Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sew Easy Play Tent

When we designated one of the rooms in our basement as a play/family room, one of the first things I set out to create for the room was a play tent. When I was little I loved playing and reading in small cozy spaces. I had been eyeing these play tents but didn’t want to shell out the cash. I also didn't want to spend hours making my own tent.

I was inspired to create a simple play tent pattern own after picking up a hula hoop at a garage sale for 75 cents.

To create your own tent you’ll need:

- 1 hula hoop

- 2 flat twin sheets

- 1.5 inch thick ribbon (3 yards)

- 1 ceiling hook

- pinking shears, fabric scraps, and coordinating double fold bias tape (for pennant banner)

Step 1: take two sheets and lay them on the floor (you will need a big open space for this project) with the right sides facing up. Lay sheet 1 on top of sheet 2 (right sides facing in). Pin and sew along one of the long edges.

Step 2: Open up the sheets along new seam and lay flat with the right side up.

Step 3: Fold down 24” inches from the foot of the sheets and pin along the fold. Sew along fold to create a channel (2.5 inch seam) that will hold the hula hoop.

Step 4: Open again and fold down 2.5 inches from the foot of the sheets.

Step 5: cut two pieces of ribbon (1 yard each) and place one on top of the fold at the center of the sheet, and one along the edge of the sheet (see diagram). Pin along edge at bottom of the fold (pinning ribbon too). Sew to create a second channel (2 inch seam allowance)

Step 6: Fold in half along center seam with the wrong side out. Pin and sew edge between the channels. Make sure you leave ends of channels open. Turn inside out.

Step 7: Thread remaining piece of ribbon through channel at foot of sheets. Attach a safety pin to end of ribbon to make it easier to guide through the channel. Gather as you go and tie two pieces of ribbon together to form the peak of tent. Secure with a knot and cut off excess ribbon. Push sections of ribbon you added in step 5 through the small hole created by the gathered channel. You will hang the tent from these strips of ribbon.

Step 8: Cut your hula hoop (I used tree trimmers) and thread it through the center channel. Use duct tape to tape ends back together once it is threaded.

Step 9: Hang the tent from a ceiling hook and evenly distribute fabric around hula hoop to level the tent.

Step 9: Decorate it! To create a pennant banner use pinking shears to cut out triangles then sew them together with bias tape. Attach the banner to the tent with a needle and thread. I also whipped up some coordinating floor pillow covers to add some color and boost the cozy factor of the tent. Our brilliant au pair added little paper stars to the ceiling of the tent with thread!

Step 10: have fun watching your little ones explore and play in their new tent.


Stephanie said...

so cute! I have been wanting a tent for Emery and this is a great tutorial. I posted about it on my blog -- always love your creativity!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial, 19 moms in Russia are going to sew different play-tents for their children. I liked your idea as I have so little space at home. Thank you!

Amanda said...

Zelya, Please send me pictures of your creations. It will be neat to see how each of you decorates your tent. I promise your kids will love playing in it.

Unknown said...

http://wp.me/P1bgjw-zk - I did it differently, but your tutorial helped me to start the journey of making a tent for my daughter.

Melanie Reid Thomas said...

This has been the perfect tutorial! I knew it could be done this way (instead of cutting multiple triangles and sewing them together for top)and this saved me from figuring out the exact measurements. THANKS!!!

Amanda said...

Melanie, thanks so much for your comment! Please post a picture of your tent on the Namesake Design Facebook page. I hope your kids enjoy the tent.

Ash n Tim said...

Super kiddy tent! I posted a photo of ours on your FB page! Not quite the same method but very similar result! And oh what fun!

Unknown said...

I just bookmarked this and pinned it to pinterest! What a great and inexpensive way to make a tent. My kids are always asking for tents, but I am not able to make one to their expectations ;)
I'm definitely going to do this, and I'll post a link to my blog post when I do if you want!

Amanda said...

Jan, thanks for pinning this project. It was so easy and has help up to three years of heavy use. Please do share yours when you complete it.

Anonymous said...

Such a fantastic and easy way to make a tent. Of course I find this after I purchased a personalized one from PB kids :-( question...the ceiling hook doesn't seem to hold well...I even placed it in a stud but I don't think it's actually hitting the stud since the screw part is so short on the ceiling hook. Any advice on how to get these tents to stay up? Thanks!

Unknown said...

I just made this tent in an hour!
This is such a great tutorial and holy cow, it saved me money!

Thanks a million for sharing your awesome tutorial. My tent is darling and my son is going to flip out in the morning when I hang it in the corner of his bedroom.

Amanda said...

I am so glad you found my play tent tutorial! I am sure your son is going to love it.


Anonymous said...

Love the tutorial. I do have a questions about the fabric bunting. About how long is the total length you made for that? Thanks.

MarksMama said...

Could you just use a king sized sheet rather than two twins?

Amanda said...

I have used twin, full, queen and king sheets to make tents. 2 twins or one king work best.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but I'm going to try to get an answer still. I am confused as to how you get the ribbon threaded into the channel. I must have messed up somewhere.

Anonymous said...

My ribbon is laying on top of the channel and there are no access spots except for the end.

ilana said...

I would love some additional instructions regarding making the pennant banner part. I don't have experience with pinking shears or bias tape and could use some more specifics. Thanks!

Amanda said...

Sorry you are having trouble with the ribbon part. You should have two strands of ribbon that are attached to the tent by your channel seam. When you thread the channel with ribbon and tie it tight to create the "roof" those two ribbons can be pulled through the hole in the roof to hang the tent. To thread a ribbon through the channel, pin a safety pin on the end of a ribbon and slowly pull it through the channel (that should have openings on both ends. If it doesn't get out the seam ripper :). Make sure part of the ribbon is sticking out of the end you entered while you thread. it. This link may help you to visualize, http://www.wikihow.com/Insert-a-Drawstring.

If your still having trouble, message me via Facebook.

Amanda said...

As for the pennant banner, here's an easy tutorial that's similar to what I did: http://projectnursery.com/2012/12/diy-chic-pennant-banner/.

Happy crafting!

Unknown said...

We awoke to see the cloud just beginning to break off and set off for tent, Tent select

Alma said...

Jan, thanks for pinning this project.

Alma said...

helpful to me.


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