Table Tent

Sundays have unofficially become my sewing day. My mother-in-law takes the kids to church and Sunday School, and the husband is usually home to help with the baby, and I make a concerted effort to do as little housework as possible.

Today being Sunday, and me being filled with motivation thanks to the unending flow of brilliant crafty ideas thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make something I’ve been wanting to for awhile – a table play-fort area of sorts. (Playhouse, fabric house, play tent, no idea what to call it!) I had zero budget thanks to the funds being entirely depleted by the purchase of Miss 5’s school uniform this week, so was forced to work entirely from stash fabric or cannibalized fabric. Originally I played with the drape of a queen size sheet over the table (which only seats 4 anyways, so is fairly small) by chopping off the extra fabric at the corners, and overlocking. I rushed the job though, and although I ended up with something functional, the seems were wonky and slanted and the fit was lopsided and half-assed, and I knew it would bother me. In playing around with my fabric I accidentally discovered I had the perfect combination already – a scrap of fabric that was de-cluttered to me a month or two ago, as well as a long strip of fabric I’d been meaning to use on various non-specific dressups for the girls, a thin cotton knit with gold stars, which was long enough to wrap entirely around the table. The top piece – the ‘inherited’ fabric – was nearly the perfect size to start with – the exact width of the table, and only about an inch shorter than it all up. I did toy with adding a strip of fabric to one end to make it a more-perfect fit, but decided not to bother, in part as it would mess up the look.

Therefore, in the end all I had to do was overlock the selvedge of the stars fabric entirely around the top piece fabric, and I had an instant table tent, sized to fit and with a ready made curtain-like opening. I did overlap the start and finish of the stars fabric, but forgot to allow for the extra pull from a ever-so-slightly too small top piece – so instead of hanging ‘closed’, there’s a natural slight opening. I completed the top of the table by laying across a strip of plastic sheeting I’d bought for containing craft messiness, as this will allow them to still use the table as a table – for eating on, drawing on, painting on, and generally being messy preschoolers – without putting on and taking off the table tent a millionty times each day. To ‘secure’ the plastic, I looped a strip of braided elastic around the lip of the table, catching the plastic in it at both ends so it stays put but is still easy to remove and/or wash.

I already have ideas for another, better, stronger, play tent of similar style – but the prototype works for now and both the kitten and the children should love it!

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