For the longest time, I've always strived to make the presents we give. For Christmas, birthdays, Valentines Day and Easter; for my family and friends, from the young to the old. I believe there is something truly beautiful about crafting something unique and made with love for the people I love. I get so excited about the giving of these gifts, and am always so happy and touched to see how well they are received. To see the samplers I've stitched hanging on the wall, the cushions I've sewn sitting on a sofa, the booties I've knitted keeping little toes warm. 

Ben and I, as far back as I can remember, have always handmade the majority of our gifts to each other and when Josephine came into our lives, we decided to keep up this sweet tradition. To ensure there was always at least one present we'd crafted for her under the Christmas tree or to celebrate her birthday. How wonderful to have a home full of such treasures. 

For her first birthday, we knew we wanted to create something extra special. Something that Josephine would adore, would use for years to come and would always remember with fondness as something her Mama and Papa made with their own hands. 

The Internet is a marvellous thing for a whole bunch of reasons, but if you love craft and DIY, it offers a scrapbook of the most amazing ideas. I have spent hours scrolling the pages of blog after blog, inspired by insanely cool projects, although the girls over at A Beautiful Mess are hard to beat. And when I stumbled upon their Make Your Own A-Frame Tent tutorial, I knew I'd found exactly what we were looking for, and Ben instantly agreed. After all, what one year old wouldn't love their own little house; somewhere to hide away with their favourite toys and host tea parties with their buddies. And what Mama and Papa wouldn't love to get in there too and visit the little world of their little one. 

If you're stuck for ideas as to what to get the special kiddo in your life, I urge you to head to your DIY store, get out the drill and get creating. They'll love you for it, believe me. Josephine spends a good chunk of every day in her tent, as do I, and it's the sweetest thing to find her in there sharing her raisins and chatting with Teddy.

And don't forget - you can save a pretty penny making the gifts you give. Josephine's tent cost us under £20, including the cost of wood, material and trimmings. A beautiful bargain. 

For Phiney's tent we used a huge scarf I bought about five years ago in H&M and had never used because, well, it was absolutely huge. It was the ideal thing for this tent though, as it was slightly see-through so ensured the tent was nice and light inside and that Phiney could see out. Some bobbled trimmings added some sweet detail and we put some tape (green washi tape in our case, so much more aesthetically pleasing!) on either side of each join to ensure the pieces didn't slip at all.

The A-Frame Tent not for you? Here are a few other awesome tutorials from A Beautiful Mess that we love. That kitchen? Most definitely on the list as a future present for Josephine.
^^ DIY drums
^^ DIY kitchenette
^^ Play Teepee


  1. Dens, tents and camps are the best and that fabric is perfect!

  2. This is really so lovely Nell. That scarf is awesome. What a lucky little girl. xx

  3. So gorgeous... I just love this. We try and do homemade gifts a lot here too. Love Made by Joel for great handmade ideas ... http://madebyjoel.com/ And love this little homemaker series Nell!

  4. Love this series, Nell!...I had pinned this tutorial too but started getting a bit concerned we might not have room for it in our little place. It folds up easily though? (for quick and easy pack away) And do the legs ever 'slip out'? Just a few annoying practical questions! x

    1. Thanks sweet one :) it folds up really easily, nice and flat, so it doesn't take up too much space. The legs haven't slipped out on ours yet, but I think the tutorial does recommend placing it on a rug or blanket if you have wood floors (we have carpet which I think helps in gripping the legs). Saskia would love one! Xx

  5. This is amazing. I love everything about it, the fabric, the pom poms, the fact it was handmade. I'm so looking forward to your homemaker series. Melinda x

  6. It is beautiful Nell, that scarf just makes it! It's pretty awesome that our littles are at an age where we don't have to worry about hiding their gifts too much...yet.
    Fifth shot down, loooove. Can't get over Josephine's darling locks.

  7. I haven't visited for ages and I'm glad I did! This is awesome, I've been thinking of making a tent and/or kitchen so this has inspired me!