How to make a play tent

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How to make a play tent

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Project Overview

As the weather warms up its time to get outside and play. In this video, Bronwyn will show you how to create your very own play tent. It’s the perfect backyard hideaway to relax, read a book or play in on a hot summers day.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Drilling holes for the dowel
2 Drilling the holes for the rope
3 Measuring and tying the rope
4 Creating the frame
5 Securing the frame
6 Creating your tent cover
7 Attaching the tent cover
  • Step 1. Drilling holes for the dowel

    In this first step we’re going to drill the holes in our timber for the dowel. Because our dowel has a diameter of 19mm we’ll use a 19mm spade drill bit. For the first hole, measure 10cm from one end of the timber and make a mark in the middle of it. Using a power drill, drill through the timber with the 19mm spade bit, making sure the middle of the hole is 10cm from the end. You may need an adult to help with the drilling. For the second whole, measure 3cm from the bottom at the opposite end of the 10cm hole and drill.

    Repeat this step for the three remaining pieces of timber so you have four identical pieces.

  • Step 2. Drilling the holes for the rope

    Now we need to make holes for the rope. Using a smaller drill bit, approximately 6-7mm, drill a hole 2cm above the 3cm hole. This should be 5cm from the end of the timber. Do this for only two of the pieces of timber.

    Then on the other two pieces, measure 27cm from the end with the 10cm hole and drill another small hole through your timber.

    Refer to Timber Cutting Guide

  • Step 3. Measuring and tying the rope

    Using your rope, measure out and cut two lengths, one at 120cms and one at 30cm. Now, with the 30cm piece, thread one end through one of the 27cm holes and tie a knot. Now thread the other end through the other 27cm hole and tie a knot again. This will form the front brace of your tent.

    Now grab the 120cm piece of rope and do the same but thread it through the 5cm hole on both pieces of timber.

  • Step 4. Creating the frame

    Now we’re going to assemble the frame. Using one of the pieces of dowel, poke one end through the 10cm hole on the two pieces of wood with the 30cm piece of string, and poke the other end through the other 10cm holes on the two pieces of timber with the 120cm piece of string. This will be the top of the frame.

    Then poke the other two pieces of dowel through the 3cm holes on both sides of the tent. Your frame should now resemble a tent shape.

    Make sure there is about 2-3cm of dowel out the end of the timber.

  • Step 5. Securing the frame

    Once our frame is in the right shape we’re going to secure the dowel. Using small nails, hammer a nail in halfway at the end of each piece of dowel to make sure they don’t slide out.

  • Step 6. Creating your tent cover

    Cut your drop sheet to 1.10m x 2.40m before you decorate it. We’re going to use paint and sponges to decorate ours but you can use any decorations you like.

  • Step 7. Attaching the tent cover

    When you’re decorations for your tent cover are dry, we’re going to attach it to your frame. Hang your cover over the frame making sure that it reaches both sides of the frame.

    Make a small hole at the bottom of the cover near the front and tie a cable tie through the hole and around the dowel.

    Make another hole halfway along and cable tie this and make one more hole at the other end of the tent as well.

    Repeat the above for the other side of the tent so you have six cable ties on your cover.

    And now you’re done!  Time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors in your awesome play tent!

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Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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