How do you hide the hoards of Christmas toys? Build a circus corner tent.. obvs...

Posted on January 27, 2015 by Rae | 1 comment

Blimey doesn't time fly?  Someone left a comment on our old blog site last night asking me a question about this project I shared getting on for two years ago.  Looking back at the pictures just makes me realise how much the boys have grown up in that time - but also what a hit this little corner tent was... and still is.  So I thought it might be nice to share it here on the new blog for those of you who haven't seen it before.  It's a really easy project for a small kids bedroom that looks cool but also helps hide all the crap that inevitable builds up in their room - little hoarders!!!!  So here it is .....

My youngest loves circuses and a little while ago he said he wanted to live in a circus tent.  Well, how could I refuse his request?  Obviously being only two I wasn't enamoured with the idea of him running away to the circus so I thought I better get a wiggle on and make him his own life-size (correction - Kid B size) circus tent.

The only problem is that his room is tiny!  I did think about making a stand alone circular tent using a hula hoop and suspending it from the ceiling - which would have looked really cool - but a chance conversation at the school gate led me to this little invention.  One of his older brother's classmate's mums asked me if I'd seen a 'corner tent'.  I had absolutely no idea what she meant until she explained that the daughter of a friend of hers had one which I presume is similar in design to the one I eventually made except it used a net curtain wire hooked across the corner of a room where the bunting is on this one.  


So, a couple of metres of fabric and a string of bunting later, Kiddo has his very own circus tent (he promises he will not now run away to join the clowns - phew!) and . . .


and I have somewhere to hide all of those toys still needing to be given a home after Christmas!

I used pinking shears to make the bunting flags as they are pretty small . . .

and made little ties with mini poppers on to draw back the curtains when it's show time.

I haven't written a full tutorial on this as it is really as simple as hemming two rectangles and a triangle, sewing them together and stitching the bunting strip to the joining line (the tie backs are so thin that they are a little tricky so below I show you how to make these).  I sewed a loop of string to the tip of the tent roof and at the two ends of the bunting strip and screwed in three hooks at these points on the walls. I also added two hooks for the tie backs to attach to, otherwise the sides gape inwards when tied back.

I made the ties by cutting a rectangle and sewing it along three sides (leaving a small opening through which to turn it through the right way.  The ties are quite narrow so this would have been a pretty awkward thing to do if it hadn't been for this clever little trick. It's an old trick but a really useful one to know so, here's how you do it:

1. Take your rectangle of fabric

2. pull out a long length of thread from the bobbin and needle - make sure it is at least a couple of inches longer than the length of the fabric you are about to sew

3. before you begin to stitch, open the fabric and tuck the length of thread from your machine down the centre, making sure it is poking out of the end - sew the top end and long side of the fabric, finishing as above. Secure the stitching on the long length with a couple of reverse stitches . .

4. and then place it in front of you on the table.

5. take your preferred poking instrument (mine is an oh, so technical half a wooden BBQ skewer!The snapped end does the poking so as not to skewer the fabric!) and push the top end in on itself (the end where the long length of cotton is attached to the fabric)

6. begin to pull the fabric in on itself . . .

7. until it is completely  reversed. Snip the long threads from the end  - et voila!  Your thin little tie back is looking lovely and right-side-out-able!  Hand stitch the remaining gap and you're ready to sew on your poppers, buttons or velcro - whatever you decide will secure your tie backs. Finally screw some little hooks into the wall and attach your tiebacks to theses to stop the tent gaping when it's open.

OK, so the inevitable is now happening - big kiddo decides to do the 'Look, I've got no body' gag.

Little kiddo didn't quite get the idea - but spent the next half hour playing peek-a-boo!  Think he's pretty chuffed though and happy to have all the fun of the circus in his very own shoebox of a room!

To make this, I used:

  • two metres of Clown Stripe, for the tent

  • We're out of Tree Line Holly Berries that I used for the bunting flags but anything geometric would work really well.  Have a look here for some inspiration!

They're a lot bigger now these two clowns - but they still love the circus tent.  Not allowed to rearrange Kid B's room because of it. I wonder how big they'll get before it gets passed to someone else?




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  • Sam

    Oh wow! This is so cute! I want one. :-)


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