How to Make an Awning for a Party Dessert Table

Hi all, I've finally got instructions on how I created the awning for my daughter's Ice Cream Parlor birthday party & I'm sharing them with you today :)

This was the set up that you saw in the previous post.

And this is how it started--with a cardboard box!
I had an idea in my head of how I was going to make this, but it evolved as I started creating. Isn't that how most projects go?

We recently purchased bookshelves on clearance from Walmart and I made my hubby keep the cardboard just for this project.
I cut the cardboard to fit the table I was planning on using for the party & then I realized all the folds were perfect for the shape of my awning, so I didn't have to do any bending of the cardboard. Yeah for little things that go my way!!

I decided I wanted to connect cardboard on the back of the awning, so I could set up some type of backdrop to the dessert table as well. I cut another piece that would serve as the backing for the backdrop and I connected the two pieces with my staple gun. I stapled through the cardboard (without hitting the floor) and then I turned the cardboard over and bent the staples down with a pair of scissors. I'm sure you could use something else to bend the staples down, but scissors is what I had on hand due to laziness of having to search for something else.
Next, I knew that I would need something to support the whole structure so I bought 5 - 1/2" dowels from Walmart and used three on the back and 2 on the front ends of the awning. I attached them with packing tape (and then duct tape once I ran out of that & the store was no longer open that late at night) & they held just fine.
I was done with this part for a couple weeks and this structure sat in our living room just waiting for me to return to it. During that time, my husband decided I needed a little help in getting it to stand up straight. Thank goodness for hubbies!!

So he found some scrap pieces of wood and we created this beauty together! I know, you're all thinking you want one of these puppies lying around your house as well :) The good thing about this is we created this the same night I finished putting the whole thing together.
We created an U shape to go around the back and sides of the table and then drilled holes for each of the dowels to fit it.

And now you can see what it looks like bare boned & you can see that duct tape I was talking about.

Now a little on the fabric.
I found this fabric at Walmart and it's a heavy broadcloth type fabric for around $5 a yard.
I used painters tape & ruler to mark where I wanted my stripes.

This is what it looked like before painting began. The stripes are about 4" thick.

We first started out with fabric paint and when I ran out I just used craft paint. The kind that's only like $1.25 at the store. I used about 1.5 bottles for the whole awning & I love the tangerine orange color!

Once the paint was dry and the fabric was attached to the cardboard, I created a stencil to cut the scallops on the fabric. I used my coluzzle to cut a 4" circle, then I cut it in half and used duct tape on the back to hold it on the fabric & it worked like a charm.

This is a blurry picture, but it was the only one I got at this stage of the production, so I had to include it so you could see what it looked like before all the details were added. I simply attached white fabric with duct tape (I may have to use it more often seeing how handy it is) to use as a backdrop to hide all that cardboard & it worked perfectly.

And here's the final product again.
In this picture you can see that I added a table cloth to hide the wood on the bottom and the backdrop is perfect for attaching any signage you want. I ended up using my kitchen counter instead of the table because the crazy wind wouldn't allow an outside party, but it ended up being just as good as the table.
If you have any questions about this project please leave me a comment or send me an email.
And another reason I wanted to create this was so my girls can have a lemonade stand if they decide they want one. I'll just remove the cardboard from the back & hopefully the 4 dowels (one on each corner) will support the awning. I'll have to let you know if they actually have one this summer.

This post is linked up at: Domestically Speaking Beyond The Picket FenceSomewhat SimpleTransformation ThursdayHouseofHepworthsThe Shabby Nest


  1. This is such an amazing idea!cool!
    Greeting from UK :)

  2. What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing!!

    Alyssa @

  3. Wow! That is amazing! Love it!

  4. Wow! I really wish I had a mom like this when I was a kid. My mom was great, but we didn't have such cute or creative stuff. I love the way you used this awning to make the dessert area like a little shop. Just saying hello from Inspired by You Wednesdays. -Lola at

  5. This is really fantastic! What a creative and cute idea!!!

  6. This is AWESOME, such a great idea. I want a bday party like this and i'm definitely not a kid!! hahaha

    Sadie x

  7. The stripes are amazing. I would never have guessed you hand painted them. That is so much work and it turned out beautifully! I turned my kitchen into a diner. I made an awning too. See some pics here:

  8. Ohhh! Definitely going to pin this for upcoming parties. Very fun!!

  9. Thanks for posting this! I was wondering how you did this! :) Over the top adorable!

    Fancy Frugal Life

  10. This is so much fun. Your little girl must have loved her party. I'm impressed that you painted your own fabric too! Looks amazing!

    Warmly, Michelle

  11. Thank you so very much fo this post! It is exactly what I needed to make my daughter's cafe themed party complete! thank you thank you thank you!

  12. You're welcome Estela! So glad that this tutorial could help you with your party :)

  13. I love it! As always the awning gives it that extra flare.

  14. Thank you so much for this info...LOVE IT! This is what I've been looking for!

  15. any idea where one may purchase a ready made lil awning if they dont want to craft?

    1. I don't, but if you Google it you can find many options.

  16. How did you attach the fabric to the cardboard part? Duct tape?

    1. Yes, I rolled Duct tape & placed it on the back of the fabric. Worked like a charm. :)

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