DIY: Kids Play + Camping Tent

July 2, 2013

Happy July! For me, it officially feels like Summer has begun.  The kids are out of school now for just about a week, and the Summer sun is setting in (despite all the rain we’ve been having).  The kids and I have been enjoying fun outings each day, while also spending some down-time at home just relaxing.  Often on those home-bound days, the hours creep by with boredom, so when Lowe’s put me up to the challenge this month to create something related to DIY camping, I thought of the perfect solution…

a kids play + camping tent.  They can use it as a tent to play in during the day, as well as a spot to sleep in once the sun sets and the stars peak.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

The the best part about this tent is that it only took about $10 to make + 10 minutes to create!  I made two, so the cost and time were double.

Supplies for (1) Tent:

  • (4) 1 x 2 piece of wood at 42″ long ($2.16)
    • At Lowe’s I had them cut down (1) 1 x 2 x 8 which cost $1.08 into my (2) 42″ long pieces
  • (1) 3/4″ diameter dowel at 48″ long ($2.85)
  • 2.5 total yards of fabric ($2.25/yard x 2.5 = $5.63)
  • 1.5 total yards of ribbon (leftovers)
  • Drill with a 3/4″ drill bit

This tent is really easy to create, and what’s even better is that you can put it up and take it down very easily with each use.   I made it so it can be easily assembled and just as easy to disassemble for storage.  More on that later…

1. (2 minutes)

To start off, I drilled a 3/4″ hole at each end of the 1 x 2 piece of wood.  The Mister and I set up a “drilling station” by creating two piles of stacked wood so the 1 x 2 could bridge across the top.  As an alternative, you can drill through your piece of lumber with a scrap piece underneath.  Either method will work.

One hole of each piece will be for the peak of the tent, while the other hole will be for the ribbon to tie through.  Keep reading and it’ll all come together…

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

2. (1 minute)

Once the holes were drilled, I fed one end of the dowel through two of the 1 x 2’s, then fed the other end of the dowel through the other two 1 x 2’s.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Note: The drill bit size needs to match the dowel size, so it fits snug.  I used a 3/4″ dowel and a 3/4″ drill bit.  The dowel needs to be snug in the 1 x 2’s so it stays in place, yet is still easily adjustable.

And the frame was done!

Onto the fabric.

3. (2 minutes)

Many fabric comes in a 44/45″ width, so the sides don’t need to be hemmed (if you want to hem them you can, but I didn’t).  To start off, I folded over one end of the fabric and sewed.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

4. (2 minutes)

I draped the fabric (with one finished edge) over the tent frame.  I lined up the finished edge side with the bottom of the legs, so I could determine how much needed to be trimmed off the other side – be sure to leave enough fabric to fold over and sew (about  1″ extra inch).

Using my Jar O’ Ribbons, I picked out 4 fun colors.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

5. (2 minutes)

To secure the fabric to the frame,  I added ribbon.  I cut (4) 12-15″ long pieces of ribbon, and sewed the center of it to the right side of each corner using a fun stitch.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

After cutting the loose threads, it was complete!

I draped the fabric over the dowel, attached the 4 ribbons through the 4 bottom holes, and secured. (1 minute)

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

And the dual play + camping tent was complete.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

It’s just as easy to disassemble as it is to assemble!  Plus it folds right up to store away.  I put all the legs together, wrapped the fabric around them, and secured it at both ends with the attached ribbon.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

The details.

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

My kids are having such a fun time with their new creations.

Day for Play…

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

And night for camping… (well kinda.  it didn’t last the whole night).

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Either way, they are fun, easy to make, and are perfect for some Summer Fun!

Kids Play + Camping Tent - 10 dollars to make +10 minutes to create!  Super simple creation that your kids will love!

Are you a camping family?  What DIY camping and/or play creations have you made?

Disclosure: I am part of the Lowe’s Creative Team and was provided with a Lowe’s gift card to purchase items for my project.  I was also compensated for my time to use the products.  No one told me what to create, what to buy, how to use the product, or what to write.  All opinions are 100% mine!

Lowes Creative Team Member


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Comments

  1. This is such a great idea ~ my little guy would love one of these!
    Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline recently posted..Project Inspire{d} Linky Party #20

  2. my girls would have loved that but would not have lasted the whole night either!
    Recreate and Decorate recently posted..Decorating a July 4th party on the CHEAP

  3. This would be great for the beach too! A great space to cover up from the sun!

  4. this is a great idea.

  5. Really neat idea! How do you prevent the frame from falling flat when bumped?

    • Thanks Angela. The frames have never collapsed even when the kids are using them and playing. When on a flat surface, like a wood floor, they don’t stand up too well, but on carpet and/or the ground outside, they are fine. Good Luck with creating your own!

      • Robyn McClanahan says:

        Jenna
        I am making this for my daughter and need it done tonight how ever she did not leave me the frame how much do I cut off of the 21/2 yards to make it fit Thanks

        Robyn

  6. What a creative idea! durable and economical and easy to prepare! Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

Trackbacks

  1. […] up involving my kids.  From assisting me with creating a simple craft to planting a terrarium to posing for photos, we are a DIY family and my kids are involved every step of the […]

  2. […] DIY: Kids Play + Camping Tent Image et DIY : Jenna  // SAS INTERIORS […]

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