Step 6: Making Windows, Doors

1.) Cutting out the Doors and Windows
The next step is to put doors and windows in the tent's wall pieces. All you have to do is decide what size you want them to be, draw them onto the cloth using a yadstick, and cut them out. If you're making the Pretty Great Tent, you'll cut out three sides of the foot vent and side doors, leaving the third side uncut as a hinge. Doing this while the cloth is in the frame would be best, but laying out the material without the frame works fine too. I drew the doors and vent in with angular corners, using a yardstick. Then I used a big coffee can to round out the corners. Just be careful to cut along the rounded line.

2.) 'Sewing in Zippers'
Once you make the cuts, you'll sew the zipper on. Sew the zipper onto the door (or window) first--as opposed to sewing it onto the door or window "frame" edge first.
a.) First, fold 1/4" of the cloth under itself, and pin it to itself from the neat or unfolded side. Make sure you pin exclusively from the side you'll be sewing from (the 'top' side as you fold the material under, or the outside of the tent.)
b.) Then pin the zipper to this folded edge, pinning from the same side you did before. Pin it close to the teeth but not too close. Let a couple of inches of extra zipper overlap each end of the door cut.
c.) Sew the zipper onto the door or window edge, removing pins as you go. Keep your magnet in close by as you sew so the pins get sucked over to it while you're running the cloth through--it's a drag messing with a pin cushion; just pull the pins out as the cloth goes into the foot, and sweep them towards the needle.

3.) Once you've sewn the zipper to the door or window, repeat these steps to sew the zipper onto the edge of the door or window frame. Keep the zipper closed during these steps.

4.) When you've got the zipper completely sewn in, feed the sliders in and then run a bunch of stitches across its terminal ends so that the sliders won't come off. Then get some scrap material and sew a nice little patch over the outside side of the zipper ends to cover up the cuts/mess underneath (pictures in following steps).

When you're finished, you can unzip the zipper and admire your new door or window.

5.) Screens:
When you're done sewing the zippers for the doors and windows in, zip them shut, then lay the screen out over the door or window hole and cut your window screen to size, leaving 1/2" overlap. Fold the edge of the screen over 1/4" all around, and pin it to itself, leaving the heads of all the pins on one side of the screen.
For Screen Windows and/or the Foot Vent:
Think about which side of the tent wall you're dealing with (screens should be on the outside of the foot vent or window so you can unzip the solid panels from inside,) and after folding the edges of the window screen over 1/4", pin them to the wall material. Make sure the door is clear of where you'll be sewing and will still work right when you're done, and sew the screen on, being sure not to sew the door shut.

'For Screen Doors:'
a.) Fold the 3 edges of the screen door that will have a zipper running around them over 1/4 ", then pin and sew the zipper onto this edge like you did the solid doors.
b.) Then, with the ripstop door unzipped (open), sew the other side of the screen doors' zippers to the tent wall even with the solid panel's zipper.

c.) Once these three sides are sewn in, fold over the "hinge" side of the screen door, pin it to the ripstop wall/door hinge, and sew it. I might use a zig zag stitch the next time I do it, but for the great tent, a straight one worked fine.

You should now have both solid and screen doors that will open and close sewn into the wall.
i followed your tips and im proud to say that i have been living in this tent for 3 months now. if my parents could see me now. last night i ate wild onions and dog meat for dinner.
where are you camping and how do you have internet access?
<p>Probably by a river in some city near a coffee shop...</p>
<p>dog meat?</p>
This is one of my favorite responses, and I'm glad to have played some small part in the realization of this Dream.&nbsp; <br />
<p>You are so entertaining! Great fun, useful and instructive instructable...fantastic!</p>
<p>Awesome.... </p><p>Repurposing is always awesome. Love the detail you put into this.</p>
<p>I am a stupid person with my hands but I think some of my ideas are not too bad... ANYWAY: do you think that you could make a tent that you could flip over on so that you could use it as a kind of cot? I thought about having the cot frame be the tent frame and the cot surface be the tent itself. You could set up the cot to lie around in the sunshine in the daytime (or sleep under the stars at night) and just flip it over and have the cot surface kind of fold out to cover the frame and make a tent.</p>
<p>I don't argue with my S.O. over such things as tent guy lines, I let him have his day in the sun on the little stuff. </p>
<p>Until now I have resisted an account here... already too too much mail in my box. But I wanted to comment about your tent adventure and thus took the plunge. Great narrative and exciting re-use of found tent and materials. The recipe for waterproofing sealer DIY spray was secondary in the push to be able to comment. That might be immediately useful to me. Thank you for sharing. I don't think I will be making my own but I enjoyed your adventure and tackling and encouraging sewing as a no-gender excluded oh so very useful skill set. Thanks a million for my a.m. coffee mug entertainment.</p>
Epic and a fun read too. Thanks.
<p>this is a great 'ible and my mind is reeling. The is pretty cheap on e-Bay and so is the mosquito netting, has anyone considering rather than dealing with zippers maybe using Velcro?</p>
Crayfish to a discarded toaster?! Can you elaborate on that?!
<p>Should have guessed this caffeinated text hailed from Seattle. ;)</p>
Why are you sitting on a table?
<p>If you have estate auctions in your area, then try there to get a good deal on a good quality sewing machine. I picked up a Pfaff portable complete all the feet and spindles for $75. I see good quality sewing machines come up at the auction a quite a few times a year and even some big commercial machines. I am going to have to try your seam sealer formula. </p>
Wow, for a beginner you actually did quite an amazing sewing job!!! I've been sewing for years, and I'm sure my attempts at constructing a tent would not be noticeably neater! <br><br>I commend you on your spelling as well....rarely do I read an 'ible that has so few spelling errors. It made my reading very pleasurable. Your attention to detail in making your tent AND delivering your instructable is greatly appreciated!
<p>+1 I agree!</p>
Where did you find that huge tent so cheep?
thats so cool! <br>
Great Instructable! The write up was immensely entertaining as well.
I have been trying to find someone to make me a lean-to with a screened in front for a long time, I have been using big plastic tarps but they just don't do what I want them to. Now I guess I'll make it myself. Surprised I didn't think of this before.&nbsp; As far as the sewing machines go, I have to say that my mother has a Singer and has had lots of problems with it. I bought a Brother machine (that's right, my own machine, single men need things sewn too), and have never had any problems with it. Have made a couple small bags for water bottle and camp cooking stuff (besides patches on my jeans), have sewn web straps on jean material without any problems, guess they are not all that bad.&nbsp; I would also like to know whats the weight on your almost perfect tent. Might be a project for after the lean-to.<br />
I agree that we should stop gendering tools and activities--masculinity as it's been imagined and practiced falls squarely into the spectrum of hilarious-to-pathetic at this point.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I also find myself disillusioned with the Romance of the Tarp.&nbsp; Bugs and animals crawl on your face at night, and I&nbsp;don't feel protected against monsters and Satan the way I do in a nice, enclosed, candle-lit tent. * <br /> <br /> Surely there's a comfortable mean between super-equipped 1960s Man Scout-style camping (canvas everything, Axe-n-saw for erecting a semi-permanant cabin, chairs, table, spruce-bough bed, etc. from the abundant &quot;saplings&quot; that are always supposed to be around in an inexhaustable supply), and the self-sacrificially-macho Ultralight thing where you &quot;Toughen Up&quot; and swing superiorly down the trail like Tarzan wearing nothing but a loincloth made out of beef jerky that supposedly doubles as raingear, tent, first aid kit, and food source.&nbsp; A nice lean-to for example.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I think I put the weight down here somewhere, but offhand, I think it was 4.4lbs.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> And yeah--a brand name doesn't gaurantee anything one way or the other.<br /> <br /> *Note to the over-helpful reader who is now itching to assert his greater knowledge and experience and importance in the world of manly pursuits by chiding me for using a candle in a tent: save it please. <br />
&quot;I also find myself disillusioned with the Romance of the Tarp. Bugs and animals crawl on your face at night, and I don't feel protected against monsters and Satan the way I do in a nice, enclosed, candle-lit tent.&quot; <br> <br>I love that! My sentiments exactly! :oD <br> <br>Nice instructable! Thanks.
personally i prefer using cyclone lanterns. Kerosene is pretty cheap and you don't get wax everywhere
Hey, you found real nylon thread! kudos! I'm looking for this stuff. <br /> <br />My dad picked up the end of the huge sppols from the industrial sewing machines that made seat belts and safety harnesses. Brilliant stuff, and whatever you are sewing will break long before the thread will!
nicely done, the siicon stuff where do you get it out in the real world. ?
I think he's talking about 100% silicone caulking from the home improvement store. It comes in tubes and is applied with a &quot;calk gun&quot; a kind of clamp like thing that pushes a plunger up the tube and squeezes out the contents through a hole in the tip of the tube. <br>From the description sounds like he's making his own silicone paint with the mineral spirits as the solvent vehicle. <br>Spray it on, the spirits evaporate leaving behind silicone impregnated cloth. <br>Clever
Yes that is what i thought. Bought multitubes of silicon caulking and mixed with the mineral spirits, use cheap garden sprayer and sprayed it on my canvas. I used it, and it only sprinkled but no drops inside noted. Still the real test awaits in a thunderstorm...lol
I actually like this. Be surprised. <br> <br>I'm more of a solo tent kind of guy, and see some promise in the tent displayed in pic #4 and 5.
wow! your tent design is very close to what i imagined would be the perfect tent for me. you made it really easy to understand the construction process. thanks for all the excellent tips and instructions. hope my tent turns out as sweet as yours!
Whenever I see the thumbnail for this Instructable, I think you are laying on some invisible wall or falling backward. The stool you are leaning back on just blends in with the ground.
i thinks it's called a baker tent. i made one years ago using coated ripstop nylon sail material. very light weight &amp; strong. worked well on the Appalation (spelling ) trail in Feb.
Cool tent.<br> &quot; &quot; Instructable.<br> &quot; &quot; Author.
This is by far the best DIY project I have ever found. Thanks a million for all your hard work sharing it with the planet! You Rock!!
Brillant! I think I'll make this my winter project! Love the discription of cons of guy lines...will completely hold true with my friends :) Cheers!
This is absolutely amazing. I especially like the design, it looks like the legendary 'campfire' tent that Bill Mason loved so much. I have never seem one in nylon, maybe I will try one too :)
I was thinking the same thing. Looks like Bill Mason's classic tent.<br><br>Great job on making something so usable. Might do this myself.
World class!<br><br>I've tried most all tents from lean-to to canoe fly to Baker, tube and beyond. <br><br>This is the most reasoned and proven approach I've seen.<br><br>Camo fabric is available online:<br><br>E.G. http://www.lurasfabricshop.com/fabric-choices/camouflage.html<br><br>Now I need a temptress; oops seamstress (first.)
This looks like a pretty great tent! Where were you able to find ripstop nylon in widths greater than 60&quot; ? I've been unable to source anything larger than that.<br>
hmm, I don't know if I did. Maybe see the sections on patching together the panels out of multiple scraps of materials?
Harbor Freight Tools sells green farm tarps so you can blend in better. They may sell brown ones and, do sell silver ones for winter use. Really like your design.
After reading comments, seems It's all been said.&nbsp; Ah, sew what.&nbsp; I'll say it again.&nbsp; Great idea, design, ible and sense of humor - scratch that - sense of enjoyment.&nbsp; Most excellent.&nbsp; Thanks for sharing.<br /> <br /> Just emailed a PDF of your work to older (my out door hero) and younger brother (current multimedia guru for Gert's Co. somewhere in OR). I'd be surprised if one of them doesn't pull a couple of old tents out of the geerage up thar in the NW and make their own version of this beauty.&nbsp; Then again, this might just be the nudge I needed to finally find out if the singer passed on from my grandmother-in-law, who passed on, actually works or needs to be passed on.&nbsp; I've got an old tent and a father-in-law with more tarps, canvas, military extras and the likes to make me something I can be proud to call my home away from home.&nbsp; My only mod would be an access flap on one side about the size of a soup bowl and probably some extra waterproofing below it down to ground level.&nbsp; No sense in leaving the tent to pee.&nbsp; Course I'll have to keep it's purpose a secret until my wife sees how useful it is.&nbsp; The flap that is. She's convinced of the usefulness of... well... uh, never-mind.<br /> <br /> I do have one question.&nbsp; Did you marry that gal that proposed in her comment?<br />
Nice!--I always wondered about a urinal hole, but was afraid to try it.<br /> <br /> And, though I wish I could pass on a story about connecting with a now-wife through this, and then write it up for The Reader's Digest with an uplifting and &quot;deeply human&quot; message of Hope, I figured she was referring to my far more photogenic brother, the model in the photos...<br />
I was delighted with your sequence and persistence!<br /> You have surpassed any recommendations about tailoring and manufacturing of tent with a canopy!
Good job! I used to use &quot;Baker&quot; style tents and home made lean-to's in the scouts when I was a kid and was lamenting that no one made a backpackers Baker tent. Well now I can make one for myself! I'm going on a motorcycle road trip this summer with my cousin and some friends. I may have to see if I can bash one of these together in time&nbsp;. It would be nice to have a porch for the Harley when its a wet camp. <br /> <br /> You are an inspiration to us all my friend.
A very cool instructable. Love the star gazing feature and really well written. You should write articles for travel/camping magazines (if you don't already)!!! I admire the recycling and design your dream tent aspects too.&nbsp;
1. This has to be the best tent design I've seen, and it's certainly one of the best (most comprehensive, informative, well-written, etc.) instructables I've ever read. <br /> <br /> 2. One suggestion: you mentioned in another comment that you used a candle in the tent. Maybe a small vent at the top would help (like a chimney).<br /> <br /> 3. Most of this page is bold. It seems you forgot to close a bold tag in step 1.<br /> <br /> :)<br /> <br />
I'm loving your facial expressions in those pictures.<br />

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Bio: just some fella
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