Friday, November 9, 2012

No-Sew DIY Play Tent

  Today I thought I’d share the No-Sew DIY Play Tent that I made for Evening the other day.

  First, you’ll need these supplies:

  • A quilting hoop
  • 3 old sheets (the more colourful the better!)
  • Clothespins
  • 5 binder clips
  • String

  I highly recommend that you check your local thrift stores for the hoop and sheets since these items are almost always in abundance (and inexpensive!).  

Step 1.  Separate your hoops.  Open the outer hoop as wide as you can, and set it aside.  

  Take your first sheet and scrunch one of the shorter sides along the inner hoop, securing it with a clothespin as you go along.  Cover 1/3 of the hoop with the first scrunched sheet.  

scrunching the first sheet
Repeat with the other two sheets, until it looks something like this:

strange laundry crown/laundry birthday cake

Step 2.  Take three lengths of string (about a foot and half in length, each), and tie one to the hoop in each spot where two sheets meet.   

here I use yarn to make the hanger, but it proved too weak so I don't recommend it
Step 3.  Wait until baby is done playing with the outer hoop.

we might be here a while...

   Now bring the outer hoop down over the top, removing the clothespins as you go.  I recommend bunching the sheets beneath the hoops on a flat surface so they don’t slide out.  It’s going to be a tight fit, but you’ll get it if you don’t give up.  

  Once it’s on, tighten it as best you can. 

Step 4.  Now take the strings and tie them together so that the tent is level, securing with a good knot.  Leave a small space and tie another knot.  We’ll call this part of the tent the ‘hanger’.  Use the space in between the knots to hold up the tent, slipping it over a hook in the ceiling (I’ll tell you how to suspend the tent outdoors later).    

  Now the sheets are draping down onto the floor  in a closed tent.  If you have a baby, like little Evening here, this is probably far enough.  She quite enjoyed the colours and playing with the fabric but once I opened the tent she lost all interest and went on to other things.  

playing in her tent
  For older kids, however, the fun is just beginning.  

Step 5.  Use binder clips to secure the different sheets together in the middle lengthwise, skipping one pair to leave as the entrance.  Add another clip midway through the ‘back’ sheet, and one on each side of the entrance.  

  Using string again, tie a piece to the binder clip and attach the other end to a chair/table/whatever is available, pulling the string until the sheets begin to lift up and out.  

  Repeat this with each clip until your tent is opened up and ready for fun. 

let's go living room camping!
  When the tent inevitably gets dirty you can simply dismantle it and throw it in the wash – which makes it fun for kids to take outside in summer, and back inside for rainy or cold winter days.  

  If you want to use the tent outside, find a good tree branch to suspend it from instead of a ceiling hook. 

  Take a very long length of string and tie one end to a stone.  Making sure that no one is playing underneath,  toss the stone over the branch, letting the string trail behind it (keeping the opposite end with you).  Once it’s over, tie the opposite end of the string to the tent ‘hanger’.  Then pull the tent up to the desired height with the stone end of the string and tie it to the tree to secure it.  

  And voila!  Your tent is ready for adventure!  Happy camping!

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  1. too much fun!! thanks for sharing this idea--I've been looking for an idea for a tent to set up in the woods for my kids when we go exploring. This is just perfect.

    1. I can't wait to take it outside this summer to make a shady corner - I hope your little ones enjoy it as much as we do!

  2. This would be a perfect "in the woods" tent! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! I hope you join us again today (yeah I know it's a day late... linky issues) at Eco-Kids Tuesday!!


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