Home DIY: Hiding Space for Kids

A step-by-step guide from Sunshine Spaces

How much do kids love a hiding space? For that matter, how much do adults love one, too? I love it when my kids create their own spaces to hide in, but I don’t love the mess left afterwards. I feel like I’m folding up sheets and putting away cushions for days.
This is a hiding spot you can make that is somewhat more permanent, and can be quickly collapsed and put away for another day. It can also be moved outdoors and lined with blankets and a few cushions, to provide a comfy, shaded reading / napping / tea-party spot for both kids and adults alike.


You Will Need

  • Scrap paper
  • 4 10-foot lengths of white fabric, about 4 feet wide (I used varying weights but all lightweight fabrics, such as gauze or poplin)
  • Acrylic paints: grey, mustard, pale pink, navy (or use fabric paints if you have them)
  • Wide paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Retractable knife
  • 20 feet of ¾-inch wide flexible cream-colored irrigation tubing
  • 3 irrigation tubing joiners
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • 26 feet of 1/8-inch rope or cord, cut into four equal lengths


1. Cover the work area with some scrap paper, then place your first length of fabric on top. Have all your paints ready.

hiding space step 1


2. Using a wide paintbrush, paint large waves and swirls on the fabric. If you don’t have enough space to lay the whole fabric length on the table, paint sections and then, when it’s dry, move the fabric along to the next blank spot.

hiding space step 2


3. Use a variety of shapes and colors, keeping the pattern fairly simple. Repeat the process with the remaining three lengths of fabric.

hiding space step 3


4. When the painted fabric lengths are completely dry, cut them in half lengthways so you end up with eight pieces, 10 feet long and 2 feet wide. At the top of each piece, fold over 2 inches of fabric to create a loop for the tubing. Pin and sew. If you like, hem the bottom of each length (I didn’t, but I’m lazy).

hiding space step 4


5. Cut the irrigation tubes into one 3-foot, 3-inch, one 6-foot, 8-inch, and one 9-foot, 10-inch lengths. Join the ends of the 6-foot, 8-inch length together with tubing joiners to form a hoop. Repeat for the 9-foot, 10-inch length.

hiding space step 5


6. Feed the 3-foot, 3-inch length of tube through the loops at the top of each fabric length, ensuring the painted side of the fabric is facing outwards. Fasten with a joiner.

hiding space step 6


7. Place the hoops in order of size, starting with the smallest in the center (the smallest hoop will have all the fabric attached). Using a tape measure, measure and mark eight equally distanced spaces around the hoops: 3-foot, 3-inch hoop = 5 inches; 6-foot, 6-inch hoop = 10 inches; 9-foot, 10-inch hoop = 15 inches.

hiding space step 7


8. Align the ends of the four lengths of rope, then fold them in half and tie in a knot at the folded end, leaving loops at the top for hanging. Tie the eight ends of rope at the marked spaces on the hoops, starting at the top hoop and moving down to the next marked line on the next hoop, so the rope stays in line. Leave 8 inches of rope between the top knot and the smallest hoop, 10 inches between the small and medium hoop, and 12 inches between the medium and largest hoop. Trim any excess rope. Hang from the nearest shady spot using a lasso knot.

hiding space step 8


sunshine spaces cover Excerpted with permission from Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin, published by Hardie Grant Books April 2017, RRP $24.99.



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