Crafts for the Uncrafty

Make Your Own Tent (With Tassels!)


You will note, please, that I said “we” and not “I.” That is because I had literally nothing to do with like 99% of this project, because I am not talented like that. I do, however, have a friend, Erin, who is, and who responded to our son’s love of cave/fort things with “Well, let’s make him one!”

And so we (and again, by “we” I mean “Erin and her husband, who just happens to be a master woodworker”) did. And then we covered it with polka-dot flannel and added rainbow tassels, and the whole thing is just flat-out RIDICULOUSLY COOL.

how to make a tent

You know what the coolest part was? We did this on a Saturday afternoon, and it was basically a grownups-and-kids crafting playdate: Erin and I made tassels, our husbands staple-gunned things, and Indy held the measuring stick so we could cut the fabric for the tent cover in a straight line. And I just thought, you know: how neat, to have memories of hanging out with your parents’ friends that aren’t just about grownups being off in GrownupLand while the kids go off and do their own thing…you’re all doing stuff together. Creating stuff.

The other day Indy and I were in an antique store – because my son apparently loves antiquing, which is both obviously bizarre and obviously my favorite thing ever – and he held up a big wooden necklace and said “Oh, we don’t need to buy this, we can make this!” And I thought: YES. Because that, RIGHT THERE, is how I want my kid to see the world. As a place full of endless things to be inspired by, and endless opportunities to create.

Anyway: tent.


I love it.

a frame kids tent

So does Indy.

camp in living room

I mean, I think so. I’m not sure.

tent tassles

Now, how to make one of these awesome things yourself? This frame is collapsible (and thus, while extra-awesome, also not an especially accessible afternoon project for those of us not already semi-experienced in woodworking), but you can find an easy-ish DIY frame tutorial here (all you need is wood, a mallet, and a drill).

Now, the fun part. Just pick up a few yards of fabric (I went for flannel) and drape it over the top, and then use a staple gun or fabric glue to affix it to the bottom part of the frame.

Even more fun: tassels. Erin and I briefly entertained the idea of wrapping the frame in yarn, but decided that was a bit too labor-intensive for an afternoon…and I liked the idea of putting the tassels on a rope both because it’s kind of rustic-cute and because that way we can just swap out the tassels for a different color should our California decor scheme turn out to be totally different. Because I have a feeling that this thing is going to be a fixture in our living room for years to come.

(I have a tutorial on those tassels coming up in a few days, so stay tuned. They’re super easy, and then you just tie them onto a rope and tie the rope onto the frame and boom: tasseled tent.)

I guess this is technically a “kid’s project,” but come on: what home – kid-inclusive or not – would not benefit from the addition of a tent?!

Especially a polka-dot tent.

diy fort


powered by chloédigital