Tent Structure DIY

Sunday, August 9, 2020

This DIY is one that is really fun with your children around. It's a cute craft project when it's all finished, but I created this with the idea that Ro could learn about structures and framework through play. Making it is as fun as playing with the finished tent!

Pipe Cleaners

Step one: Cut your pipe cleaners and straws.
You'll need 3 longer straws (6 inches), 4 medium straws (5 inches), and 2 shorter straws (4.5 inches). You will also need at least 13 (2 inch) pipe cleaner pieces.

Step 2: Make the sides of your tent.
Bend a pipe cleaner and put through one side of your 5 in. straw, then through another. The pipe cleaners will act as joints for you structure. Repeat the process attaching two 5 in. pieces to one 4.5 in. piece. You should end up with 2 triangles.


Step 3: Make your triangles into a tent!
Add pipe cleaners to all three joints and then bend them at a 90-degree angle. This will give you something to attach the long sides to. Do this on all three points, then again to the other triangle, attaching everything together.  


Step 4: Trace the front, back, and sides of your tent.
Make sure to leave space around the edge of the straws. You want the shape you cut out to be a bit larger than the straw frame. Decide which triangle piece you want to be your front and cut a slit about 3/4 up to make the door.

Step 5: Tape together your tent.
Tape naturally has more give than paper so you will be using the tape for the folding part of your structure. To do this you want to lay out your tape strip, then put the two paper pieces onto the tape strip about 1/4 of an inch apart. Lay another piece of tape over the paper and tape to secure it and to cover up the sticky part. When all of your folds are all secured trim the tape to be even with the edge of the paper. For the fold that was going to be the top of the tent, I used two pieces of tape on each side (four total) to give myself more wiggle room.

The most difficult to tape is obviously the last side. I put tape on one piece of paper on the inside, then lined it up and pressed the second piece of paper down the second side. Then put tape over the layers and trim, and voila! You have a tent top!

Step 6: Add your decorations.
If you want to add a flag cut out a long triangle, add some decorations, and  tape it to a short straw. Once you've put the tent onto the frame attach your flag to the top front straw using another pipe cleaner.

In the grand scheme of things making a tent was pretty easy. I think so many other cool things could be made with this method. I would love to see a big top tent, or maybe a two-story mega fort for a  hamster!


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