Monday, February 10, 2014

Pinterest-worthy playroom tent!

My kindergartner loves to read. She often hides herself away, demanding privacy so she can immerse herself in her books. Upstairs in the playroom, we have a cardboard castle that was a gift from a friend a few years ago. The castle has seen better days (it was well used!), and it is getting a bit small for Amelia and her ever-growing library of reading materials.

While my parents were here during and after baby's birth, I showed them a really neat PVC pipe tent idea. I had been searching high and low of a better tent option for a big kid, and everything was too small, too expensive, or too heavy. Then I discovered the wonders of PVC pipe. Very inexpensive, totally lightweight, and easy to work with.

My dad built Amelia's awesome new reading and play tent in less than one day. My mom decorated it with semi-sheer curtains and bows, and it is gorgeous!

  • PVC pipes - these come in 10-foot lengths. Our tent uses 4 & 5-foot lengths, but PVC is easily cut with a small hand saw.
  • U-hooks or something similar to secure the pipe to the back and side wall. Needs to fit snugly around the pipe and secure to the wall.
  • PVC elbows (45 and 90-degree angles)
  • Long semi-sheer curtains
  • Needle, thread, and embellishments (i.e., ribbons)
Basically, you make an awning type shape with a pipe along the back wall and a "roof" angling down and away from the wall via the 45-degree elbows. On the front wall of the tent, make a box frame out of the pipes and elbows. We used some glue in the joints to keep it stable.

Once the structure is built, lay the curtains along the back pipe "roof line" and stitch them in place, draping over the front of the tent. Two curtain panels worked perfectly for us. To embellish, stitch on decorations of your choice. You can even sew open a door flap or attach a fastener (i.e., Velcro) for a door than can be opened or more tightly shut.

It is larger than it looks. I can easily stand inside, and our entire family of four crawled in one night to test it out. She can fit friends, stuffed animals, and plenty of books! There is even an outlet on one wall so she could have a little CD player or lamp one day. So cool.

Now Amelia has a really special big-kid space where she can hide from her newborn brother's cries and dirty diapers!

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