Crafty Corner: Making an A-Frame Play Tent

This year, I decided to get crafty for the nephew’s Christmas presents. 5 nephews in 3 families meant making whatever I came up with in triplicate to avoid any melt downs… Thankfully, these A-frame tents (via Ana White) were simple enough that making three of them was pretty painless.

I pretty much followed Ana’s plan, but instead of curtain panels, I bought a 9′x12′ canvas drop cloth from Lowe’s (available in the paint section, the kind you put on the floor to keep it free from spills and drips) and cut it into thirds measuring 3′x12′. It turned out that the drop cloth wasn’t exactly 9′x12′… the edges weren’t straight, so I had some trimming and clean up work to do, but over all, it was like $10 for the material, which was definitely cheaper than 6 curtain panels or fabric by the yard.

Here’s Emir helping to cut apart the huge drop cloth…

To get the fun and playful stripes, I mixed regular interior latex paint (Valspar, also from Lowe’s in Orange Crush, Twist of Lime, Dive In, and Cherry on Top) 2 to 1 with a textile medium from the craft store. This thinned it out, making it appropriate for fabrics and keeping the canvas from becoming crusty and stiff once painted.

Since it was so crazy cold outside, I decided to work in the house instead of the garage… which meant a bit of furniture re-arranging…

Although I painted the stripes on the canvas roughly the same for each tent, I decided to paint the wooden frame for each tent a different color. One green, one blue, and one orange.

Then, Emir screwed the frame together and staple gunned the fabric on.

We delivered Haris and Eldin’s tent, then unveiled Cole’s, Dominic and Oscar’s on Christmas Eve at the lake.

So fun! I’m already looking forward to the round of birthdays we have coming up this spring and summer… looks like there might be more sawdust in the forecast. :)

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