DIY kid’s play tent

kids play tent


I loved cubby houses as a child so will happily admit I was pretty excited about making this kid’s play tent.  Let’s just say it took a lot of self-restraint not to buy fabric that I would like rather than the boys.


I enlisted the help of Andrew to teach me how to put the frame together and insisted he only just show me how to do it, not do it for me.  (I personally don’t think he wants me to know how to use his tools or else he’ll have to share) Though I did stare at him blankly when he wanted to get all mathematical on me and work out all the angles and such precisely – I’m more of a work-it-out-as-you-go-along kinda girl.  The poor guy was very patient.


What you need:

3 pieces of dowel

4 pieces timber

PVA glue



saw (We used a drop saw – I know right! And I didn’t even cut my hand off – go me!)

3m of fabric (roughly – will depend on how big you make the tent)



Step 1. Decide how high you want your tent to be and cut your four pieces of timber to suit. Ours are roughly 1.1m long.


Step 2. Work out the angle you want them, mark the angle at the top that will be cut off  of each piece and lay them down on a piece of board (holding them together) with a straight edge to work out the angle you need to cut to get them to sit flat on the floor.


Step 3. Cut the angles at the top and the bottom.


Step 4. Pre-drill through one piece of timber two holes for your screws. Add some glue and screw the two ends together.


Step 5. Cut your dowel down to equal sizes.  I recommend doing this to suit your fabric so that you don’t have to hem the edges or have a seam in the middle of the tent.  We made ours approximately 1.2m long.


Step 6.  Pre-drill and screw the three pieces of dowel to one end of the tent.


Step 7. On one end of your fabric make a casing by folding over 1cm, then folding over 6 cm (dependent on the size of your dowel) and sewing.


Step 8.(only if you have a patterned fabric that has a definite ‘right way up’ side)

Measure the distance from the top of the dowel to the top of the tent, add an extra 1.5cm for seam allowance and cut your fabric.  With right sides together, sew the cut piece back onto the top of piece that already has the casing. (This just makes it so that both sides of your tent have the pattern of the fabric up the right way).


Step 9 .

Thread the casing over the dowel to check the top seam (adjust if necessary).


Step 10.

Create a casing exactly the same as the first on the opposite side of the tent.


Step 11.

Thread both casings onto the tent frame (best to get two people to do this as your tent sides should be a tight fit).


Step 12.

Screw end of dowel to second side of the tent frame.


And… crawl inside your tent and enjoy.  uhhh. I mean… let the kid’s crawl inside the tent and enjoy!


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