The Romance of camping is one that all children love. The idea of sleeping outside offers abundant adventures, whilst being cocooned in a miniature humble home and sleeping under the stars offers a chance to taste the life of the wild.
Growing up we were quite obsessed by camping. Days and nights spent wandering up, over and through the biggest playground that is the big open fields, woods and wilds. Collecting wood to build campfires and sitting under the stars wrapped up in a blanket listening sleepily to the grown up chatter, surrounded by the emptiness of the night that filled with the smell of smoke and damp grass.
There seems to be countless summers that I recall as a child building camps in our garden. They offered all the promise of big adventures, all the while being safe in the sanctuary of our home ground. When the weather didn't allow for being outside we would cry out for big sheets and drying racks and get busy moving furniture to build camps inside. My sisters and I would then spend the afternoon prettying our dwelling with beautiful fabrics, lamps and rugs whilst our brother would fuss over the architecture and strength of the fort.
However camping isn't for everyone and the idea of being in a big field under a stretched canvas having to endure nature is not quite everyone's electrically boiled cup of tea.
So, offering still the wild rumpus and romance of nomadic living, adventures into the great spread of imagination this is ........... camping for the faint-hearted, this is the romance of sitting room settlements; glamping with children, and, perhaps the beginning of their love of the art of camping!
And of course you can take your tent into the great outdoors be it the back garden or using as a place to play in the shade on the beach it is A frame for making journeys for making those memories of independent adventures sleeping away from their beds.
Here's what you'll need:
- 4 lengths of wood measuring - 180 x 7 x 2 cm
- 1 dowling rod measuring - 158 cm
- large piece of fabric measuring - 306 x 100 cm
- needle and thread
- tape measure
- 4 pieces of elastic or fabric for ties
- drill and bit for cutting holes - like this one - DIY stores are generally very helpful if you're a little lost!
*these are the measurements we used - cutting the pole to the above size - however, change and adapt to your space as you wish. I didn't hem the fabric but if you wish to you will need to allow for this in the size of your fabric.
- Mark a drill point 43" from the bottom of each piece of wood and drill a hole in each plank.
- Push one end of the dowling pole through the holes of one pair of planks and the other end through the other pair.
- Splay the legs of each pair of planks creating a tall X. If it feels a little loose you can always put on an elastic band to use as a 'brake' to prevent the planks from sliding along the pole. It should fit snuggly but if your drilled holes don't match the width of the pole it will slide.
- Now for the fabric. I cut the fabric to equal the 2 sides of the triangle adding on a couple of inches to lay across the floor to ensure it always sat flush.
- Cut 4 pieces of elastic to fit around the legs of the tent - this will depend on the width of the wood - sew each piece of elsatic 3" from the bottom of each corner of fabric. This will ensure that the elastic doesn't sit too low on the base of the tent. If you want a prettier look, replace the elastic with ribbon or bias tape to tie the fabric to the frame instead. I used elastic here as it meant the kids would be able to be independent in putting up their tents.
- Throw your fabric over the frame and using your elastic or ties fix each corner of the fabric to the four legs.
Whilst I was busy finishing off the last sewing bits the girls cut out some moons and stars to hang from their porch, sticking thread to the back with sticky tape. We were out of silver glitter but plan to make them sparkly later.
I later added doors at the back of Sessi's tent upon her request which I made by cutting two triangles of fabric to fit and then sewed ties to the top of each triangle to tie around the central pole and another set of ties to fix to the bottom of the legs. If you do add doors to the frame remember that this will alter the tent in that the width and height of your tent will not be so neatly able to adjust as the way in which you splay the legs will then need to match the length of your door.
You could also add a porch to your tent by cutting a long slim triangle and adding three ties; one at the each corner, then fixing it to the pole at the top front of the tent and then the 2 front legs at the bottom. Create and adapt as you wish.
Though the idea of this tent is that it can be put up and down easily and also easily stowed away for another day, another adventure, I must warn you the day it comes down may never come!
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This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do.
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