Friday, April 5, 2013

Adorable Glamping Play Tents



Supplies:
2 - 1x2's (8ft.each)
2 - 1/2" dowels (4ft long)
1 - 3/4" dowel (4ft long)
2 ft 1/2" elastic
1 yd wide ribbon (or 2 - 18" long pieces)
approx. 2 1/2 yd 44-45" wide fabric
1.5 yds of wide rick rack or ribbon (optional)
fabric for pennants - scraps, fat quarters, etc. (optional)
1/2" and 3/4" drill bits
Drill, sandpaper/sander, sewing machine, saw, etc.
Frame:
Cut 1x2's in half, then trim one end on each at a 22.5 degree angle (or not. It just looks better, and the legs sit on the floor better). Sand all pieces smooth. Drill a 3/4" hole approximately 5 inches from the non-angled end of each piece. Drill 1/2" holes approximately 1.5-2 inches from the angled ends. These holes are for the dowels, obviously. :) Set all wood pieces aside.

Cover:
 Fold one bottom edge of fabric over 1/2 "; press flat. Fold edge over 1.5" to form a rod pocket; pin and press. Stitch close to edge, about 1/8" or so. Insert the 1/2" dowel into the pocket.
 Lay 2 leg pieces down together, angled ends forming an inverted "V". Place one on top of the other and slide the 3/4" dowel through the holes. Repeat with the other 2 pieces on the opposite end of the dowel. Leave about an inch of dowel sticking out of each end. Stand it up and spread the legs to form the tent frame.
It will NOT be very stable at this point, but everything works out when it's fully assembled. Drape the cover over the top, and insert the 1/2" dowel into the holes at the bottom of the legs on one side of the tent. Insert the other dowel into the other side's holes. Gently pull the fabric down to stretch it tight over the frame. Now, measure where the second rod pocket should go. Leave a 1/2" to fold over so the seam is sealed. :) This part can vary, which is why I didn't give you exact measurements. It all depends on where you drilled your holes. :) Once you have this figured out, remove the cover, trim the fabric, and repeat the steps to create the second rod pocket.
Optional pennant decoration:
Cut 6 triangles from your fabric scraps - top edge is 6" long. The points on mine are 8" from the top.
Hem or serge the side edges of each triangle, about 1/4", folded over once.
 
Finishing the Tent:
Cut your elastic into 4 pieces, about 6" long or so. Assemble the frame and cover. The fabric should be stretched, but not so tight that it bends the rods. Wrap a piece of elastic around the first leg bottom, pinning it to the backside of the fabric just above the rod pocket (so it doesn't show from the front). The loop should be snug enough to help hold the frame together. Repeat on other 3 legs.
If you are adding the pennant, pin the ribbon or rick rack at the peak of the tent on both sides, folding the edges over about 1/2" to hide raw edges. Pin each pennant under the ribbon, spaced evenly. You will want LOTS of pins so nothing moves around while you're sewing it on. Pin one of the 18" ribbons to the peak at both ends, as well. Remove the cover from the frame carefully. Stitch down the middle of the pennant ribbon, then sew on the ribbons and elastic loops.

To Assemble/Take Down:
Insert 1/2" dowels into rod pockets (leave these in when taking it down). Insert 3/4" dowel into holes at tops of legs, and spread them out. Lay cover over the top, pulling sides down. Wrap elastic loops around leg bottoms, then insert smaller dowels into holes at bottoms of legs. Tie ribbons at peak ends around the tops of the legs and beneath the inch or so of dowel sticking through the holes. This should provide the tent with more stability. The legs will collapse outward if pushed or slid along the floor (tents work best on carpet or grass).
To take it down, untie the ribbons, slide elastic loops off, and take small dowels out of the legs - DON'T take them out of the rod pockets, though. Remove the cover, fold it in half with the dowels together, and lay it on the floor. Take the legs off the top dowel and lay all 5 pieces on the cover at the end wit the small dowels. Roll everything up, and then use the ribbons to tie around the bundle for easy storage. (THAT part was unintended brilliance on my part!!)


37 comments:

Kirsten said...

Are you kidding? That is what you make other moms compete with for parties?! Seriously, that is incredible, and so you. My girls would have loved that when they were little. Actually, they would probably like it now.

Channa said...

Thanks, Kirsten!

Aimie said...

I want to do this any pictures yet. I need to make 10

Channa said...

Oh my gosh! I get sooo busy that I forget to come back to this sometimes! I added some pictures of the construction - hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Cool I may do this for a sleepover im throwing

Patricia Thomas said...

Such a wonderful idea. I've been looking to create some portable tents for classrooms; especially our infant classroom. So colorful and soothing. Perfect for naps. Thank you for sharing. When we redesign our classroom, I will send you pictures. Thank you, again.

Anonymous said...

Awesome

Olathe Fire Auxiliary said...

How much fabric did you use?

Channa said...

About 2.5 yards, give or take an inch. :) The exact measurement depends on where you drill the holes, but 2.5 should be enough.

Channa said...

Thanks, Patricia! I would love to see pictures!

Channa said...

Thanks, Patricia! I would love to see pictures!

Channa said...

About 2.5 yards, give or take an inch. :) The exact measurement depends on where you drill the holes, but 2.5 should be enough.

Find Handmade said...

Great ideas! really impressed with your original and genuine way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

Jay said...

hi.. great idea. I'm not quite sure how the elastic loops at the bottom corners, and the ribbon at the tops, improve the stability?
It seems like the side walls can still slide outward and flatten the whole tent? Unless, you use a string to connect the 1/2" dowels,
or the angled bottoms of the 1x2 frame legs? This would limit the width of the tent and at least prevent it from spreading out flat?
Unless I'm misunderstanding, or missing something obvious. Thanks again for this write-up. I think I'll be building a bunch of these for my daughter's slumber birthday party coming up soon! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to do this at the sleepover party me and my BFF are hosting at her house. This is a great idea and I love how they fold. I can now make this at my house and bring it over and put it together at her house.

Anonymous said...

How expensive would this be?

Channa said...

It's been awhile, but I believe they cost around $7-10 each. It really depends on the fabric used. That's the biggest expense, so I used $4 twin sheets for most of them.

Channa said...

It's been awhile, but I believe they cost around $7-10 each. It really depends on the fabric used. That's the biggest expense, so I used $4 twin sheets for most of them.

camping with kids said...

really amazing tips for making the play tents. this will be really helpful to make one for my small baby. he will really like it, thanks for such beautiful blog.

Unknown said...

I think this is an amazing idea I did this with my friends but made it a little bigger and it great idea

Unknown said...

How much did you spend for just one, because I am considering making 5??

Unknown said...

Hi. The 3/4 in dowel seems to big. Do you think I could go smaller on all dowels - use 1/2 inch for top and something smaller for bottom? ALso, what is the purpose of the elastic?

Tara Kriete said...

Hi. Such a great idea!! Do you think you could do smaller dowels. Maybe 1/2 in at top and smaller for bottom? Also, what is the purpose of the elastic?

Channa said...

Hi, all! The larger dowels help provide stability. Smaller ones flex too much. The elastic loops wrap around the legs and dowels to help keep them from sliding apart. :)

Anonymous said...

How long does it take to make??

Gabby Deyo said...

Where do you get the sticks

Channa said...

Maybe an hour or 2, depending on your skill level.

Channa said...

Home Depot. :)

Anonymous said...

Fun idea! Where did you find $4 twin sheets? Thanks!!

Shanna said...

What is the average cost to make one of these? I'm going to have 10 kids.

Anna Fragoso said...

What was the cost to make one? This looks like an easy project and would honestly make cute gifts if it wasn't too expensive. Great idea!

Channa said...

Smith's Marketplace and WalMart. :)

Channa said...

Thanks! They cost about $7-10 each, depending on the fabric used.

Channa said...

Smith's Marketplace and WalMart. :)

Charlers John said...

Have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up.
Play Tent

Mahavira Tents said...

Such a wonderful tent it is, I have seen many types of tents but you gave me the information of a wonderful Luxury Tents which I can use in my night party and I can also make it at my house with the help of your great information.

BamaGlamper said...

How cute.