Today we are going to show you how to make a tent with popsicle sticks. The tent walls have been made from an old t-shirt which makes this tent one very low-cost project! It is simple to put together although a little fiddly with having to get the popsicle sticks/ craft sticks to align so is more suited to older children or adults to make. If you are wanting to do this craft with younger children you could opt for a plain piece of fabric that the kids can decorate using fabric paint or fabric markers.
How To Make A Tent With Popsicle Sticks
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Our girls were delighted when they came home from school and saw their new tent. They already had this Sylvanian Families/ Calico Critters camping tent set which gets plenty of use so you can imagine their excitement over being able to have two camping tents for their toys!
I am sure that our girls will want to make another tent at some stage so they can act out three families off camping. The next time we make them I will invite the girls to decorate the fabric to go around the tent. We have these Tulip fabric paints at home which work well and can be used for window clings but the other alternative is to use fabric markers or even just Sharpie pens if that is all you have at home.
You Will Need
- 9 Popsicle sticks/ craft sticks– regular size
- An old t-shirt or similar piece of fabric
- Hot glue gun
- Fabric scissors
Let’s Get Creating
Start by gathering all of the needed supplies. 9 popsicle sticks, an old t-shirt or similar, hot glue gun and some scissors to cut the fabric. This project is broken down into two parts, the frame and the fabric outer. Both parts require a hot glue gun or other strong glue that will adhear both wood and fabric.
Making the frame is simple and quick. Pretest where each stick goes before gluing. Hot glue dries fast so you really want to have a good idea of the stick layout before you glue. Have a look at the photo below to see the popsicle/ craft stick layout.
Start by gluing the four base popsicle/ craft sticks into a square shape. We put the front and back sticks on the bottom with the side sticks glued on the top this makes it easy to adhere the side triangle pieces.
Measure the triangle pieces between the tent base sticks(have a look in the photo) and glue the top of the two triangle sticks together. Place the triangle pieces onto the frame and glue each side on so they are standing upright.
Glue the remaining popsicle stick flat ontop of two triangles connecting them both. Your tent frame should look like number 3 in the above photo.
Add The Fabric
Now it is time to wrap and glue the tent frame with fabric. Have a look at the photos below to see how we did it.
- If using a t-shirt cut the top off and cut along one of the seams so you have one long piece of fabric. You want the fabric to be wide enough that the front and back of the tent is also mostly covered.
- Drape the fabric over the frame. Trim the end length of the fabric so you only have a little overhanging.
- Glue the entire bottom of the tent frame with hot glue and then place onto the fabric.
- Glue the top of the tent frame and pull the fabric so it is tight but not stretched and stick to the top of the tent.
- Cut along the bottom edge of the fabric so it is only slightly overhanging. Wrap the top piece of fabric around and using the glue adhere the free edge of the fabric to the bottom of the tent. The length of the tent should now be totally wrapped together
The front and back of the tent can be done in different ways. If you do not have enough fabric to do it the way we have you could simply cut a triangle piece for the front and back and glue into place.
6. Working on the front of the tent, glue alongside one of the popsicle stick sides. Pull the opposite side over from the loose fabric and glue into place. Neatly tuck the loose piece of fabric in between the popsicle stick and the other side. The remaining fabric can also be tucked away so it looks neat and tidy.
7. Cut a door opening.
8. Apply glue to the non stuck side of the tent door and secure fabric in place.
9. Work on the back. Trim all three sides so they are even. Glue all of the sides of fabric down so there is a little window in the center.
Your tent is now complete! Now all you need to do is to go on a camping adventure!
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