How to Decorate a Drop Ceiling

A suspended ceiling in an office.
  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-300
What You'll Need
Blue fabric
Fishing line
Hole punch
Construction paper
Masking tape
Permanent marker
Tape measure

There is no easy way to say this, but drop ceilings are ugly. They are often regarded as one of the ugliest things you can put in a building. Drop ceilings are usually installed in offices because they are inexpensive and can easily hide wiring and air ducts.

Decorating these white tiles made out of pressed fibers and foam is one of the easiest projects you and your co-workers can attempt together and is one that should definitely be on your agenda. Here’s how to make a drop ceiling less hideous.

Step 1 - Create Your Design

Look at a drop ceiling as a blank canvas. From Gothic to Middle Eastern, there are many themes you can choose. This particular design will be "Underwater Serenity," designed to bring the calm of the ocean into the office. This is a great concept if you work in a place that sells fishing equipment, pools, or hot tubs. The great thing about this design is that it doesn't damage the drop ceiling tiles or the support structure.

Start creating your design by making fish. Draw the fish on construction paper. Vary the size and color of each fish—even draw facial expressions on them if you like. Punch a hole in the top center of each fish, thread a fishing line through it, and then tie off the line.

Step 2 - Make the Sea Floor

Get some blue fabric to act as the ocean and the sea floor. Take the square footage of the section of ceiling you'll be transforming and add an extra 3 feet. Spread the fabric out on the floor.

Now, place netting, seashells, star fish, and any other items you think will work with the concept onto the fabric. Be careful to not use anything too heavy. Once you are satisfied with how it looks, use a strong glue to attach the items to the fabric. If you can, sew them down instead.

Start lifting the tiles and pulling the fabric over the metal supports. Continue doing this until all the fabric is in place. It will cover the drop ceiling tiles, but still show the metal supports.

Step 3 - Add the Finishing Touches

With the sea floor in place, you can finish the design. Adjust the fabric to where you want it, doing your best to keep all your props over ceiling tiles and not on top of the supports. Now, place your fish. Stagger them across the ceiling, taping them to the metal supports.