You can make a fabric and pipe tent so that your kids use it to play as you do, to relax and rest differently.

I know what you’re thinking, big deal! PVC pipe playhouses are all over the web. True, but I can all but guarantee you that you won’t find a decent tutorial out there! Lots of super cute pictures, but no solid tut! Trust me, we searched! We even thought we found the perfect one…WRONG! So, this tutorial represents A LOT of brain work from us! But it’s totally worth it, because the 2 playhouses we built totally ROCK! And since we’ve done all the thinking, all you will have to do is the cutting, building and sewing!

6 10-ft. (1/2-in. thick) PVC pipes
These PVC fittings:

(*NOTE* the three way elbow and the adaptor screw together to act as one fitting.)
1 pair of PVC pipe cutters ($10-$15)

3 twin sized sheets, or equal yardage in fabric
Anything used for embellishing (scrap fabric, ribbon, buttons, etc.)

1. Screw together all three-way elbows and adapters.

2. Cut pipe to following lengths:

(10) 40 1/4-in
(4) 25 1/2-in
(2) 33 3/4-in
(1) 31 3/4-in

3. From the left over pipe, cut 8 pieces about 3-in long. These will be used as joiners.

4. Build the base of the house using 4 of the 40 1/4-in cut pipe and 4 of the three-way elbows.

5. Add 4 more of the 40 1/4-in cut pipe for the sides—in each of the corners—standing straight up.

6. Attach a three-way elbow to each of the upright pipes. To each of the elbows attach a joiner, a tee, a joiner, and a 45 degree elbow like in the picture (sorry, it’s a bit blurry):

7. Add the remaining 40 1/4-in cut pipe and the 33 3/4-in cut pipe to finish the top, like this:

Make sure the 45 degree elbows face each other.

8. To form the roof, add each of the 25 1/2-in cut pipe to the 45 degree elbows. Attach a three-way elbow to the ends to secure:

(ignore the basketball hoop in the background! I was setting this up in my son’s room!)

9. To complete the roof, add the 31 3/4-in cut pipe between the three-way elbows:



10. Now, at this point, it may be worth while to number everything so that you can set it all back up again once you take it down. Do a number match—every piece connects to another piece so the numbers should all match, like this:

base joint


11. Now comes the creative part! Using the sheets, or fabric, drape and pin (wrong side facing out) the base of the house first. Sew where you’ve pinned. Decide where you want the windows and door, and mark and cut. This part is totally up to you, and figuring out what you want/like. I have no idea how to translate what we did into coherent instructions! It’s a lot of draping and pinning and sewing, over and over! But, the trick is to complete the base first, then attach the roof last. This way there’s less fabric to work with on your sewing machine. Good luck!! If you have any questions, leave a comment or email!


Read More