Tents and teepees for kids are all the rage these days. They’re plastered all over Pinterest and the bloggy world in so many varieties your head may spin. Our version has always included to bamboo poles and a thrifted sheet held on by clothespins (we’re fancy like that). Our yard is so small that whatever we use needs to be collapsible which can also be tedious since for the greater part of the Summer I heard,”Moooooom! __________ (insert name here) knocked the tent over again!” Oh, and there was the time my neighbor was moving and gave the kids a tent and they decided to be real live angry birds and launch themselves and their soccer balls at it until it collapsed.
One day we were at Lowe’s getting some plants for the front yard and we passed these trellises which I have seen a million times (I even own a few small ones).My kids, who can’t keep their hands off ANYTHING, pulled one of the large ones out and started crawling underneath it and, well, it was pretty obviously going to be an awesome tent. This trellis is 20 bucks which may seem steep, but the other materials don’t really cost anything so your budget may end up being about $25 depending on what you put into it.
Photobomb. Happens every. single. time.
I brought this thing home and went digging in my old sheets. If I see cute ones at the thrift store, I buy them because they make great fort walls, capes, picnic blankets, and, of course, tents. Usually they only cost a dollar or two so…winning. If you think this is gross, a hot water wash and a little fabric softener and they’re good as new. I promise. The only other supplies you’ll need are some ribbon and thread. Easy peasy.
I laid the sheet on the lawn and laid the trellis flat on top (unfolded) like so:
Then I trimmed the sheet with about an inch overhang left around the whole thing:
I then set the trellis up and laid the sheet over the top so I could mark where I wanted to attach my ribbon tie ons. I did 3 across the top, 2 down each side, and one in the middle on each side. You can just determine yourself how secure you want it to be and how much ribbon you want to use. Just make little dots where the ribbon will need to be stitched on to tie to the frame:
And mark where to hem it at the bottom:
I moved inside to my sewing machine and hemmed both ends of the sheet where I had marked, then stitched up the sides with a basic straight seam. If you don’t have a machine, you could use fusible (iron on) bonding tape. Any ol’ craft store will have it. I cut the ribbon into about 8 inch lengths because I just wanted basic knots. If you want them to tie into bows, you can cut the ribbon longer. I stitched the lengths of ribbon in place where I had marked the dots making sure to line the ribbon up in the direction opposite each particular wood piece was going so they could tie on nicely with no twisting. Does that make sense? I hope so. Again, if you don’t have a sewing machine, a simple needle and thread will get this done pretty easily. You can pretend you’re Betsy Ross making the first flag or something. Or you can think of something less nerdy than Betsy Ross. I like history.
I took the sheet back to the trellis and tied it on. I started at the top/peak and moved down each side until it was secure. Done!
The kids helped and were ready with blankets and pillows and leftover homemade pizza so they could jump right in the second this thing was ready. No one has knocked it over so far and they can totally set it up themselves whenever they want which is pretty much every day.
It’s a choice reading spot.
And nose picking spot.
You can make it your own a million different ways. You could paint the frame if you want, use canvas instead of a sheet, paint a design on the fabric with fabric paint…we just hung some pompoms and an ornament from Anthro.
Sooooo, if you feel like doing a li’l project this weekend, maybe this will get your creative juices flowing. The kids were able to help and that made it even more fun for me. The sheet is easy to detach and wash and the whole thing just folds up and leans against the fence at night so it doesn’t get sprinklered. The whole project cost me around $23 and the kids have spent hours in it. Well worth it, in my humble opinion!