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You can build a circus like this.

This page will show you how to build your own circus. There are photos, drawings, and notes to explain what materials were used to build Le Cirque Bleu and how it was put together. You are welcome to modify the design and use whatever materials are available. The idea is to give the impression of a circus tent and a side show and to just have fun. These are simply the dimensions, shapes, and materials I decided to use. If you have any questions regarding techniques or materials, write to me at bananas@meddybemps.com.

Big Top Floor and Wall Basics

The basic structure is made up of two 30"x40" sheets of mat board, one yellow and one with a pebbled surface, and a sheet or two of white .25" foam core board.

Panels are held in place by means of adhesive-backed strips of Velcro so the tent can be dismantled for storage. A rigging of thin wooden strips, wooden dowels, and a thin, springy, metallic wrapping cord keep things upright.

Construction Base Construction Side Wall Construction End Wall A Addition of Logo A Construction End Wall B Construction Wings Bleachers Construction Grid Construction Details Construction End View

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Side Show Floor and Wall Basics

The side show stands to the side of the main circus tent. It consists of a simple base with one wall and two wings to support the wall. Side show characters stand on two simple platforms on either side of a large opening in the wall. Appropriate artwork publicizing each character is glued to the wall. Your version could have any dimensions or details you prefer.

Side Show Outline

Construction of Side Show

Populating your circus

If your family doesn't already have approriate toys to use in a circus, start looking now, and take your time. Small molded plastic figures of Smurfs, zoo animals, and other licensed characters make up the majority of our circus performers. These are often colorful and available in many poses. Some have useful accessories. New, highly detailed Christmas ornaments are offered at Hallmark stores each fall. Toys and figures by Playmobil and Mighty World can also be used. You simply have to gather enough to start your circus. You can add more each year.

We had already collected dozens of Smurfs when I built Le Cirque Bleu in 1989. We had some animals and licensed character figures from visits to theme parks, and we had a train. Now, almost twenty years later, we have added more Smurfs, more animals, and more interesting characters. Our circus has grown. Yours will, too.

Don't be afraid to use found objects or to make props for your circus. Study the individual circus act photos and you will see juice bottle caps serving as pedastals for big cats, TinkerToys used to make acrobatic apparatus, and the metal twists from sparkling wine bottles used as animal perches. Odd Christmas decorations appear hear and there. Anything is possible.

Use your imagination and just have fun!
- Jerry and Susan Jindrich


If you do build your own circus and would like to share, send us a photo or two and permission to publish them. We could add a page of examples submitted by children, families, parents, or teachers.

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Circus Acts Marker
Build Your Own Circus History Side Show Stupendous Circus Acts Raising the Big Top Circus Train
Return to Le Cirque Bleu Main Page.

2017 Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved. New 3/01/2017.