When I was a kid, I always wished that Tinker Toys were life-sized so I could build a house and then live in it. I think that is why I love this project so much. Â  Ryan recently had a sleep-over at a friend’s house for a camping-themed birthday party. Â  His friend’s mom had cut some PVC pipes and provided blankets so the kids could create their own indoor sleeping tent in her living room. Â  It was such a hit with my kids, that we borrowed the idea and this was our first creation. Â  Here is how to make a play tent.

## DIY Tent Supplies:

• 10 – 1/2″ PVC plumbing pipes {they come in a 10′ length}
• 2 – 10 piece bags of 1/2″ 90 degree ELBOW
• 2 – 10 piece bags of 1/2″ TEE
• Ratcheting PVC Cutter
• 5 – Sheets

## How to Make A Tent:

1. My friend had her local home improvement store cut the tent pipes, but my Home Depot was not that accommodating, so I purchased a Ratcheting PVC Cutter to do it myself at home. Â  They are very easy to use and it did give me the freedom to cut the pieces the exact size I wanted once I figured out what we were going to make. Â  I cut 8 of the pipes into 2 – 4′ pieces and one 2′ section.
2. After some serious math calculations which included my 5th grader, husband and the Pythagorean theorem, I cut 2 of the longer PVC pipes into sections that were 2′ 9 7/8″ so that a 90 degree elbow could be used at the roof peaks. Â  I labeled these pieces with a Sharpie “R” for “roof” so they could be easily identified when needed.
3. Several of the smaller 2′ pieces I cut into 2″ inch pieces to be used as connectors.
4. To make the structure shown here you would need: Â  12 – 4′ segments, 4 – “R” segments, 10 – 90 degree ELBOW pieces, 12 – TEE pieces and 12 – 2″ connectors {small cut piece of regular pipe}.
5. Add sheets and move in {I learned that blankets were more likely to cause a weight shift, but could be used if a more stable structure was built}.

We made several variations of this structure substituting 2′ segments for several of the WALL portions to help add stability. Â  If you are doing this with small children, it might be best to start with smaller pipe sections and use chairs or a tree for support since it is likely to shift and fall over with JUST this configuration.

We also started experimenting with adding cross-bars which continued the mommy math lesson to achieve that within the generic pieces of PVC available at a hardware store.

Because the PVC pipe joints are not as functional as Tinker Toy connectors, there is a little problem-solving when it comes to how to put things together. Â  You can see my lower and upper corners pictured here. Â  The TEE segments are complimented by adding a 2″ connector piece that joins the ELBOW below. Â  On the upper corner, two TEEs are used – one for the supporting vertical post and one at an angle for the roof.

The PVC pipes were less than \$2 a piece and so were the bags of ELBOWs and TEEs. Â  All the PVC materials for this project was less than \$25. Â  The PVC cutter costs around \$10. The cool thing is when the boys were tired of building a tent house, they simply pushed it over and built something else with the pieces… They make decent musical instruments and awesome weapons. . Like camping? Â  Quirky Momma is part of a online camping community and we’d love for you to join us and tell us about your camping or travel experiences at the KOA Around the Campfire Community.

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My name is Holly Homer & I am the Dallas mom of three boysâ€¦