Remember that play area project for Marlowe that I mentioned on Friday? Well it’s completed and perfect.  I am so incredibly pleased with the results. I would love to say: it’s done, homemade with love, by Eric and I, for Marlowe, and she loves it. But of course, she doesn’t. She couldn’t care less about the tent. Who am I kidding, the project was for me. This would have been my dream as a child: a bright colorful tent to play, read, and dream in. I made forts constantly; indoors, outdoors, at friends, in my room, under tables, in between trees, wherever I could. To have a tent like this, would have brought me so much joy. Marlowe is only nine (and a half) months old. Who knows what her dreams are and will be… the kid can’t even speak one word yet, but when she does, and she has simple, but brilliant ideas (like colorful play tents in the middle of her room), I will make those dreams and ideas come true. Well, as many as them as I can. &That’s not to say I will give her all the toys in the world, or a pony, or a trampoline on command, but there are things (like play tents) that I can make with little to no money that can bring a child a lot of joy (at least I hope and think simple pleasures still exists in kids). Thats what a mother (and father) does. All those childhood dreams we wished for ourselves, we fulfill for our children. The life my mother wanted she gives to me. The life my father wanted, he gives to me. Now I am giving that life to Marlowe the very best I can, just like my parents do for me. For now, this is my little joyful tent, for Marlowe, for me. Hopefully soon she will realize how sweet this little tent is and how many imaginative adventures one can have hidden underneath a flower-filled tent. I have confidence she will love it, just as I do.

For the structure:  Two flat beams in the front. Two in the back. Crossed over each other, with holes (the size of your dowel) drilled through the top cross, and the bottom of each flat beam. Bottom holes should be approximately two inches from the bottom of each. One large dowel, on top, going from the front to the back, placed through snug, drilled holes. And two large dowels on each side of the tent, placed through the bottom drilled holes. To secure the tent from sliding open and flat, there is an extra flat beam added in the back of the tent, with holes on each end to place over the bottom support dowels. To prevent the front of the tent from sliding, there are two small nails at the very top, with a rope tightly wrapped around them, holding the front in place.

For the tent cover: I used a vintage table cloth that I found while pregnant at a consignment store down the street. I had been (impatiently) waiting for the perfect project to use it in my home. I cut it to size, hemming the edges. To hold the cover in place, I opted to sew fabric ties on each corner of the fabric, giving it an even better and softer look. The fabric is placed over the top dowel, and wrapped around each bottom dowel before being tied in place. It even hides the bottom dowels and make creates an extra softness inside the tent, instead of having the wooden dowel exposed! 

string to hold the front legs from sliding
a little sewing mishap
an extra back beam
extra dowels along the side, for extra support. nicely hidden away. 
I love it.

It was definitely a good weekend. I’m also incredibly pleased to say I  was also able to finish some other small handmade gifts and items, along with this bigger project. There was lots of yummy (not so healthy) food and finally some sunny weather. I hope you all also had a wonderful weekend 🙂



  1. Erica Anne Woods

    This tent is so lovely. I’m sure your kiddo is smitten. My kids are a bit older and might want to easily enter or exit from either end. How do you think it would hold up without the extra supportive back piece? I’m worried that might be a hindrance to their play. Would I need to go ahead and sew the fabric around the dowels to add stability? And I wonder if it’s easy to fold up and put away. It’s such a nice addition to the room you have set up but I’d need something I could store when not in use. I’ve seen some made without a back piece but the sewing is often much more complicated and doesn’t have that elegant simplicity that yours has.

  2. Thank you for the easy to follow directions! I am a preschool teacher and plan to make one for our camping theme week! Of course, my granddaughter will adore it as well!!!

  3. Love your tent, I've been looking on lots of blogs for a plan and I think yours is perfect with the material folding over the dowels and tied on rather than stapled, so it can be removed and the frame collapsed. Would you mind forwarding the dimensions of the wood?

  4. Aawww, I love this – I made one in our garden using bamboo canes, pegs and a retro quilt cover cut down two sides. It wasn't quite as sturdy, and every time the wind blew, the pegs pinged off. I might have to use your design, it's ace!

  5. my little is 4 1/2 and her favorite thing right now is building tents and forts out of anything she can find.tunnels,blankets,tablecloths, its "Wheres Ella?" and a giggle is heard. I love that sound! Im soo making this tent this weekend! Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂

  6. my little is 4 1/2 and her favorite thing right now is making forts and tents out of everything she can find.tunnels,tablecloths,blankets..its "wheres Ella?" and a giggle is heard. LOL.. Im sooo making this tent this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I just saw this tent and I love it. What a great idea for a simple covered structure the little one can play in.

  8. WOW! This is SO great! I have bookmarked this post for when my Goosey is a little older. Oh, and, by the by…LOVE your couch!

  9. not sure how i missed those wooden cars! They ARE really similar to the ones Jake's dad made 🙂

  10. oh my word, it's adorable. i love it. i have a few tent like things bookmarked for the someday project. yours is now one of them!

    is that what the twitter fabric questions were about? it looks awesome.

  11. Don't worry – she will love it eventually! My daughter just turned 3 and is constantly begging for tents and forts! 🙂

  12. I love it! I agree with passing some dreams on to our children for their enjoyment. A play tent is definitely on my list for when we have kids. 🙂

  13. this is so beautiful! give her time and she will love it! especially as she gets older and wants more personal space 🙂

    i want one too!


  14. I love her play area, it looks awesome! I think I'll have to look into making a fort type tent for Sadie as yours looks like a lot of fun for a toddler.

  15. love love love! and yes ma'am, I do think together as a team is amazing <3

  16. I want this for myself!!!!! What an awesome idea executed so perfectly!!! She will treasure this for years to come!!!!

  17. This is awesome!! I used to loove building forts when I was little…once she is old enough to appreciate it, I think he will totally love this. Regardless, it looks great in your living room 🙂

  18. one day you are going to find her in there humming to herself and the satisfaction & magic is going to blow your mind! xoxo

  19. Good grief women. I am so envious of your sewing skills. Teach me your ways…

  20. This is AMAZING! My daughter is five months now and I have been dreaming of the forts we (I) will make for her (me)! For me this post is something withdrawn from my own mind. love! xo

  21. it's a great tent. you guys did great. she might not give a crap about it now but wait until she is 18-19 months, she will love it!!
    i think it's time for you to get her some paper, crayons and washable paints!!