Intro: Let's Make a Tent!
Long ago in a house far away we had a large playroom. We made a tent for that playroom. I can't find any pictures to show you. While it was a simple tent, it was big enough to hold a twin sized bed and a small play table. I don't have the space to make a full sized one any more but the spud thought it would be fun to make a small one (doll sized) to share with you all.
Step 1: Materials
The sizes of all of the materials you use will depend upon your
available space and size needs. You can be very flexible about size. The measurements provided below are first for the doll sized tent and then an approximation of the life sized one.
3 Wooden dowel rods (round or square) 12 inches (3.5 feet)
6 Eye screws
Fabric 14 x 42 inches (42 inches x 6-8 yards depending upon the height of your ceiling)
(6 ceiling hooks... make sure they support the weight of your dowels and fabric)
Twine (high test fishing line)
Step 2: Preparing the Dowel Rods
Measure an equal distance from the end of each rod.
Screw in an eyebolt. Your pliers (or the makeshift handles of your mother's sewing scissors) will make it easier to get them screwed all the way in.
You should probably sand the wood and you may paint before you add the bolts.
Step 3: Preparing the Fabric
Cut the fabric to size.
Carefully iron a double fold hem on all four sides of the fabric.
Stitch it closely to the edge.
For this small tent, the fabric needs to be just shy of 12 inches from edge to edge.
You will want to make it fit equally well between the eye screws on whatever size dowel you use.
Step 4: Fitting It Together
In these pictures you can see how the fabric just fits between the bolts on the dowels.
Step 5: Hanging It Up
For the toy tent, we used twine and a table to hang it up.
Twine was tied to each eye screw and draped over the table top. The fabric was draped over the rods and then adjusted until it was suitably tent-like. The center dowel should hang higher than the sides. The sides should be about the same height.
(To hang a large tent from the ceiling you will need to secure 6 hanging bolts to the ceiling. Make sure you put them into the ceiling joist to make sure they don't pull out and bring the wallboard down with them. The last thing you want are holes in your ceiling. Ask for advice at your local hardware store or seek out a professional for this step. Your tent will weigh more than you think to make sure you match the hanging system to the weight. Use high test fishing line instead of twine. It will take a bit of fiddling to balance the sides and level the rods. Take your time but remember it doesn't have to exactly perfect.
For the large tent, we hung the center rod very close to the ceiling. The two outer rods were 3-4 feet on either side of the center. They were 2-3 feet lower than the center.
Carefully drape your fabric and adjust until it hangs the way you like.)
If you want to play outside you can hang the dowels over the limb of tree or underneath the deck. Either way it will be great summer fun for the whole neighborhood.