My niece, Amelia, celebrated her 4th birthday recently. I seriously cannot believe she is already four years old. She starts preschool in the fall and I swear it’s going to put me in my grave.
For her 2nd birthday,
we I decided that we should build her a play kitchen. We worked so hard on that thing and it turned out super cute. The next year, for her 3rd birthday, we decided to build her a latch board. I got my inspiration from John and Sherry’s over at Young House Love and just altered it a smidge here and there.
I figured we could continue the tradition this year as well; however, I didn’t really have a clue what we might make her this go around. I was reading the House of Smiths, saw this post, and decided we should build her a tent like this one.
I wanted to make sure it was collapsible and easy to set up/break down. I mean, who wants a tent in the middle of the living room at all times… that can’t be folded up and put away? Well, Amelia probably does, but her parents would probably be ready to strangle us. I scanned Pinterest to find some inspiration then “notified” J.C. that we would be constructing a tent. He obliged. He obviously knows what’s good for him. 🙂
The next thing to do was choose a fabric. Amelia’s favorite colors are pink and purple but I didn’t want it to look like Pepto Bismol threw up on her tent. So, I sent her mom a text with 6 different fabric samples to choose from. We landed on this one.
It’s Premier Prints Lulu Stripe Chartreuse/Candy Pink from fabric.com. It was $7.45/yd and I ordered three yards to play it safe. I wanted it to be super girly, so I also ordered 3 yards of this 3/4″ Pom Fringe Trim Fuchsia at $0.98/yd.
It’s so cute with the fabric. I just LOVE how the pom fringe mimics the pin dots on the fabric. Perfect!
So, let’s get into the construction part. J.C. and I put our heads together (there may have been a kiss or two involved) and decided what type of materials we would need/use. We found some inspiration like this pic on Pinterest.
Ours was basically modeled after it… with a few adjustments here and there.
For the project we used the following:
– (4) 8 foot 1″ x 2″ boards; found in the molding section
– (2) 2″ carriage bolts
– (2) 1/4″ washers
– (2) 1/4″ lock nuts
– (1) 4 foot dow rod
– chop saw
– nail gun, brads/nails, and an air compressor
– electric drill and 1/4″ drill bit
– a helper… it’s better if he’s extremely hot 🙂
We started off by deciding we would cut the triangle pieces 4 foot tall.
J.C. just stacked the boards together and cut them all at once to ensure they were all the same length.
He then measured seven inches down from the top and drilled a hole thru all 4 of them at the same time. That ensured that all of our holes were in the same spot on each board as well.
Next up, J.C. took the screws and the nuts and the washers and before you knew it, we had two of these…
We then closed the two triangles and laid them on the ground to attach some cross-members along the bottom, which connects the front triangle to the back triangle. We simply put a few nails/brads in each side.
Then we had this.
We’re getting somewhere folks! I purchased this four-foot dow rod to sit across the top. The fabric wouldn’t have anywhere to hang if we didn’t have something across the top. It’s not connected in any way, which makes it that much easier to take apart. Just laid it across the top and voila. Got it?
The next thing to do was work on the fabric. This was all my part. Thanks for all of the help, honey! I ran to Wal-Mart to pick up some decent fabric scissors, some Velcro, and Heat Bond. I don’t sew, but wanted to have nice clean edges. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers that aren’t seamstresses use this stuff and I figured I could too.
First up, I put the fabric on the tent frame and trimmed the excess off.
Then I fired up the iron and figured out the Heat Bond. Basically it hems unfinished edges without any sewing involved. You just lay it on the fabric, fold it over, and iron it for a few seconds.
SUPER easy! Tip: Don’t put the iron directly on the Heat Bond tape. It’s kind of messy. I accidentally did and I now know from experience.
I took the fabric back to the tent frame and trimmed the rest of the excess off and hem taped the other side. It looks so nice and crisp. Definitely worth the few extra minutes… especially since I don’t really sew.
Next up, I applied some Velcro to the bottom cross-member.
Then I applied it to the fabric. This makes it to where her parents can break it down, take off the fabric, and store everything away. I guess they could wash the fabric if they wanted to. Sure hope that Heat Bond holds up 🙂
The last step to the “fabric” part was adding the pom trim. It really makes it! I simply plugged in my hot glue gun and went to town. Just run a small bead of glue down the edge and press the trim onto the fabric.
Oh and by the way, J.C. decided that we should also add some cross-members half way up… so we did that too. Here’s the final thing! I wish the pictures were a little better… but oh well!
And here’s the princess enjoying her castle.
She liked it! And we were glad! Need a tent? Now you know how to make one yourself!