DIY Kids Play Tent

What is the perfect gift for a one year old? Something you secretly want yourself. I know tipi tents for kids are all the rage right now…and I love it!
Now I’ve only ever sewed once (and my pillow turned out pretty lumpy) but why not give this a shot? Im feeling extra crafty these days now that my little miss Avery is on a schedule.

I saw lots of no sew tipi tents but I didn’t love the look of them, and they didn’t seem as portable. So I thought I would tackle this project. Go big or go home right?…but I am home….so I’m not sure how that saying applies to me.

Anyways, I wanted a simple fabric so that I could jazz it up with colourful pillows, arrows, dream catchers and anything else I decide to make. Therefore I thought canvas would be a good neutral. Also our fabric store moved to the other side of the city and I can never get to it. So I picked up a painters canvas drop cloth at Home Depot. (I think there will be many more canvas projects to come)

Unfortunately when looking at patterns none of them fit into my 4ft×12ft drop cloth dimensions, so I made up my own pattern. If you get the same size drop cloth you will need two of them, or just find a larger piece of fabric. (My math is not very good, plus I had to recut the front 2 panels so I needed more fabric than anticipated.)

Supplies you will need:

  • Canvas (I used drop cloths)
  • Another fabric of your choosing (if you want the poles to be a different colour)
  • 1 inch dowel 6 feet tall
  • rope

Step one- here is my pattern that I ended up using. I even redrew it for ya!


Step 2-Cut our your pieces. Here are mine. As you can see the one on the right was washed and doesn’t look the same. But after ironing all of them out I’ll probably be the only one who will notice.


Tip- DO NOT WASH CANVAS. I don’t know why I thought washing it would be a good idea but it was not. It leaves the material uber wrinkled and impossible to smooth out.

Step 3-  Iron all of your pieces. Wrinkles drive me crazy! I don’t like them on my fabric or on my face. Plus it is way easier to iron them before the whole tent is sewn together.

Step 4- The sewing. Because I used canvas I didn’t have to think about the right and wrong sides to sew (except the front panel) Sorry I do not have a picture of the sewing in progress, but trust me it wasn’t as hard as it seems. Just be sure to pin your fabric together before sewing.

Step 5-Insert your poles. I used 1 inch dowel found at the local hardware store.

Step 6-Wrap and secure rope around your poles.


I don’t know how to ‘properly’ tie this but so far its holding up.

Step 7-Play in tipi before your kids wake up from their nap….or wait until bedtime and talk your husband into drinking wine in it!

I love the way this project turned out. I know it looks a little simple right now but my future projects will hopefully jazz it up.


Avery has so much fun playing in her new tipi. I’ve also added arrow pillows, a canoe pillow and some dreamcatchers to her play area.



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