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Monday, November 14, 2011

Fire Station Card Table Tent

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We LOVE firefighters in this family!  My husband is a firefighter, so my kids love to "dress up like Daddy" and wear their firefighter hats all the time.

I made this fire station tent that fits over a card table using my sewing machine, iron, and my Cricut.

First I measured the card table to make a pattern.  My card table is 33.5" x 33.5", and 26.5" tall.
For the red piece that goes on the top of the card table, I cut out a piece of duck cloth gave all sides a 0.5" seam allowance.  I chose duck cloth because although more expensive, it's sturdy and if I was going to put all of this work into making a tent I wanted it to last.  It is also heavy so the tent hangs flat.

I decided to do 1 side of the tent black, and 3 sides red with a black bottom.  I cut the black piece of duck cloth to be 27.5" x 34.5".  (I added 1 inch to the height for a 0.5" seam allowance on the top and bottom.  I added 1 inch to the width for a 0.5" inch seam allowance on both sides.)  I then surged off 0.5" inch from the bottom to finish the edge, but if you don't have a surger you could just turn under 0.5" at the bottom and sew into place.

For the red and black sides, I made sure my finished product was the same size as the black side (27.5" tall and 34.5" wide)  I then surged 0.5" off of the bottom of these sides as well to finish the edges.

To make the door, I cut a piece of white duck cloth the size I wanted the door to be.  (I did mine 18" wide)  I sewed lines with my sewing machine horizontally using black thread as pictured above.  Then I pinned black ribbon vertically down each side, and sewed it into place.  I singed the edge of the ribbon using a lighter to prevent it from fraying.

Using a rotary cutter, I cut the opening for the door to be on one of the tent sides.  I made my cutout just  smaller than the door because I wanted the door to lay over the opening and cover the whole thing.  I finished the edges of the cut by surging but you could turn the fabric under and sew.

I pinned the door in place and sewed along the top twice over securing it in place.  I made sure to secure the corners especially.  I ironed black fabric onto HeatnBond and used my Cricut to cut out the letters for "FIRE STATION".  I used the block font from the Cricut Cartridge Boys Will Be Boys for all of the wording on this tent.  After my Cricut had cut out the letters, I just peeled off the back and ironed them in place.

For the window, I cut a hole a little smaller than the size I wanted it to be.  I then used my surger to finish the edges, and turned the surged edges under and sewed them in place. (Shown below)

I cut out the dog and hydrant using my Cricut.  For the dalmatian I used the Create a Critter cartridge, and for the Dalmatian I used the Paper Pups cartridge to cut it out.
I cut the tools out of plain paper using the Boys Will Be Boys cartridge on my Cricut, and used it as a pattern to cut out the felt.  I used 2 layers of each color of felt, and sewed around the edges using my sewing machine.  The tools were easy - I did both in under a half hour.
I used felt to cut out a tool box and sewed it in place where I wanted it on the tent, leaving the top open.  I used my Cricut to cut the word "TOOLS" out using red fabric which I had ironed to HeatnBond.  I ironed the letters in place.
I had to free-hand the truck body pattern while looking at the truck on the Boys Will Be Boys cartridge on my Cricut since it was too big for my Cricut to do.  I did cut the rest out with my Boys Will Be Boys cartridge on my Cricut, using the HeatnBond technique I described above.
I went and got free hats from Firehouse Subs, and put Velcro on each one.  I also put velcro on the tent wall so the hats are removable and the kids can wear them while they play.
To do the turnouts and boots, I used my Cricut to cut them out using the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge.
Once all 4 sides were complete I ironed them all one last time before I put the tent together.
I first sewed all 4 sides together in the order I wanted using a 0.5" seam allowance, pinning in place each time before I sewed.  Then I put it around my card table to ensure it fit, and sewed it onto the top of the tent.  In the future I plan on sewing each side to the top of the tent, and then doing the side seams that attach each side of the tent after that.
Do you want to make this tent but don't have a Cricut?  No worries.  Print the words out in a font you like and find graphics online.  Then use them as a pattern to cut out each shape yourself!

The front door can hang down, or be tied up.
My little girls love playing in this thing.  They will go sit in it and wave at me through the window with their little firefighter hats on.  This would be a perfect Christmas gift for any little toddler!  Since it fits on the card table you already have, it makes for easy storage because you just have to fold up the fabric and stack the hats!


  1. If i had the money i would so buy one, maybe next year. I would love a princess one for the girls. Great job love it!

  2. Alright. Tell me I'm not too girly. I love this! I would have loved to have one as a kid. In fact, just think of all the different "forts" you could make.

  3. This is awesome. I think I will dig out our old card table and make one for when I have little visitors over. You are so creative. Cheers!

  4. LOL I went to become your follower and I already am. Cheers!

  5. So adorable! Thanks for sharing. New Follower! Visit me at

  6. Brilliant! love this idea, really creative. Just discovered your blog. - Meriem in Paris, France

  7. This is genius! Very inspirational.

  8. This is awesome. Pinning....
    Saw you on Gingersnap Crafts

  9. How fun!! my girls would love something like this. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
    P.S.S. I have giveaway going on right now. Would love you to stop by and check it out.

  10. This is wonderful! My boys are too old for this now, but this is very cute. Would you like to submit this for a guest post as part of my blog birthday celebration? Email me at if you want more details.

  11. How awesome is that!! Very cool!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  12. Oh my goodness, this is amazing. What a lucky little girl you have. I am so thoroughly impressed!

  13. What a great idea, love how talented you are!

  14. This is going to sound a little silly BUT wouldn't that be an amazing dog crate cover?? Especially for a dalmation? I certainly think I would leave out a lot of the details, but it would be a cute disguise. It is absolutely awesome!!!!!

  15. Just too cute, Jessica! I have a very special little person in my life who would love this!

    Thanks for joining Time Travel Thursday. Be sure to come by tonight, and see yourself featured.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  16. Oh! I can't believe it, my comment vanished into error-land. Bah-humbug. Let's see what did I say? I was over on Liz's Time Traveler Thursday to post w/her this day and saw your post featured. My heart was stolen - if only I had one of those when I was a kid. A girl version or even that one! I used to put together tents under the card table at my grandmothers' houses or with boxes, chairs and such at home. Built them for me and my younger brother. (Actually, I didn't say that in my previous comment... ) I mentioned your post a bit in my post today, referring readers to see Liz's features. I didn't read the instructions - just scrolled down through them cuz I was so excited to get to the comment section . . . just brings out the kid in me I guess. I even missed your background until I was almost through commenting. Great background. In fact, I don't remember the header of our blog. Did I see it? That's how cool I think this item is. I think it's great that you shared the how-to and hints in case people don't on the cri? cut? - the cutting machine. Very very neat and wonderful thing for your kiddos and for sharing. The kid in me lies just beneath the surface! Thanks, Jenn (and I'm copying my comment this time,just in case it errors out!)

  17. awesome work i dont know it is happening but the table tents are such a beautiful that i can just imagine and thanks for the share really a great kind of share.
    the best one
    table tent

  18. This is amazing! Do you have an estimation of how much it cost and your total time spent?

  19. Wonderful idea! I'm thinking this will be a perfect Christmas present for my 3 1/2-year old son! Thank you for the inspiration! One question...did I miss how the door can be tied up?

  20. Hi I love the fireman tent. I was wondering if the firetruck, dog and the outfits were made out of felt or material and also how do you roll up the door? Thank you

  21. Hi, I love the fireman tent. I was wondering if the firetruck, dog and the uniforms were made out of felt or material. Also how do you roll up the door? Thank you

  22. Thank you so much for posting your instructions. I am a novice sewer and would like to try making this for my grandson. I don't understand how the door rows up. Is the ribbon attached on both sides with long at the top so when it's rolled up you can tied?