I Build a Chuppah

Of course any project no matter how unfamiliar can be tackled with online directions. I used this plan.

Chuppah how to
Chuppah how to

But of course I made some modifications. My son was a bit repelled by the idea of buckets plus they are expensive. I already knew about cloth planters so I ordered two kinds. These are very inexpensive a set of six 7 gallon “grow bags” was about $20. I also ordered 5 gallon bags but decided the taller bags would be more sturdy. Plus the yellow/tan color matched one of the wedding colors. I lined the ”buckets” with pickling bags made of a heavy duty plastic.

Sample cloth planting buckets
Sample cloth planting buckets

There were many beautiful chuppas online to emulate. This was the design that caught our eye.

Inspiration

I was planning to use some antique organdy I separated from an old bedspread with the eyelet pieces as the roof. But I found out that a tallit, a sacred Jewish cloth is used instead. Rachel, our bride, was using her grandfather’s. We drove our RV out so we had plenty of room for materiaIs. The posts were loaded in the cab-over as well as boxes of accessories like candles and craft supplies. I brought a couple of bolts of white material I had bought at a repurposed materials auction. I used lenths of the lighter weight material.

I didn’t start the buckets or pole construction until we got to Mesa’s warmer climate. Instead of using all cement, I layered sand and cement. I was intending to just buy the 4” plastic pipe in Mesa when I saw there was a shortage of the drain pipe. So I brought the length that I had. I brought several power tools too: the impact drill, the heavy 1/2 inch power drill with the cement mixing paddle, the multi tool saw, and the electric staple gun.

Bottom layer is sand
Bottom layer is sand

I cut the pipe lengths with the multitool. I figured that layering sand and cement would make the buckets lighter than all cement and easier to move. Sand is also cheaper than cement. I started with a layer of sand because I reasoned that I could shift that layer to help even the buckets on uneven ground. I bought a 5 gallon bucket to mix a layer of cement at a time and alternated about an inch of concrete with about an inch of sand.

Ready for cement
Ready for cement

The buckets seemed sturdy enough to hold the poles at a little more than half full. I used 1 3/4 bags of cement and 1 1/2 bags of sand. the top pieces were rails from a recycled log bed and were exactly the right length to build a 7’ x 7’ x 7’ chuppah for good luck. Each end was held at the top by one long screw so easy to put together and take apart.

Working to set up
Working to set up

One of the poles was a little too thick for the pipe so I trimmed it with the multitool saw until it fit. At the venue we would turn the poles until they appeared straight and used cardboard to shim a couple in the pipes. Next I cut the pieces of material for the drape and purchased two lovely bouganvillea plants as decor. I had two grow bags left to cover the black pots.

Trial set up at RV Park
Trial set up at RV Park

Unfortunately the white material was kind of dirty so we decided to wash it at the hotel. But we didnt have time to iron it. Better clean than flat I guess.

Set up at venue
Set up at venue

Certainly not obviously wrinkled from a distance and the chuppah was just what we had in mind. The wedding couple were very happy with it.

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