For ages I have been wanting to share instructions for an easy to make fabric playhouse and today is finally the day!
When I was growing up we had a playhouse “tent” that we would put over a card table that would instantly turn that card table into a fortress, a mansion, a hideout, or a castle. I loved it. And I wanted to make one similar for my girls so for Christmas this year I put one together.
I have seen quite a few of these that are amazing…with clear vinyl windows. flower boxes, etc…and they are fantastic but when I made mine I wanted it to be simple and old school just like the one I had growing up. And so that is what I made. It is a real easy sew and for the entertainment it provides it’s totally worth it!
Soooo…the first thing you will need to make this playhouse is a card table and it’s measurements. (My card table is 34 inches by 34 inches square and then 28 inches tall. Mine came from Target and while it is a fairly standard size you should measure your table just to be safe.)
After you have your measurements its time to cut your fabric.
Let’s start with the “roof”. You will need to cut this top piece to the measurements of the top of your card table plus one inch.
(So since mine measured 34 inches by 34 inches I cut my top piece 35 inches by 35 inches.)
Next lets cut the side panels.
For my playhouse I did the two side and the one back panel just one, plain, solid piece of fabric. And I cut it the width of the card table by the height of the card table plus one inch.
(So since my card table was 34 inches wide and 28 inches tall I cut my side and back panels each at 35 inches by 29 inches.)
Lastly we need to cut the front panels. For the front we are going to cut two panels so that there is an opening for your kids to come in and of .
On my playhouse I wanted to make the front a tad snazzier than the side and back so I made each of the panels out of two different pieces of fabric. To do this I took the width of my card table and divided by two then added an inch an inch. Then I took the height of my card table and, divided it by two and then added 1.5 inches. With these measurements I cut two pieces for the top half of the front and two pieces for the bottom half.
(Because my table measured 34 inches wide by 28 inches tall each of the 4 panels for the front measured in at 13 inches wide by 15.5 inches tall.)
Alright! The cutting is done. Let’s get to sewing.
Let’s start with those front panels we just cut!
We are going to sew the tops to the bottoms to make them full length panels…Do this by taking one of your top front pieces and lay it right sides together on top one of your bottom pieces and sew them together. Repeat this process for the other front panel.
Now lets sew the sides to the “roof” All you are going to do is pin each side panel to a side of the square roof piece with right sides together.
When I sewed mine I did it in the following order: attach the right side, attach the left side, attach the back, and then finally attach the front 2 panels.
(Note: You will attach the front two panels it will work just like when you did the side panels. Just start pining each panel at their respected corners and they will meet in the middle leaving the opening for your kids to get in and out of. Easy peasy.)
Now your “walls” are sewn to your “roof” but the side seams still need to be sewn together!
This is easy. Start at each corner of the “roof” and sew straight down from the top to the bottom join the front to the side, then the side to the back, the back to the other side, and back around to sewing the last side to the front.
Now all that you have left is to hem the bottom. Turn the bottom under a quarter inch and and sew. Then turn it under another quarter inch and top stitch.
Technically now you are done and your tent is ready for action.
But before I turned the tent over to my girls I added some wide lace across the front and pom poms down the front opening (Adding pom poms or bias tape down the front opening panels will finish off the raw edges for you….but if you don’t want to do that you can just finish them off the way I suggested hemming the playhouse BEFORE you sew them to the roof.)
So that’s it. But before I sign off….I should tell you…I didn’t sew this playhouse, I actually serged it so if you have a serger this is a great project for it. Also my seam allowances were a scant .5 inch. Well, actually mine were closer to .25 inches…I did this because I wanted my playhouse to have as much wiggle room as possible on the card table. I know from experience that you don’t want these playhouses to be too tight or too taught on the card table…just trust me on this.
OK! Now I think that is everything…and your playhouse is ready for play. And I promise it will get play. My girls love theirs. Especially on cold, grumpy, stay indoors kinds of days.
PS: I made this play house using fabric and trim from Riley Blake Designs (the line is called Lazy Day) and I love it for the bright colors and darling prints. But if you want a really inexpensive way to make this playhouse…use sheets. Just cut up a set of old sheets and make your playhouse from them!