Do you have a little monkey who likes to crawl out of the crib? Here’s a solution: take apart a couple of thrift-store PlayHuts and make a neat crib tent! My total cost for this project: $13!
- Two PlayHuts (I found a square one and a domed triangle one)
- Lightweight mesh jersey fabric
- Velcro for tabs
- Sewing machine
- Needle & thread
I can’t give you a step-by-step tutorial, as a lot will depend on the type of crib you have and the PlayHuts you use. But I can give you some tips of you decide to tackle this project yourself!
Think before you cut. What can you reuse? I kept the square PlayHut almost intact, because it fit perfectly into the crib. I cut out one panel out of it, but didn’t cut the sheathed wire.
I cut the other PlayHut apart entirely. You will find that the metal wire that gives the hut its shape has a connecter, to hold the ends of the wire together. Hang on to that, they’re useful!
Also, you can save lots of time by re-using the sheaths that protect the wire. Cut them out carefully, leaving a little bit of extra fabric so that you can sew it onto your mesh.
You will need something heavy-duty to cut the wire, which is about a quarter inch-wide strip of steel. Try using tin snips, or hedge trimmers.
If you have a piece of wire that doesn’t connect to itself (like the one that goes across the middle of my mesh on the end), use electrical tape to wrap the ends of the wire so they aren’t sharp.
I used one end of the square PlayHut as a template for the mesh end I created.
This part is important, and you can’t really see it in the pictures: but there is wire in the center where the square hut and my mesh meet. This sheathed wire goes all the way around, UNDER the crib mattress. That is, the crib lies on top of it, holding it securely in place. This adds a lot of stability to the tent.
You’ll need to hand-sew the two parts of the tent together… I inserted the wire so I knew exactly how it would match up, then sat inside and sewed it on the inside.
Add velcro tabs to the outside of the tent, to wrap around the slats of the crib for extra stability.
I had plans to add a zipper at the open end, but I actually don’t know if I need to. The opening is too high for my toddler to reach, there’s nothing to put his feet on, and it’s on the end of the crib which is higher than the sides. It’s easy to get him in and out of there, so I think I’ll leave it as-is and see whether the zipper is needed.
There you have it. It isn’t pretty by any means (you could make the entire thing out of mesh to make it look nicer) but it works! He stayed in his crib all night and he loves his new tent. Whew!