Monday, December 26, 2011

Old Crib Bedding Becomes DIY Play Tent "Under The Stars"

When we had our little man I admit I lost it when it came to buying clothes and "stuff" for this little person.  I see it now as complete insanity, but at the time it felt oh so right!  One of the many silly things I just "had to have" was an adorable crib bedding set.  It was patchwork, cowboy and entirely too expensive but I did some bargain hunting found a discount website and it was mine.. even though I still paid way too much! Then he arrived and I soon realized how little that ridiculous crib bumper was actually used and by the way it never stayed up right anyways! So long story short I learned my lesson the hard way and didn't make the same mistake with our little girl.  However, because I spent the money on this crazy set that was barely used I have not been able to part with it even though he has long been in a "bog boy bed"! I know dragging it cross country was ridiculous but I just couldn't get rid of it and it's kind of sentimental.. I remember how cute and tiny he looked sound asleep in it.  This photo above is now 3 years old, but still makes my heart melt! Needless to say I've really been wanting to use this heap of fabric for something.. and when I saw this great play tent tutorial .... out came the seam ripper... and away went the crib bumper, blanket, sheet, curtains, and my frustrations.  It's amazing how satisfying a little thread destruction can be!  
With a very small investment and some sewing practice now under my belt... Ta-Da the tent is done and this is how it turned out!!!
For the tent frame once again my "Home Depot Men" came to my rescue.  I like to think of myself as very independent and capable, but I am not above playing the "damsel in distress" role at a home improvement store to get the things I need, instead of wandering aimlessly for hours! SERIOUSLY TRY IT!!!  Obviously I have no shame :) But it is incredible.. look a little lost, ask nicely for help and pretty soon you've got everything you thought you needed, the few things you didn't realize you needed and help out to your car! I guess I'm taking a risk here, if they catch onto my scheme they will run the other way when I enter the store... but I'm going go out on a limb and say those wonderful men aren't my target audience :)
 The only change I made to the frame tutorial is I spray painted the wood a dark brown and trimmed about 1.5 feet off of the top wood piece that the sides are tied to so that there wasn't so much extra hanging over the cross pieces.
 In the tutorial you use curtain panels for the two rectangle sides, which is super fast and easy.  I took both sides of my crib bumper, cut strips and sewed those strips together.  Then using a few of the crib ties sewed to the top of the panel, I tied it to the top beam.  By far this is the biggest sewing project I have undertaken, it took some time but I love how it turned out... and the fabric was free.
 The bottom doesn't have to be perfect, I just tucked the fabric under and around the bottom wood piece and then used a staple gun to keep it in place.
 Then I decided I wanted my tent to have a front and back as well.  So I patched together
 the rest of the fabric into a rough triangle like shape, using the curtain panels from our bedding set to make the slight opening.
 Then again I just wrapped the raw edged sides of the triangle openings around the wood and stapled it tight on the inside.
 This is the view from the inside.
 I even used the cute fabric stars from the mobile to make a "chandelier" on the inside.  An embroidery hoop an another one of those crib ties secured it to the top beam. Who knew all those dreaded ties would be so handy one day???  :)
 For the lights I wrapped some dollar store white lights around the top... and hid a short extension cord down the inside to plug in to the wall.
 The "stars" (aka..lights :) and the small amount of space left open at the top by the ties leave plenty of light on the inside to play even in a dark room.
 The kiddos got this for Christmas and they LOVE it!!  Even our little girl toddles in and out giggling the entire time, she thinks it's the best "peek-a-boo" game on the planet :)
 The bolts loosen easily to fold up for easy storage, but I don't think my munchins are going to let me take it down anytime soon!

Hope you like it!

Lindsey :)

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