DIY A-Frame Play Tent




Introduction: DIY A-Frame Play Tent

With school threatening to start and summer passing us by a lot quicker than I’d like to admit, we are trying to soak up the last of these long, lazy days any way that we can. As a result, today I am sharing the perfect DIY project for a summer weekend, this fun A-Frame Tent! This little cutie is just right for cozying up with a stack of books to make the most of summer reading, or for watching movies after dark while there’s still no school to get up early for the next day.

This tent was surprisingly simple to make (if you can drill 4 holes, you can make it!) and folds up for easy storage. Plus, we used the insanely gorgeous new Waverly Inspirations line (available now, exclusively at Walmart!) to take it to the next level with bold printed fabrics and a perfectly coordinated palette of super vibrant paint colors. This line is inspired by the stylish Waverly Inspirations Fabric and along with paint, includes coordinating brushes, tools, stencils and more! It’s all gorgeous. Here’s how we used our Waverly Inspirations supplies and built our tent:


To build the tent:

  • 3 – 3/4″ x 48″ Poplar Dowels
  • 4 – 1″ x 2″ x 48″ Wood Moulding
  • Drill with a 3/4″ Spade Bit

For the Tent Cover:

  • 84″ x 51″ Waverly Inspirations Fabric (both the floral and the stripe I used are available at Walmart!)
  • Sewing Machine or Heat ‘N Bond
  • Glue Gun/Glue Sticks

To Paint the Tent:

  • Waverly Super Premium Paint and Brushes

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Step 1: Build the Tent Frame

  • From the top of each moulding, measure and mark 6″ down.
  • With your drill and 3/4″ spade bit, drill a hole at your mark. Try to center the hole on your moulding. These holes will be for the top of your A-frame tent.
  • From the opposite end of your moulding, measure and mark 1.5″ down with your pencil.
  • With your drill and 3/4″ spade bit, drill a hole at your mark. Try to center the hole on your moulding. These holes will be for the bottom of your A-frame tent.

Step 2: Paint the Frame

  • After you have drilled all of your holes, it’s time to paint! Using the Waverly Inspirations Super Premium Paint and brushes makes this so easy since it covers beautifully. Start by painting your dowels and mouldings white. Let dry completely.
  • Tape off the top of the mouldings just above the drill holes. Paint with your accent color to create a dipped effect and let dry completely before removing the tape.

Step 3: Assemble the Tent

  • Cut your main fabric (in my case, the floral) into two 34″ x 51″ panels (this gives about a 2″ seam allowance). Cut the accent fabric (in my case, the stripe) into a 22″ x 51″ panel (this also gives about a 2″ seam allowance). Using a sewing machine or Heat N’ Bond and an iron, connect the three panels, with the accent fabric in the middle. Once connected, the panel should measure around 51″ x 84″.
  • Group dowels into pairs and line up the top holes. Push dowel through the holes of the top moulding (6″ down from top). The hole should have a pretty tight grip and keep the dowel in place. Repeat with the mouldings for the opposite end. Drape your tent cover on top.
  • Take the remaining dowels and push through the holes on the bottom of the mouldings. Apply hot glue to the bottom dowel on one side and roll fabric around the dowel until secure. Repeat with second dowel on the opposite side.

Step 4: Enjoy!

That’s it! Now it’s time to get lots of pillows and blankets and get cozy!

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    4 Discussions


    Question 2 months ago on Introduction

    Thank you for this post. Do you know how many yards of fabric you would need to buy to make the tent (even if just doing one fabric and no contrast)? Also, what do you need to look for as far as size of fabric? For example, I am looking at this Waverly fabric on Wal-mart's site which is described as 44"... would that be wide enough to cover the width of the top dowel, front to back?


    3 years ago

    This is great, and so simple too.

    Do the legs tend to splay out and collapse the tent? I'm wondering if that's an issue, and what you might do to keep that from happening.


    Reply 3 years ago

    i think if the drill hole was small to make a good friction fit with the dowels that wouldn't be a problem. If the holes were loose, tape scoundrel the dowel or add a small cross member at the peak to secure.


    3 years ago

    nice work! A shower curtain might be another vibrant, cheap way to make the panels but this might require an alternative to hot glue to secure.