How to make a fabric tent for your kids to play for hours and hours.
Kids love having a special place to play, and this cute and cosy campsite is an ideal addition to a bedroom or living area. The tent is made from two simple timber frames, joined with hinges and lined with lightweight PVC. Fitted with cabin hooks, it folds flat, so it’s easy to pack away.
Gather your supplies
42 x 19 x 3000mm dressed pine (4)
1220 x 810 x 3mm plywood
Butt hinges, 70mm (2)
Cabin hooks, 150mm (2)
Lightweight PVC (3m)
You can have timber and plywood cut to size at your local hardware store for a small fee. Tip: Take care when using a utility knife. Work slowly, always know where your fingers are and ensure only 1 blade is extended from the handpiece at a time.
- Step 1: Measure and mark up eight 1300mm lengths of pine and cut using a handsaw.
- Step 2: Measure and mark up eight 200mm squares of plywood. Using steel ruler and utility knife, carefully cut plywood along marked lines. You will need to make a number of cuts to cut through.
- Step 3: Mark a line from point to point on each plywood square to create 2 right-angled triangles. Using steel ruler and utility knife, carefully cut along marked lines.
- Step 4: To make 1 frame, position 4 lengths of pine on a work surface in a rectangle so you have 2 long sides (1384mm) and 2 short sides (1300mm) butting together at corners. To check it’s square, measure diagonal of frame in both directions and adjust so they are equal.
- Step 5: To brace frame, apply PVA and place a plywood triangle in each corner, flush with outside edges of frame. Use a staple gun to fix triangles in position. Flip frame and repeat to fix triangles on other side.
- Step 6: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to make 1 more frame.
- Step 7: Undercoat both sides of frames and allow to dry. Paint in 2 coats of Vivid White, allowing time to dry between coats.
- Step 8: Lay frames side by side, long sides together, and join with 2 butt hinges, about 50mm in from outside edges. Ensure you separate frames enough to allow for barrel of hinge, then secure with screws.
- Step 9: To make sides, use a pencil to mark 2 rectangles measuring 1385 x 1300mm on wrong side of PVC. Cut out using scissors.
- Step 10: To create a window on 1 side of tent, mark centre point along 1 long side on wrong side of PVC. Measure down 250mm from this point, then measure and mark out a 350mm square. Measure in from sides of PVC to check it’s square.
- Step 11: Use ruler and utility knife to cut along bottom and sides of window. Do not cut along top line, as you want a blind that will roll up later.
- Step 12: On right side of PVC, frame window with yellow cloth tape.
- Step 13: So blind can stay in an open position, roll it up and stick on hook and loop dots at each end of blind.
- Step 14: To affix PVC sides to timber frame, stick hook side of tape to perimeter of wrong side of PVC and loop side of tape to face of frame. Press tapes together to hold in position.
- Step 15: So your tent will stay open, screw a cabin hook to each side of tent frame, about 100mm from top.
You’ll also need
Handsaw; utility knife; steel ruler; staple gun with 10mm staples; drill; PVA; scissors; Dulux 1 Step Acrylic Primer, Sealer & Undercoat; Dulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss in Vivid White; paintbrush; cloth tape in yellow; hook and loop adhesive tape (8m); hook and loop adhesive dots (2)