Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Create A Quiet Place

Summer Shade from the Miramax Movie Emma

from Soft Surroundings catalog

A place between two lilac trees makes a good spot for a day time tent.

Continuing from a previous lesson about the importance of young women creating their own quiet places, here is something that is  uncomplicated to make, requiring no special tools or expertise. This is a tent made with sheets and clothespins, that can be constructed in warm weather.

Just attatch the sheets at your own height. No chairs or step stools or ladders are necessary.Pin one corner of a sheet to another corner to pull back an openning.

Place some comfortable cushions inside. Scroll down for a picture of the finished tent,

For this project, you will need a dollar store shower curtain for the ground, a quilt, 3 or 4 flat sheets and 2 or 3 fitted sheets, plus a lot of clothespins.  Find a location between large bushes or small trees, or anywhere that the sheets can be hung. You might also be able to do this between two clotheslines.

 The fitted sheets are attached first, with clothespins, across the top of the bushes, to make a roof. Just pin the edges of the fitted sheet on to slender twigs.

 After you have completed the roof, add the walls with sheets on the sides, leaving one side open for a doorway.

 Place the plastic shower curtain on the ground and add the quilt or blanket for the floor. Use a clothespin to anchor the hems of the sheets to the quilt  floor in certain spots.

 If the twigs are too wide for the clothespins, just loop parts of the sheet around the twigs and pin the sheets together with the clothespins.

These are the fitted sheets pinned to the overhead branches for the roof, from the inside of the tent. You do not need to stretch them out too flat, as the loose shape gives the inside roof a nice billowy look.

Use a clothespin to pin up one wall to provide a window. Unpin it to let it down when the sun comes in. Pin back the sides of the entrance if you like. When such a tent is attached to tree boughs, it does not have to   be uniform or evenly hung, but it provides a temporary place  for a mini-vacation at home.
Adjust the sheets (or curtain panels, or tablecloths) to make it even on the sides, then clothespin the ends to the quilt and liner.  Choose a sheltered spot for this, as it is only a temporary structure for a day.

Quietness is an important part of keeping the mind and the soul healthy. Home teachers need to be sure that children have quiet time each day, when all noise ceases and each person spends time alone, either on their own beds or in separte places in the house. They may not appreciate it at first, but eventually will think it is the greatest time of their lives.

Here is one I added the next day, using the back of the previous tent for one of the walls:
The lower hem of the sheets is attached with clothespins to the blanket, and of course there is a shower curtain from the dollar store underneath that. You could also use plastic table cloths and put the flannel side up and place the quilt on top of that. On this tent, I tied strong string around twisted bits of the fabric and then attached the other end to the branches, giving the roof a more pointed look in various areas.

This is the real life of luxury, and there was no need to go anywhere. I plan to make two more of these for my tent city.

Check out this pretty lace tent.
View some other kinds of interesting and colorful tents here.  Scroll down on this soothing blog that has lace panels on a tent like area  here. Check this one out too. Look here too... and have a look at this Cath Kidston tent. and one from Mary Jane's Farm. Be sure to view her slideshow. Look near the end of this page for one done on a porch.

from Outdoor Shabby

A tent from this new book:

A concept using sheer fabrics

Go to my other post on sheet tents!


Anonymous said...

Yes, when we were young we went to the attic or a distant part of the property or under the Mulberry tree or such to be quiet. Now a days people try to get us to take an ipod or such with us to listen to music. Soothing music is nice but I rather listen to the birds or keep myself quiet to see what God wants to teach me. To be away from the distractions of our present world. This quiet time that we need is something few write about. Thankyou for bringing it up Mrs Sherman.

Anonymous said...

"Quietness is an important part of keeping the mind & soul healthy." I could not agree more with this statement. There needs to be space around our activities, & that space should be regarded as important as the activity which precedes or follows it. Like the rests in a song, every bit as important to the melody as the notes.....or a picture frame, offering a transition between the art & the wall behind it. So should our rest be. It isn't simply another block of time, waiting to be filled with busy-ness!


Anonymous said...

We had an aged aunt who got everyone used to her quiet time, just by taking it no matter what. When we visited her, we would notice she would disappear at a certain time of day. She went to her room and rested.

Anonymous said...

In a rural area we lived in we often drove past an old farmer's home. His favorite quiet place was taking a nap under a big shade tree in the bed of his pick-up truck in his front yard.

There he was fingers crossed over his chest, feet hanging off the edge of the tailgate, hat pulled down over his face, sound asleep.

I often find the need for a short nap after lunch and what a refreshment it is. The rest of the day is as productive as the morning.
Without can be a real drag on your day whether you are young or, with/without children. Going without a nap in the afternoon can cause one to turn to stimulants such as coffee, or so-called energy drinks which can have bad side affects.

Studies have shown that a 20-30 minute nap in the afternoon helps most people live longer.

Anonymous said...

Having a quiet time is wonderful.
I told my boys when they were younger: "you know you are grown up when you want to take naps"
And they all laugh about it now as they are older teenagers and love to take afternoon naps if they can!
I try to live a quiet life in general. Thinking of that farmer nappping in his truck under a tree, what luxury, what a smart man. He knew how to live.

candy said...


Anonymous said...

My elderly parents are moving into a smaller place and downsizing. Both are in poor health, very disorganized and argue a lot.

I try to assist them. Also suggested that they plan the day before what they want to do (within reason) and quit at noon for a long nap after lunch. That way they might get more done and still be on good terms with one another.

I remember reading in the bible that one of the prophets did a work for the Lord and after he was physically and emotionally drained.
The Lord suggested that he eat and sleep a few times to regain his rest and focus.

So many times we become overwhelmed at tasks even simple things when we neglect our quiet times and don't eat well.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I love this! I can't wait for the rain to stop and the ground to dry so we can try this!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful !

Thanks for reminding me that we can create a quiet place !!

I need this !!

Bek said...

Love your tent. To be honest I really struggle with this. I find it hard to take time out. I don't have anytime to myself, even as I am writting posts for my blog I have a child close by or chatting.

Lydia said...


This projects takes very little time if you do have all your materials right on location: clothespins, sheets and a shower curtain or a plastic table cloth. Use the flannel side up when you lay it on the ground, and put a blanket over it. It can be used for home schooling, too, as the children just love propping up on pillows and having reading time or some kind of art time. Mother can fit in this size tent too, so that everyone is supervised. It is not convenient for everyone, I realize, but for those who cannot afford to get away to a different place, this provides a different scene when you need it, and it costs almost nothing. You can have lunch in a tent like this and think you went on a vacation. I have already tested it out with children, even older ones around the age of 13, and they express such excitement over it and stay in it nearly all day in good weather. It is like having a room of ones own when used by a mother for quiet time. It can be left out at night if you bring in the floor blanket, which tends to get damp.

Lady Kara said...

Too precious! I wish I had trees in my backyard. :^)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful idea! I absolutely love it:)

Lydia said...

You do not necessarily need trees. Hedges will do, as well as large bushes. Or, you can tie it to a fence in the back yard and make a lean-to. Try it over an outdoor table and chair set for a tea party. You can also do this in the house, as many people have done over the years, using the backs of chairs grouped in a circle. In one of the romantic country magazines a few months ago, there was a really pretty temporary tent attached to the front door of a holiday trailer.

I am getting ready for more posts. Please dont think that all I do is make tents ;-) I still want to continue with ideas for TItus 2 teachers.

Be sure to send in any requests, and please remind me if you have had a subject that you submitted that you would like to read about . I may not know the subject but am willing to get some links and do some research on some things.

Anonymous said...

When my brother and I were little we used the family TV trays on stands and the backs of the kitchen chairs to make tents out of.

The more you had the farther apart you could spread them and there were tunnels all over the living room.
We used the blankets and sheets from our beds for the tents. Mother would never let us take clean sheets that were still folded to do this.

We had to take them down and put the living room back in order and remake our beds when we were done so they didn't get to stay up.

Anonymous said...

I love it. What sweetness.

Anonymous said...

This looks interesting and I mean that sincerely. Do you have any little visitors to this day camping tent?

Lydia said...

It is just a fun thing to do on a nice day, especially for children or young people who need a private place to read or write. My daughter came over and sat in it with her youngest daughter and read a story to her during naptime. Other children have been in these tents and enjoyed pretending to be neighbors or just getting out of the house and still having a place to relax. My young friend who has been coming over for homemaking classes since she was 8 (is now 13) had wanted to make one that she saw in a Victoria magazine a few months ago, made with poles, but found this one to be a lot less trouble and promptly went home to try it. She has one tree and a fence. The one in the magazine would require cutting branches and sticking them in the ground, which would require more equipment (saw, shovel) and works better at the beach in soft sand. I believe she was going to have a tea party in her tent, which was going to be very elaborate, using table cloths and curtain panels, which is something you could do if you didnt want to use sheets. You can go to Goodwill when there is a sale, and sometimes get these kinds of things for about $1.60. Otherwise, those kinds of items are about $4.50 each, but still not expensive if you are just doing something temporary for good weather. I will post a couple of links to tents, including shabby chic styles, when I get time.

Lydia said...

In answer to a question: No these are not my good sheets. They went to a different size bed that I no longer have, but kept the sheets for drop cloths or furniture covers or whatever I might need. No I don't have to wash them each year. They air out quite nicely in warm weather. I put them away for outdoor use when the season comes around again. Once a child has seen one put up, they can do it themselves. Wooden clothes pins are a dollar a dozen at Dollar Trees.

Anonymous said...

Growing up with a brother and three boy cousins we were always building something to call our own and to have a place we could go to for solace and quiet.

One time I wanted a place I could read and play in. The Spring of the year had produced many tumble weeds that were huge in our fields. I got the bright idea of collecting and mounding them into a huge pile. I burrowed into it and hollowed out a space inside.

It was fun until it dried out. Dad burned it down before I could get hurt in it.

Another time my brother and I used tv trays, the backs of dining room chairs and sofa cushions and laid bed sheets and blankets over to make tents all over the living room.

We had to put the living room back in order and remake the beds when we were done so they didn't get to stay up.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child we loved playing in big boxes. Moving boxes were a treat and made great places for kids to spend hours pretending.

Another old favorite was a convenient card table with a blanket thrown over the top.

The clothesline in my grandmothers yard on washday was a real temptation to run through the sheets and play hide and seek.

Anonymous said...

My early experience with a tent was a makeshift tent out of blankets propped up with a stick in my bed at night so I could read my library books by flashlight.

years later in an old orchard I also found a tree that grew close to the ground and hollowed out some lower branches and had a quiet place for myself to dream, write in my diary, and play dolls when I was in my early teens. I didn't want anyone to know I was still playing with dolls.

Thank you for posting about tents and quiet places, I'd almost forgotten about these quiet places as a kid.

Lydia said...

Please view the links I addded to the posts, where there are some really cute---and one really easy---tents.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. Really inviting.
Sadly, summer is over. lol Now, I have to wait till next year.

Anonymous said...

I love all the links to tent sites. I enjoyed Mary Jane's "Glamping Tent" Glamor camping looks like lots of fun. She had a four poster bed, chair and a dresser in her tent. Now that is my idea of camping.

If you go to her website you will see a camping tent she uses for a summer cabin that she rents out. What a kick that would be.

Some time ago some people took an old parachute and stretched it out putting tent stakes to hold it down and erected poles inside to hold it up. It was the biggest tent I ever saw. My whole house would have fit under it.

I'm very impressed with your billowy Victorian tent from sheets. Guess I'll start searching the thrift shops to find a supply of colored king size sheets for next summer.

I have an idea for a porch on a potting shed we are restoring. Maybe some hanging billowy sheet panels during the summer would be fun to have on the front porch under the gingerbread trim.

Anonymous said...

Our back porch faces the west and it gets extremely hot out there in the summer.

A cable strung across the porch inside the posts would be an ideal place to hang a series of gauzy curtain panels to defuse some of the sunlight coming into the house for the summer months. It might keep the house cooler too.

I'm sure it would totally confuse the wasps that try building nests under our house eaves especially when the wind blows the panels around.

Anonymous said...

To Lady Kara who would love to have trees in her backyard. I had a similar situation.

I planted wisteria vines in extremely large light weight planters. Along with the vines I buried a supporting 1" PVC pipe so when the vine started to grow (2 yrs @ 6ft) I simply braided the vines I wanted to use for the trunk and tied them while still green to the PVC pipe until they turned woody.

Over the last several years I trimmed the top vines into an umbrella shape. Now I have a patio tree that is well anchored and I can walk under it. Plus they get highly scented flowers every spring and look lovely out in the yard.

When I moved to a house of my own, I took the pot and all with me.
Just remember to water, feed and trim.

Wisteria will live for hundreds of years. I recently saw one at a historical home and it had a trunk almost as big as a Volkswagen car.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post. Making tents was something we did growing up as well. It doesn't take a lot of expense to make happy memories for children.

I like the wisteria idea that was posted in comments. I wish I could see what it looks like.

ladyestelle said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I find your place quit enjoyable. Your tent idea is most ingenious.I wish you much peace and adventure.
Lady Estelle

Lydia said...

Lady Estelle, I love your tearoom blog and everything you do to make life beautiful. Your costumes are just great and I like the sweetness on your blog. I hope to post other people's blogs in the future, who have something beautiful and good to show and say.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I'm going to have to start looking at Outdoor Shabby magazine from now on. Hmmm, that outdoor ladies retreat is really cute.

My husband gave his mother a neat little shed for her Mother's Day gift this year. She is in her 80's and still gardens. She needed someplace to sit in the shade while resting after pulling weeds and someplace to store her garden tools.

She immediately put a big rug down on the floor, a stuffed easy chair, a work bench and lots of shelves and racks for holding seeds, tools and pots. She even placed several paintings up on the walls, some antique garden tools, and a little side table with lace table cloth. It looks like a ladies retreat, very peaceful. Even her cats like to curl up on the chair.

My father in-law tried to park his riding lawn mower inside and it caused quite a stir. She told him it was HER shed, no lawn mowers allowed.