Hello all, hope every one's having a wonderful summer so far. I have been super greedy with my time and spending it all with the kids outdoors as much as possible in this great weather we are having. As summer is coming close to an end, we have to find ways of entertaining children indoors and that can be challenging sometimes. I try to have little play areas all over the house so that where ever they roam, there are toys and books to entertain them. I always wanted to place a play tent or some sort of tee-pee for them near their books and toys but I was amazed at the prices of these things!
Of course, I thought, I can make that myself and here it is. I went from trying to figure out how to build a tee-pee the easiest way possible and decided that it was way too complicated for my quick, easy, cheap, crafting style. Let me show you what I ended up with. A play tent made with a hula hoop, umbrella and curtains!
Things you will need:
- Umbrella (average sized)
- Hula Hoop (average sized)
- 2 Curtain Panels (54"x84" each)
- Sewing Machine
- Bias tape (optional)
If you want to make the tent a specific size, it all depends on the diameter of your hula hoop. To cut, the hula hoop, use a serrated steak knife to EASILY cut through. Simply rejoin and secure with wide packaging tape.
Since I ruined my yellow averaged sized hula hoop for demonstration purposes, I had to cut my red one to an average sized hula hoop :\
Above, I removed the fabric from the metal structure of the umbrella which was only held together by thread. For the top of the umbrella, I used a scissor to make the smallest possible opening to detach it from the plastic top.
First, sew the two panels together on one side creating one giant wide panel. MAKE SURE not to sew the curtain rod opening shut. Your hula hoop needs to go through both panels of course :)
I took one curtain panel and pinned it to the umbrella fabric that's folded in half. Pin the other panel to the other half of the umbrella as shown above. I marked the curtain illustration above in 4 to show how evenly the umbrella's quarters matched up perfectly. Thank god.
Almost done! Notice the one side left open or un-sewn? That's our tent "door"
To make windows:
First hang the tent up or hold it up high so that the fabric is not dragging on the floor. Measure your child against the hanging tent and determine how high you want your window to be (their eye level). I suggest not making it any wider than 9"x11". Smaller the better. As I found out after making the window sketch below, its easier to sew bias tape to a round or oval window. Sketch out your window, cut it out and keep that piece of fabric for later.
This is my almost oval window with bias tape.
My loop as it turns out, was way too long and when hung from the ceiling, it caused my tent to drag on the floor. I adjusted it by sewing another stitch halfway onto the loop itself. I used a ceiling screw kinda shaped like an upside down question mark. They come in many sizes and thickness and are very strong. I have them screwed in, in two different areas in the home. This way, the tent can be moved around for a different scenery...
Needless to say, they could not get enough of this tent. It's now called "Castle" and I'm OK with that!
Yes, that's me taking a photo of us inside the tent...
- I used darkening curtains.
- You can cut and make a very small hula hoop and use 2 panels of curtains to make an over bed canopy or crib netting.
- This tent is great for outdoor, garden parties. Hang on a tree.
- To make a cushion as shown in the above illustration. Fold any wide enough fabric or extra curtain panel in half and trace the hula hoop. Cut out. Sew the 2 circles together and stuff with batting or any other stuffing material. You can place a non skid mat under if necessary.
- Hang battery operated lights inside, high out of reach.