My son was turning three and I thought he finally deserved a big boy bed (he was big for his age and barely fit in his toddler bed). We had an old daybed that had been my husbands when he was a kid and I decided it wouldn't take much to rework it into a tent. I figured out the height it needed to be at the peak and at the head and foot boards (for us not to hit our heads while tucking him in). It helped to draw the rough outline in white chalk on the wall where it would go (that later was easily wiped off). My husband took him on a mini overnight trip to my parents house so I could build it, paint it, and sew it...and surprise him the next day with it.
We found this lumber that happened to be about the dimensions I wanted for the frame so we went ahead and bought it (despite it being a specialty piece for some other type of build). I also wanted fabric for it that would be easy on the eyes (and on a tired brain) while my son would be laying in bed looking up at it while going to sleep. I had found the fabric at Joann Fabrics (boy friendly prints are hard to find, most seem to be too baby or too sporty but this seemed to work well). From there, I knew what color paint to mix for the bed (I also had to consider the wall and dresser colors). When building furniture to be used with kids, safety matters most. Think of any way a kid might use an item and consider how they might be able to get hurt (think about even remote possibilities) and adjust the design accordingly. The framing of this tent is sparce, but I was trying to avoid my kids bumping their heads on unnecessary framing.
The hardest part of this build was laying out the angles I needed to cut, while my boards were sitting in the grass because I didn't have a surface big enough to lay them out on. The tent part consists of a simple frame mounted to the bed. It's glued, screwed and reinforced with metal braces. It was one of those many jobs I could've used an extra pair of hands for. I got it put together and painted that night and did the sewing the next morning.
With sewing two hems on either side of the (54in wide) fabric I was still able to have enough fabric to fold one edge of the fabric over the front of the frame a couple of inches. I also needed to sew the tent flaps. (I liked the idea of loose curtains that could not be zipped up.) They were made of a different fabric that matched pretty well. I draped the two door pieces of the fabric on the bed to figure out the length, width and angle needed to match the opening of the tent. Then I hemmed the sides and bottom of the door flaps and I stapled them into place onto the front of the bed frame. The top part of the tent could then be stapled into place just under where I'd be placing edge trim (with fabric glue) and buttons (with hot glue). Sorry there aren't more pics.
I haven't given out any bed or tent measurements because unless your starting project was same dimensions as mine, my measurements won't be of any use to you. I can definitely see how things like Ikea hacks would be very useful when it comes to making directions to be shared with other DIYers. My intention is to tell the general process for how I went about creating this.
The picture of the close up on the left is the tent three and a half years later, after much abuse; it's held up really well. My kids like to play in there and use it as a little stage. I added the tiebacks with little rings and hooks on the inside to hold the flaps open. I may someday remake this into a bed tent for my daughter (now 8 month old) but this has been a great addition to the room and my kids play and bedtimes. Thanks for hanging with me and If you're curious you can check out the tree I made in this room here.