I looked at many tents. But eventually I decided that their room was too cramped for a tent. We live in a small house. So with four kids I have to be very selective and choosy about what I bring in and how I arrange it. But I didn't want to deny them a tent so instead I chose to make a tent for their bed so that no floor space would be sacrificed. Here's what we came up with! It's like a tree house. I used a faux bois patterened fabric by Riley Blake for the "trunk" and two of IKEA's lova canopy bed leaves for the top (so cheap only $15 a piece). I also changed out their white bedding for brown on the bottom and green on top.
What's really cool about this is that it's so easy for them to pull down and put up. I had previously made a "house" tent. I never posted about it but I should have. It was actually pretty cute. However, it turned out to be too impractical because it was hung on a curtain rod and looked sloppy when pushed to the side AND it ended up bending in the middle from the weight of the fabric. So I took it down. But the actual house was really clever. It had a door and see through windows with curtains that could open and close, window boxes and felt flowers.
So the next tent I made I used a roller shade. That way the girls could easily roll it up with just a pull or pull it down. See the video below for how simple it is!
Get the how-to below!
Faux Bois Fabric
Step 1: Measure your bed and have the hardware store cut a cheap roller shade the length of one side to the other. If you want to add shades to all sides. Measure those sides too.
Step 2:Cut the shade off your roller. Take out the plastic piece at the end of the shade and set it aside for later.
Cut your fabric the length of your shade. Add an inch and a half on either side for hemming. Measure the height of your bed and cut the fabric that long also leaving an extra inch and a half for the hem. Make sure the wood grain is going vertically because wood grain doesn't go horizontally on a tree, right;-)
If you are doing the front and need to sew two pieces together, do so now.
Step 5: Hem the sides. I first hem by 1/2". Then I fold over again by 1".
Step 6: Hem the bottom of your fabric the same way. You must have at least an inch of opening because you'll need to slip the plastic piece from the old shade in the casing. So leave the sides unsewn as well.
Step 7: Insert plastic piece. (Ignore the raw edges in the photo below. The sides should be sewn at this point. I learned that the hard way;-P)
Take a piece of duct tape the length of your fabric and sew it to the top of the right side your material. I recommend sewing with the duct tape facing up otherwise it will stick to the machine as you sew.
Making sure that your fabric is not crooked on the roller (VERY IMPORTANT), attach duct tape to roller. Trim extra tape on sides.
Screw in hardware to bed frame. NOTE. If your roller shade is like mine and has one end that has a slot and another end with a hole, you must have the slot on the left side otherwise the roller won't roll. This matters because you don't want your shade to roll with the wrong side facing out. So when you roll up your shade make sure that the slot is on the left side and that your fabric is facing out.
ALSO! If your shade doesn't roll up quickly all you have to is take your shade off unrolled. Then hand roll it up. Then put it back on. If it's still too loose, repeat until it rolls up fast. But don't repeat too much otherwise it will roll up like lightning and it's quite frightening especially for a kid. Once or twice should be enough.