I was feeling ambitious when I decided to sew my boys a Land of Nod inspired play tent for the holidays. Being so new to sewing, I didn’t quite realize how complicated the project would be. Well, I learned fast that this project would be a bit of a bear.
I ended up creating a house-like tent with a door, windows, and some primary coloring that looks like this:
- My kids love the tent and play in it any chance they get. They don’t see the unfinished edges, wayward stitches, or the other things that make me cringe.
- The tent cost me 15 dollars to make, way below the $169 price tag of the inspiration piece.
- I really could use some sewing lessons.
- This took me way too long to complete.
- The real tent is probably priced right given the details of the structure.
How did I do it? It is probably fairly easy for the expert seamstress, but it was not for me.
1 hula hoop
5 yards of fabric (I used gray cotton)
1 yard fabric (I used blue for sleeve and details)
Assorted fabric scraps for details
sewing machine, thread, scissors
1. I bought a hula hoop at the dollar store.
2. I made a sleeve the length of the entire hula hoop by measuring the length of the outside of the hula hoop circle. I cut a piece of blue fabric that length using a width triple the width of the hoop itself (in my case, the hula hoop was about 1 inch wide, so I cut my fabric about 3 inches wide). I folded the fabric lengthwise (like a hot dog) and sewed the open edges together.
3. I cut pieces of gray fabric the length of the blue fabric sleeve. The fabric for the top of the tent was approximately 1.5 feet wide, while the bottom was about 6 feet wide, enough so that the tent would hit the floor. I sewed these two pieces to the edge of the blue sleeve.
4. I next cut a piece of yellow fabric the same length as the blue sleeve and about 15 inches wide. I sewed it to the top of the gray fabric that is above the blue sleeve. After they were attached, I laid a piece of string along the unfinished edge, folded the fabric over the string, and sewed it together.
5. I added a few details like windows and stripes along the bigger piece of gray fabric.
6. I cut the hula hoop in half with an Xacto knife and threaded the hoop through the blue sleeve. I then duck taped the two ends of the hula hoop back together and sewed the edges of the blue fabric together to completely cover the hoop.
7. I hand stitched the edges of the tent together above the blue sleeve so that it looked like a big cylinder.
8. I pulled the string tightly from both ends so that the top of the tent was now gathered and cone-shaped.
9. I tied a knot in the string and hung it from a hook in our ceiling. Then, it was time to play!