After making an ice cream cake to beat the heat, we needed a little shade to sit under too. . .
. . . so, starting with the pattern for our simple shade fort from the Imagine Childhood book. . .
. . . we added stars . . .
. . . to make constellations that glow. . .
. . . and pretty corners to add a bit of extra strength. . .
. . . for the winds that blow.
How often do you get to be out under the sun AND the stars at the same time? Ahh, summer is so good.
DIY Constellation Shade Fort
- 1 navy blue or black twin bed sheet or a piece of canvas that is about the same size.
- 40' of cotton clothesline (or less if you don't want long ties)
- Contrasting light colored fabric for the stars (it can be solid or patterned like ours)
- white fabric pencil
- Needle and thread and/or a sewing machine
Lay your fabric out on the floor or on a large table and draw out the constellation you would like to sew.
Sew along the outlines of the stars you just drew and then cut out the star shapes carefully inside your stitching line (the stitches keep the fabric from fraying).
Cut out star shapes that are 1/4"-1/2" larger than the stars you just cut. Pin those over the openings in the fabric and sew them onto the fabric. You can either do this to just one side of the fabric, or both if you would like a more finished look on each side.
When you have your constellation sewn, follow the instructions from our book for attaching the corner strings and hemming the fabric (if you need to).
To make the reinforced corners take a 4" x 6" piece of your alternating fabric color and fold in the edges of the long sides by 1/4" and crease to hold them that way. Lay this piece of fabric with the folded sides up (if you are using a pattern, you will want the wrong side of the fabric facing up). Place a corner of the shade fort on this piece with the corner of the point in the center and just below the top edge.
Fold the "wings" of the fabric strip so they meet in the middle (see image above). Trim the excess off of the center and the bottom and fold the bottom up and under. Sew along the triangle to secure.
Take your fort out to the back yard or on your next picnic and enjoy a summer afternoon under the sun AND stars :)
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Portable Sun Dial