Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out of Body, Out of (My) Mind

Hello there!  Come in, won't you?


Landon's 4th birthday is tomorrow and seeing as how he's got every toy vehicle ever manufactured, we decided to get/make him something that fostered pretend play since he's getting more into that anyway as he gets older.  The boy loves making forts, so after seeing this reading nook on Ana's site, I thought a tent would be the way to go after modifying it to my taste.  It's not that I minded rearranging the furniture and throwing sheets every which way to make the forts of yore (that's right, I said forts of yore), but it was really time consuming and picking up really wasn't all that fun for any of us - especially for me, because folding ginormous king-size sheets with one hand all by yourself sucks, trust me.  

And thus, the tent was born.



The tent will actually be used indoors, but I brought it outside for the purpose of taking pictures.

I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking, because this was a huge project.   The frame itself stands six feet tall, and four feet deep (original plan was three feet).  Knowing that I would be sewing the tent instead of using top tab curtains like the plans stated, I also had no pattern or anything to go off of.  So, I took measurements as I went.  I basically flew by the seat of my pants - and when you're me, can either be glorious or a major disaster where you find yourself balled up on the floor of your sewing room crying and swearing profanities on the phone to your mother because "how can making bias tape be this hard?!"  Another story, another time. 


In any case, what made the whole project even more of a dangerous feat was all the different materials used.  Medium-weight cotton, light weight cotton, webbing, vinyl (oh, vinyl, you fair weathered friend!), ribbon, grommets, velcro, netting.  I don't think I've EVER used that many different materials in one sewing project before.  EVER.  And being that I had no idea what I was doing with most of it, it turned out pretty well.  What's even more shocking then the end result, was that it went smoother than any other project I've done.  I had one very minor thread tension issue that took me a whole two minutes to clear up, but aside from that, it was smooth sailing.  That NEVER happens, I swear - you can ask my mom, I'm sure she'd be happy to tell you about all the phone calls she gets from me. The entire process was like an out of body experience.

Here was my vision:


The arrows and writing explains how the finished project varied from my original plan.  Please excuse the 3rd grade illustration - I sew, build, take pictures and fish.  I do not draw.


I added the details on the side to give a boy-ish industrial type look - on the other side you can't see in this pic (look above) is the blue strip of raw edged fabric (will fray a bit in time) with orange webbing and grommets.  I couldn't do something on one side with out doing it to the other - Nick asked why not (he just doesn't get it) :D - so I aded a couple strips of blue ribbon onto the yellow fabric then added the remaining four grommets to this side.  The reason I did four grommets on each side instead of three, since I'm sure you're dying to know, was based on intense and extensive mathematical calculations that I'm sure would be way too confusing to explain, so I'll give you the short version.  There were eight in the pack.  There was no way I'd ever use 2 grommets on a project (I've never used them until now, anyhow), and it's kinda symbolic - you know, since Landon's turning FOUR, and there's four on each side.  Are you still with me or are you just looking at the pictures?  

Anyway.


Thanks for looking and I'm pretty confident that Landon is going to flip when he sees it.  He's also getting a set of walkie talkies and binoculars with his tent (so he can be on the look out and report his findings to whoever will listen).  I just can't believe my little baby who would hum himself to sleep in the grocery store is going to be my big four year old boy who loves pretending to pick up pizza with his Hot Wheels, who must watch movies with his stuffed animals and who is convinced that he is a Transformer  (sound effects and all).  



30 comments:

Alli said...

You did a wonderful job! If only my kids were lucky enough to have such a mom... :D

On One Hand said...

Thanks Allie! And I have a feeling your kids are pretty lucky to have the mom they've got! =)

~Carley

emma said...

OMG!! i have been trawling the web for days looking for inspiration for a fabulous tent - i followed a link from prudent baby and found you.. awesome blog, awesome tent. thanks for sharing. x

On One Hand said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found me and ecstatic that you like my tent...welcome!

~Carley

jaya pratheesh said...

wow that is seven types of awesome! thank you for the how-to. I definitely plan to!

On One Hand said...

haha thanks (and your welcome)! Make sure to send pics, I'd love to see your finished tent!

~Carley

Kayla Dellinger said...

What did you use for the frame if you don't mind me asking? I would love to make one of these for my son!

On One Hand said...

Of course I don't mind =) I used furring strips from Home Depot. If you don't know where they're at, just ask - they measure about 3/4" by 1 1/2" or so. I also used the 8 foot 1x3's that were in the same area for the base. They were all cheaper boards so they did require a little more sanding, but they should make all the cuts for you so you won't have to do that...also check out the link in the post, it goes directly to the page where I got my plans - thanks for stopping by! =D

~Carley

Anonymous said...

We have a birthday coming up too and this would be awesome!!!

Tracee said...

does this just fold up to take inside?

On One Hand said...

This would make an excellent birthday gift! =)

~Carley

On One Hand said...

Tracee - it does! I wrapped the fabric under the bottom board using velcro to secure it, so I un-velcro the sides and pull the top piece out (so you can push the frame together) and roll it up (if I want) and store it when not in use! I have only taken the top board out of the tent fabric when I go to wash it, otherwise it stays in there =)

juliannarichman@blogspot.com said...

Where did you get the blue gingham fabric. It's darling!

On One Hand said...

I got it from Ikea! I wasn't really sure which fabric (or from where) that I was going to use, but I was there and they had it on clearance for $3 a yard! Most of their fabric is medium/heavyweight, so it was definitely a steal! I think I used about 7(?) yards, and I had a little left over. I would have needed more if the doors were made out of it too.

~Carley

Angie said...

I am a new follower! Love your blog, and am in awe of your awesome tent. I saw you on PInterest, and will be repinning ;)

On One Hand said...

Thank you! And Welcome! - I'm so glad you're here =D

~Carley

Deb said...

Have you finished that tutorial yet? I'm interested in how you did the front flaps and back. I'm planning to make this for my grandson for Christmas.

On One Hand said...

Deb -

I haven't finished it yet, but go ahead and shoot me an email and I'll try and get all your questions answered!

onehandymom [at] gmail [dot] com

~Carley

Inspire Me Heather said...

Hi there, your tent is so adorable! You've done a beautiful job and I've got this linked to my play tents post too today, well done!

On One Hand said...

Not sure why I didn't see this until now, but thanks Heather!

~Carley

onemotherslove said...

Wow, that tent is FABULOUS! Pinning ideas for a reading tent... would love to make one like this before too long!

On One Hand said...

Thanks Onemothers! I would love to see it when you finish it! =)

~Carley

Rena said...

I love your tent! my little guy is only 10 months old. I recently bough some camo fabric because it was $1.50 a yard and couldn't pass it up. and when my husband asked what it was for i told him a tent... I plan to make something like this, so thank you for your inspiration. I have a few years before mind needs to be done but it was great reading about your experience :)

Danielle Madison said...

What kind of wood/material did you use for the structure?

On One Hand said...

Rena -

Thank you! My husband is always asking what project I have in mind when I come home with something...as if we need a reason! haha ;D

~Carley

On One Hand said...

Danielle,

I used 1x2 and 1x3 furring strips for the frame and nuts/bolts to hold it all together. =)

~Carley

Willie'sGurl said...

How adorable. :) I have a one year old, but am tempted to make one for her. she loves to get in under things and this would be perfect. :)

Anonymous said...

You can also make the frame from PVC pipes- easier to dismantle and store that was for the winter-

Susana Okada said...

I have been searching for ideas on what to do for my grandchildren in my backyard this summer. I am lucky enough that they still beg to come stay with me for at least a week at a time (darn parents like having their kids around,lol). Do you have your tutorial up yet? I'd love to steal your idea. I can wing it but if you have a tutorial as a guide I'd love it. Thank you so much for sharing your masterpiece!
Susana

pumpkinspice said...

O wow! I love! My husband just finished making the tent frame. I looked back on Ana's website to see if anyone had gone full out & sewn a cover. Yours is definitely my favorite. I really didn't want to use the tab curtains. Unfortunately without a plan I cannot conquer this. I can't beleive you just did this on the fly. Super awesome job.

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