The Dudes spend a lot of time building forts around the house.
They haul out all of the blankets they can find, pull out chairs from my dining room, and use their creation as a base of operations for pulling off all of their nefarious little plans.
Now that the weather is warmer, they can take their wreck-things-while-screaming show on the road. And, by on the road, I mean out into the yard where I send them to stay play during the summer months.
In an effort to provide better sun coverage, keep my blankets from being dragged all over kingdom come, while also maintaining my awesomest-mama-ever street cred, I decided to build them a fort…
It looks remarkably like a tent.
They call it a secret lair. And blink when I say a big white tent in the middle of your yard isn’t really much of a “secret”.
Unlike my previous projects where I prefaced my tutorial by saying any human or human like creature with opposable thumbs could recreate such a thing, let me just go ahead and say that this is NOT the case for wooden tent making.
Tents, even when designed by a reputable manufacturer and wrapped up in an easy-to-carry bag with sturdy poles and water-proof canvas, are notoriously difficult to construct.
Now, add to that inattention to detail, inaccurate measuring, and shoddy materials and you have the kind of tent I (and, honestly, many of you) am capable of creating.
It looks exciting.
In addition to being the perfect place for making evil plans, it’s also great for reading, playing board games, and just having a midday rest in.
And, most importantly, the children who live in this house and a number of their hood homies absolutely love it.
You will sweat while you build it, but if you’re still in, by all means, help yourself…
How To Make a Tent (While You Sweat Like a Beast and Try Not to Cry)
- 6 Wooden slats. All the same size if you know what’s good for you.
- 1 PVC pipe. For ease it would be awesome if this pipe were longer than the wooden slats you purchased. But, for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s not. Then, you will for certain need the following item as well.
- Saw for cutting wood in the event that you didn’t do what I said previously.
- A canvas of some sort. I used an old table cloth. I dabbled with the idea of using a sheet. I even considered using old curtains. Only because the fit was pretty much perfect, the table cloth won out in the end.
- Wood screws. A pack should do (you will need exactly 4 though).
- 2 nuts with their homies, bolts.
- A staple gun with staples, although a high powered glue of some sort would probably work too.
Step 1: Drill a hole about 8 inches from one end of four of the wooden slats. The hole should line up and be large enough to accept your nut. Don’t worry, the sexy part of this tutorial is officially over.
Step 2: Criss cross two of the wooden slats, lining up the drilled holes. Add bolt, add nut, repeat with the other two slats. Be sure you cross the slats at a reasonable distance. Too close and your tent will be super skinny. Too wide and your tent will be more of a crawl space. Once you get it just right, tighten the nut. Do the exact same thing with the other two slats. Now you have the ends of your tent.
Step 2: If you listened to me and bought the right size PVC pipe, you can skip to the next step. If you didn’t, go ahead and haul out your saw. And your tape measure. And figure out how much you need to cut off of the remaining two slats so that when you place your PVC pipe between the two ends it will hold (you want about two inches of PVC pipe to protrude past the end of each side). You’re on your own with this one. I told you to buy a longer pipe. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo and all that jazz.
- Step 3: Drill holes towards the bottom (about an inch from the end) in each of the four end slats. Using wood screws, secure the remaining two poles between the two ends of your tent. These are support beams. Without these, your tent will fall over repeatedly if you ever even get it to stand up in the first place. Don’t ask me how I know.
Step 4: Place PVC pipe in the ‘X’ at the top of the front and the bottom.
Step 5: Hang your curtain/sheet/tablecloth/whatever over the bar.
Step 6: Use your staple gun (or your heavy duty glue) to attach curtain/sheet/tablecloth/whatever to wooden slats at the bottom and along the sides to keep it from slipping off.
Step 7: Haul it out into your yard and tell your kids you break it you buy it to get their play on!
Step 8: Add streamers as an afterthought when they beg you to build them a door.
Sick of my DIY’s yet?
Too bad sucka Lucky for you I’m putting them on hold for a bit due to some upcoming graduations, traveling, and the fact that you guys probably can’t handle any more of this awesome. And, also, I’m tired. DIY-ing it is exhausting.
Have you got something to be Wordful about this week? My cohost, Seven Clown Circus, and I would love to check out your goods. And we’d love you check out this week features too!
We have a post sharing some beautiful Oklahoma landmark photos to celebrate the beautiful city of Moore, before the tornado, a great capture of sister love, a mom who shares her emotional adventure and asks for your support, and a classic car show with period fashion too!