see them. Excellent idea. And excellent blog!!

  4. Wow! So adorable! What an amazing tutorial. The photography is stunning too! I can’t wait to check out her other ideas. This chick is talented!

  5. Oh my goodness!!! That is ADORABLE!!! How cute would that be in a little girl’s room for a play area?! Or even a toy room. oh the ideas – thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. What fun!!! This would make a great photo prop, or just a fun play spot for any little kiddo! 🙂 Thanks for sharing; I think we might try one in pinks and purples to make it more of a princess tent… hmm… you’ve got the hamsters in my head running on their little wheel! 🙂

  7. Okay. The ONLY kind of crafting I ever do is the no-sew kind. (It’s pretty funny that I don’t consider myself a “crafter” even though I own and run an event design business!! But it’s true. Not a lot of love for crafts coming from me.) However, this is one of the most adorable things I have seen and I love how clear and easy your pictures and directions were!! Love it!!!

  8. Wow that ame and cute, and what a circus princess! Pretty cool DIY!!!

  9. amy johnston says:

    I love me some Gillian!!!! She just gets better & better.

  10. Dan Greding says:

    Ashley, thanks for featuring on your amazing site! We are so excited.

  11. Bzeedik says:

    I love this and her!

  12. TonyaB71 says:

    This is such a great post!!! I can’t believe how easy this looks because the finished product is so magical!!! Love the photos and ecspecially your sweet lil gal. Both my girls gasped when they saw this on my computer screen. Nice job Gillian! 🙂
    PS – Loving your blog soooo much!!!!

  13. Ashley!- How can I even begin to thank you???? You have been extraordinary to me through all of this. From all the hours, to all the advice, to all the laughter– you and Ben have just been amazing. Love you guys so much!!!

    PS– you kinda have A LOT of followers. Were you aware? lol My blog thanks you!!! 😉

  14. Julie C says:

    Who knew hula hoops and fabric could be transformed into a whimsical play space? I adore this project!!! Gillian you have an abundance of creativity and I’m so excited that you will be sharing your ideas with us on your new blog. I love checking it everyday to see what you have posted:) Thank you for keeping us non-sewing girls in mind!

  15. This turned out so cute! I will have to pin this.

  16. Felicitaciones!! Espectacular!

  17. This is amazing! I love it!

  18. Hii! Absolutely love this canopy tent! Great tutorial and easy to follow instructions and pics! It was funny too 🙂 Love the blanket too! How big is the blanket? I want to try making it as a tablecloth. Any suggestions/comments that might help making it as a tablecloth to fit a 6ft rectangular table would be great! Thanks!

  19. Thank you for the tutorial! I have been searching for an easy but amazing DIY for a princess inspired canopy. This circus tent is the BEST design! I can’t wait to make this in hot pink for my daughter! Thanks so much!

  20. I have been totally stressing about how to make a princess tent for my little friend’s birthday party tomorrow (she’s turning 3!). I bought tulle and a hula hoop and have been trying to figure out how to attach the tulle without it bunching up, falling off, etc. Using ribbon as a skeleton and as a hanger never occurred to me. You have just saved my life, sanity, and the birthday party (in reverse order of importance)!! Thank you so, SO much!!! 🙂

  21. I love this little carnival tent. My children both have November birthdays. So while they are young I still do parties together. This is perfect for the their party. My sister and I will be putting this together in the next week or two. So excited!! I think we will throw in the ticket booth as well.

  22. Really awesome job. My crafty lifestyle has recently started so I’m sorry if this is a silly question. Regarding the tulle, how wide is it? 4 1/2 feet long and how wide? Thanks.

  23. This is just what I was looking for! I’m having a carnival themed party for my soon to be 5 year old daughter. I’m going to use this to cover the food!! Thank you!!!

  24. Esperanza says:

    How much did it cost to make this

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