Tuesday, July 9, 2013

To all the summer backyard explorers: mini tent DIY

As promised, I wanted to give you guys a little run down on how we made or own outdoor tent for our favorite little half pint. It came in at only $60 which left plenty of room in our budget to trick it out with some outdoor bench cushions and fun, brightly patterned outdoor pillows.

We purchased:
3 yards of outdoor fabric ($30 total after coupon)
9 Furring strips (wood slats) at $.97 per strip
6 Cross Dowels & bolts
(We purchased bench cushions and pillows at Cost Plus World Market & JoAnns)

We also used some items we already keep on hand
A drill
A saw
and sand paper

The first thing we did was decide on the dimensions so we could cut the wood slats. We built ours 44 inches wide by 43 inches deep by 40 inches tall (based on how much fabric we had and how wide the two bench cushions would need to fit snug inside the bottom of the tent).

The hubs then made two triangles. One for the front of the tent and one for the rear using the furring strips and the bolts to partially secure them. (The bolts were just loosely sitting in the holes.)

The next step was to use furring strips for the top, left, and right supports. He marked where the cross dowels needed to be drilled using the bolt holes in the triangles as a guide. Install the cross dowels in each of the support pieces as directed by the hardware instructions. Then the bolts were tightened, finishing the frame assembly.

After a bit of sanding and rounding of some of the sharp edges, we then used the outdoor fabric to stretch across the tent and to staple to the bottom left and right pieces.

It was a small weekend project that was worth every minute. It now provides a place for my little Olly's imagination to run wild. Whether he is catching bugs, playing 'car wash' with his trucks and trains, or laying inside with his blanket enjoying the cool summer air in Northern California...he is loving it all the same.

Here's to all the summer backyard explorers and their parents for fostering creativity. See you lovelies tomorrow.


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