How to Make a Canopy Tent

You probably won't build this one, but just know that it's possible
You probably won’t build this one, but just know that it’s possible

Whether you’re creating a DIY kids canopy for your children or a sturdy outdoor canopy for a family gathering, making a canopy tent has never been easier. If you’ve gathered all the materials, it’s literally following 5-6 steps and you’re good to go. And it’s also a great way to bond with your kids and teach them something new – how are you not on it already? Stop wasting time.

The Process

Making a canopy tent is not too difficult if you know what you’re doing and will leave a smile in your children’s face – how can you at least not try it?

Materials You’ll Need

First stop: the stuff you need to gather before you get started. Take a look to make sure you don’t miss any:

  • Hula hoop: the foundation of your canopy tent

  • Shower curtains or curtain fabric: for the walls of your tent

  • Nylon rope: to hang the canopy

  • Tent poles: for extra support

  • Shower ring (or 2 shower curtains): to attach the fabric to the hula hoop

  • Ceiling hook: to secure the canopy to the ceiling

  • Drill: to create holes where you can attach ropes or poles

  • [OPTIONAL] Sewing machine: if you want to sew the fabric

Step 1: Preparing the Hula Hoop

After you gather all the materials, the first thing you need to start with is preparing your hula hoop. As we wrote above, the hula hoop is the foundation, so if you’re aiming for a wider tent, you’ll need a larger canopy: you’ll get this by attaching two hula hoops together.

Step 2: Choosing and Preparing the Fabric

Next on the line: choosing the shower curtains for the walls.

We recommend you look for curtains with a design that is in line with the room’s theme. For a more customized look, choose curtain fabric and cut it to the length you want, making sure to hem any raw edges to avoid fraying.

Step 3: Attaching the Fabric

If you’ve decided you’re not going to sew, you can use shower rings to attach the shower curtains or fabric to the hula hoop.

This is a good method because it’s simple and lets you easily remove and wash the curtains.

If you’re open to some sewing (which we recommend because it’s a more permanent solution), sew the fabric directly onto the hoop and you’re good to go.

Step 4: Adding Rope

Remember the nylon rope we listed on the required materials? It’s time to grab it.

  • Cut a piece of it and securely tie it to the hula hoop: you’ll use it to hang the canopy

  • When you’re tying it, remember that you’ll need a tight fit to keep the canopy stable

Rtivities’ pro tip: if you’re building outdoor canopies, you can also use tent poles anchored to the ground for extra stability.

Step 5: Adding the Canopy

If you’ve read so far, you’re almost there.

  1. Drill holes into the ceiling where you want to hang the canopy

  2. Set up the ceiling hook and attach the canopy using your rope

  3. Finally, make sure it’s hung at the right height to look good and be easy to get in

[BONUS] Step 6: Decorating Your Canopy

Yes, we really mean it when we say that the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your canopy tent
Yes, we really mean it when we say that the sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your canopy tent

Although you don’t need to do this final step to make your canopy tent, it’s still absolutely worth it.

Why just settle for a random canopy once it’s done? The fun part is adding a personal touch to it and making it your own!

While you’re only limited by your imagination, you can sew in additional fabric for a layered look, hang fun lights, or add pillows and soft rugs inside for even more comfort. Kids love these personal touches, so you can thank us later!

[BONUS] Final Tip & A Warning

  • Photograph it: one thing that people tend to forget and then regret is to take photos of the project! Not only can it be helpful for your next DIY venture but it’s also great to show your children after some years

  • As always, safety first: when using tools like drills and sewing machines, always prioritize safety


Making your own canopy tent is not difficult, if you have the right materials and know the process. It’s a fun DIY activity that your kids will appreciate, so don’t slack off and get going!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Easy is it to Build a Canopy Tent For Someone With Only Basic DIY Skills?

Don’t worry: this DIY project is easy, even if you’re only a beginner. Since you only need to follow simple steps like preparing the hula hoop, attaching fabric, and hanging the canopy, with clear instructions, you’ll be more than fine.

Can I Do It If I Have Never Sewed Before?

Yes. As you probably saw, the sewing part is optional and so if you don’t want to do it, you can skip it (we provide an alternative). However, we recommend you actually think of it as an opportunity to finally learn how to sew!

How Can I Make My Canopy Tent More Durable?

Choose sturdy materials like heavyweight shower curtains and reinforce the attachment points with extra stitching or strong fabric glue. You can also use waterproof materials and secure your tent with extra ropes or tent poles.

Can I Add Extra Layers or Different Fabrics?

Yes, you can. Mixing different textures and colors is a great idea if you’re going for a unique look. The only thing you need to be sure of is that the hula hoop frame can support the weight of the additional fabric.

How Can I Involve My Children in The Process?

This is a great idea! Your kids can help with choosing fabrics, colors, and decorations like lights or pillows. If they are older, you can also ask them for help with sewing or tying knots.

How Do I Clean My Canopy Tent?

Assuming you’re using fabrics that are easy to remove and can be washed in a washing machine, you can take care of the rest by regularly dusting and airing your tent out.

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