Building Carousel in the Dining Room

When planning the Pony Royale party, I knew it would be great to incorporate the feel of a carousel. The boxes have a carousel design on them, and some of the toys in the series are carousels where the ponies come to dress, etc. I knew there had to be a way to give the effect of a carousel in our house with out too much expense, so I put BSB on it!

I must admit that our carousel construction involved a lot of trial and error and didn’t turn out as beautifully as I had imagined in my mind, but I am sharing what we learned from our adventure here, so you hopefully can build on it, when building your own carousel.

We have a large chandelier in the dining room that I knew could server to help support the structure. After a bit of brainstorming, we decided we could use a hula hoop to form the top of the carousel and headed to Lowes in search of the makings of a larger hoop. We had thought to look at PVC pipe, initially, but realized, it wouldn’t be flexible enough to bend into a hoop. What we did find is called PEX pipe. It comes in 10′ lengths, so we bought 2 lengths of pipe and couplers to join them together. We purchase the pipe that was only 1/2″ thick. It was the least expensive, and looked like it would do the trick, but in hindsight, it was pretty filmsy and didn’t hold the shape the way we had hoped it would once hung, so we recommend trying at least the 3/4″ width–maybe thicker.


Back at home we attached the pipes with the couplers and reinforced them with clear packing tape. If this were going to be a permanent structure, you could glue those in place, but we wanted to be able to disassemble the pipe after the party was over.

Then came the tricky party. BSB tied lengths of fishing line all around the perimeter of the PEX hoop. We used fishing line to attach the hula hoop to the chain of the chandelier. We tied the PEX pipe to the lower end of the chandelier. Some of our strings were a little tight so it warped the shape of the hoop a bit. If you are careful with the length of string, you may want to attach the PEX hoop directly to the hula hoop. Also, it might look cute and be easier to use a colorful ribbon to attach the hoops, rather than fishing line.

WARNING: Lights can be hot and melt things! Attaching plastic near a chandelier could result in melted plastic. Not that we know this from personal experience or anything….ahem….but make sure things aren’t resting on or very near the lightbulbs, and consider keeping the lights off while this is installed.

In a nod to convenience and frugality, I used wrapping paper. I bought the skinny colorful rolls at Target, knowing that a full-sized roll wouldn’t lay right. Although, we discovered that BSB could use some heavy duty utility scissors and his brute strength (he told me to write that), to cut wide rolls in half to make them more manageable.  The rolls weren’t as long as I had hoped, so we had to scrounge around the house for a little more wrapping paper. I think another time, I might have tried buying a long roll of white plastic table covering and draped it all around the carousel with colorful ribbons in between. (Watching the plastic near the lights, of course.) I think the plastic would have draped better.

And while I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the outcome, the guests were still pretty impressed. It definitely added to the atmosphere and let the guests know that something special was coming! If you attempt your own carousel, I’d love to hear how it goes and what works best for you!


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