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Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

How much do kids love a hiding space? For that matter, how much do adults love one, too? I love it when my kids create their own spaces to hide in, but I don’t love the mess left afterwards. I feel like I’m folding up sheets and putting away cushions for days.This is a hiding spot you can make that is somewhat more permanent, and can be quickly collapsed and put away for another day.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

You Will Need

scrap paper

four 3 m (10 ft) lengths of white fabric, about 1.2 m (4 ft) wide (I used varying weights but all lightweight fabrics, such as gauze or poplin)

acrylic paints: grey, mustard, pale pink, navy (or use fabric paints if you have them)

wide paintbrushes

scissors

pins

sewing machine and thread

retractable knife

6 m (20 ft) of 20 mm (¾ in) wide flexible cream-coloured irrigation tubing

3 irrigation tubing joiners

tape measure and pencil

8 m (26 ft) of 3 mm (⅛ in) rope or cord, cut into four equal lengths

1.

Cover the work area with some scrap paper, then place your first length of fabric on top. Have all your paints ready.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

2.

Using a wide paintbrush, paint large waves and swirls on the fabric. If you don’t have enough space to lay the whole fabric length on the table, paint sections and then, when it’s dry, move the fabric along to the next blank spot.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

3.

Use a variety of shapes and colours, keeping the pattern fairly simple. Repeat the process with the remaining three lengths of fabric.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

4.

When the painted fabric lengths are completely dry, cut them in half lengthways so you end up with eight pieces, 3 m (10 ft) long and 60 cm (2 ft) wide. At the top of each piece, fold over 5 cm (2 in) of fabric to create a loop for the tubing. Pin and sew. If you like, hem the bottom of each length (I didn’t, but I’m lazy).

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

5.

Cut the irrigation tubes into one 1 m (3 ft 3 in), one 2 m (6 ft 8 in) and one 3 m (9 ft 10 in) lengths. Join the ends of the 2 m (6 ft 8 in) length together with tubing joiners to form a hoop. Repeat for the 3 m (10 ft) length.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

6.

Feed the 1 m (3 ft 3 in) length of tube through the loops at the top of each fabric length, ensuring the painted side of the fabric is facing outwards. Fasten with a joiner.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

7.

Place the hoops in order of size, starting with the smallest in the centre (the smallest hoop will have all the fabric attached). Using a tape measure, measure and mark eight equally distanced spaces around the hoops: 1 m (3 ft 3 in) hoop = 12.5 cm (5 in); 2 m (6 ft 6 in) hoop = 25 cm (10 in); 3 m (9 ft 10 in) hoop = 37.5 cm (15 in).

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

8.

Align the ends of the four lengths of rope, then fold them in half and tie in a knot at the folded end, leaving loops at the top for hanging.Tie the eight ends of rope at the marked spaces on the hoops, starting at the top hoop and moving down to the next marked line on the next hoop, so the rope stays in line. Leave 20 cm (8 in) of rope between the top knot and the smallest hoop, 25 cm (10 in) between the small and medium hoop, and 30 cm (12 in) between the medium and largest hoop. Trim any excess rope. Hang from the nearest shady spot using a lasso knot.

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space

9.

Ta Da!

Keep The Kids Busy With This Step-By-Step Guide To A DIY Hiding Space
Images and instructions from Sunshine Spaces: Naturally Beautiful Projects to Make for Your Home and Outdoor Space by Beci Orpin (Hardie Grant, £20) Photography: Chris Middleton

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