How to Create the Chocolate Milk Tent of Your Kid’s Dreams

APR 4, 2017

Every kid deserves an after school (re)treat where they can hideaway. This one is next-level! One of our favorite projects featured in the first-ever catalog is SammyK’s chocolate milk tent, which she dreamed up just for us. The fabric is designed in eight 1 yard panels with assembly instructions included. You can shop the fabric here (we recommend choosing our Lightweight Cotton Twill, shown in this example), then follow along with our tutorial below, written by our talented friend Samarra Khaja herself. We won’t blame you if you end up using this more than your kids do… 

Samarra: Hey, hey, fine crafty peeps! SammyK (aka Samarra Khaja) here with a fun new project I dreamt up especially for you (fine, fine, technically for the “kids” in your life, but you know you’re going to want one too. I know I do.) So without further ado, here are the sewing and assembly instructions for my SK-original Chocolate Milk Tent:
Step 1: Receive your festive Spoonflower package in the mail and stare at that stack of fabric goodness for a few moments before tearing into it. I like to take dreamy photos like this one first, before busting through the tissue paper to get to the heart of the matter.
Step 2: Cut out all panels along printed edges. Note that all seam allowances are 1” unless noted (this will give enough room to use French seams, if you want to rock fancy stuff like that.) Seam allowances are built into the design area, so just cut away all excess white fabric and your pieces will be ready to sew.
Step 3: With wrong sides together, pin Panel A to Panel B along Line 1 (as marked). Straight stitch along Line 1.
Step 4: With wrong sides together, pin Panel B to Panel C along Line 2 (as marked). Straight stitch along Line 2.
Step 5: We’ll now call this assembled A+B+C panel the Left Side Panel. Set aside.
Step 6: With wrong sides together, pin Panel D to Panel E along Line 3 (as marked). Straight stitch along Line 3.
Step 7: With wrong sides together, pin Panel E to Panel F along Line 4 (as marked). Straight stitch along Line 4.
Step 8: We’ll now call this assembled D+E+F panel the Right Side Panel (with straw).
Step 9: With wrong sides together, sew Left Side Panel to Right Side Panel along Line 5 (as marked). Note that this includes the top edge and both sides and curved corners of that topmost panel (as marked). We’ll now call this assembled panel the Center Panel. Set aside.
Step 10: The right side of Panel G and the left side of Panel H will now need to be hemmed. Using an iron, fold edge of Panel G’s hem (as marked) in ½” and iron flat.
Step 11: Fold hem over again another ½” to encase raw edge. Iron flat, pin and hem in place.
Step 12: Repeat this step with Panel H. Once hemmed and sewed, iron them again to set the stitches.
Step 13: Position Panels G and H so they overlap along inner hems (as marked) so that the striped pattern visually aligns seamlessly. Pin together. Starting at the top edge, stitch a rectanglular box over the overlapping fabric, measuring approximately 1.5” wide by 6.5” tall to secure the panels together.
Step 14: With wrong sides together, sew the top edge of assembled Panel G/H to Panel I along Line 6 (as marked). We’ll now call this assembled panel the Front Panel. Set aside.
Step 15: With wrong sides together, sew Panel J to Panel K along Line 7. We’ll now call this assembled panel the Back Panel.
Step 16: With reverse side facing out, place the Center Panel over your tent frame structure. Directions on how to create the tent frame structure can be found here. Note: The diameter of the PVC piping used should be 1/2″.
Step 17: Pin the Back Panel, reverse side out, to the back of the Center Panel.
Step 18: Pin the Front Panel, reverse side out, to the front of the Center Panel.
Step 19: Remove entire cover from tent frame structure and sew both the Front Panel and Back Panel in place. Your tent cover is almost complete! The anticipation is IMMENSE!
Step 20: We are now going to hem the entire bottom edge of the newly assembled tent cover.
Step 21: Using an iron to press everything in place, fold up ½” all the way around and then another ½” to encase the raw fabric edge. Pin in if needed. Hem in place.
Step 22. Flip tent cover right side out and iron flat. Slip tent cover over your tent frame, aligning all corners and edges.
Step 23: Using ½” thick foam core, cut a rectangle out that measures 6” x 47.25”. Cut off top two corners at a 45-degree angle.*
23. Insert this foam core board into the inside of the center top of the tent roof (what were original Panels C/F and now look like the topmost edge of a cardboard milk carton). Make sure it rests on the top center PVC pole of the roof. If you’d like, secure the foam core to the topmost horizontal pole with masking tape for added rigidity.
24. Crawl inside tent and enjoy a celebratory chocolate chip cookie in honor of your newly completed Chocolate Milk Tent…after the kids enjoy it first!!! Yay!
xo Samarra

About Our Guest Blogger

Samarra Khaja makes happy, beautiful things, inspired by her love of travel, local markets, food and culture, and her young sons.

The daughter of an Indian architect and an Australian painter, Samarra got hooked on making interesting things when she was still a kid, raiding her parent’s high quality art supplies.

She studied for her masters in photography and moved to New York City to work across disciplines as a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and photographer for the likes of The New York Times, the Guggenheim, Bliss, Time Magazine, Victoria’s Secret and Cirque du Soleil, all in her signature whimsical style.

She’s been published and exhibited worldwide and won several awards, but gets the biggest kick from seeing her prize-winning 24’ x 120‘ mural, “Heartbeat Brooklyn” featuring a smiling clawfoot bathtub, bagels on a rollercoaster, and hot-dogs on a ferris wheel, all frolicking and untouched by graffiti on the side of Lowe’s Brooklyn store. Check out Samarra’s latest Skillshare class on how to design surface patterns like a pro.


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