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Art House




A simple homemade A-frame tent, thought up by Cakies blogger Rubyellen Bratcher (, is a perfect kids’ indoor hideout when the weather turns cold. Crafts editor Jodi Levine made one for her sons and let them personalize it completely: Rather than draping it with store-bought patterned fabric, the boys painted their own design on plain canvas. Place a sheet of plastic or pieces of newspaper on the floor under the canvas for easy cleanup.


Medium-weight cotton canvas, by Fredrix, from $29.50 a roll,
Multi-surface satin-finish acrylic paint, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Deep Sea, Surf, Granny Smith, and Seaweed, $2 for 2 oz.,


  • Drill with a 3/4-inch bit
  • 4 pieces of wood, each 1 inch by 2 inches by 48 inches
  • 1 wooden dowel, 3/4 inch by 48 inches
  • 4 small eye screws
  • Twine
  • Needle and thread
  • 4 ribbons, each 12 inches long
  • 1 piece of canvas, 44 inches by 84 inches


  1. Step 1

    Drill a hole 6 inches from the top on all four pieces of wood.

  2. Step 2


    Stand up two pieces of wood, line up the holes, and push the dowel through on one side. Repeat on the other side of the dowel with the other two pieces of wood.

  3. Step 3

    Attach the eye screws to the inside of two wood pieces on one side of the tent, below the dowel. Angle the wood pieces, as shown, and tie them together with twine. Repeat on the other side. (This will keep the tent in place.)

  4. Step 4

    Using a needle and thread, tack the middle of each ribbon to the underside of each corner of the canvas.

  5. Step 5

    Tie the corners of the canvas to the wooden legs with the ribbon.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2013



Reviews (2)

  • wren2378 6 Feb, 2014

    This is a cute tent, but it can use a couple improvements. The instructions were followed by the book, but you can't pull the fabric taught (as in the picture) without bowing the legs in. What it needs is a couple more dowels at the base of the legs (parallel to top dowel) to keep them stable. Also, twine to keep the legs from spreading out snapped instantly. Best to use something sturdier.

  • BevLeach 10 Jan, 2014

    I made this yesterday for my 20 month old grandson, painting one side for him and am adding his hand prints through the next few years on the other side. What a great gift to give and receive, if you could have only seen his eyes.