Need a space to call your own? Weave weeds, grasses, sticks, flowers, and leaves into a loom tent for a private outdoor hideout.

We all want a place of our own — a place where we can be in charge. In your own little lair or tiny animal den, you get to be the rule maker and the decider. You can make a little hiding place that’s all yours, one that you build and decorate however you like.

Make a Loom Tent

Do you ever get bored living in the same ol’ place following the same ol’ rules? Why not make a hideout in the yard to hang out on your own and do things your way?

You can make a tent or lean-to and have a cool hideout that’s perfect for hatching adventurous plans, catching some shade on a sunny day, or my favorite activity — napping!

drawing of loom tent hideout

Illustration by Ilona Sherratt, excerpted from Backyard Adventure

An easy way to start is to turn a low-hanging branch into a loom tent. Take a long piece of parachute cord and use a landscape staple to pin it to the ground about 3 feet away from the branch. Then take the cord up and over the branch, wrapping it around once. Lead the cord to the ground at an angle and pin. Do this again as many times as you like to create a string tent shape. Now weave weeds, grasses, flowers, sticks, and leaves into your loom tent!

photo of girl weaving a hideout using plant materials and strings secured to tree and ground

Photo © Kortney Sellers, excerpted from Backyard Adventure

Ideas for Backyard Tenting

TRICK OUT YOUR HAMMOCK. Throw an old sheet or blanket over an existing hammock, and hold the sides down with rocks.


Illustration of triangular hideout frame made from plastic pipe and joints

Illustration by Ilona Sherratt, excerpted from Backyard Adventure

Work up your design on paper, figuring out how many straight pipes and elbows you will need. Buy your materials, build your frame, and then cover it with a tarp, an old comforter, a rug, or whatever’s handy.


illustration of hideout made from branches leaned against building and woven with plant materials

Illustration by Ilona Sherratt, excerpted from Backyard Adventure

All you need is a wall or low tree branch and some sticks. You can lean sticks that are as tall as you are (or taller) against the branch or wall in a row. You can cover the lean-to with leaves or evergreen branches, or just layer on more sticks until you can’t be seen.

Text excerpted from Backyard Adventure © 2019 by Amanda Thomsen. All rights reserved.

Amanda Thomsen

Amanda Thomsen is the author of Backyard Adventure and Kiss My Aster as well as a mom, a Girl Scout troop leader, a garden maker, an adventure planner, and… See Bio

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Backyard Adventure

by Amanda Thomsen

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