#PageList1 {text-align: center}

01 April 2019

My Monday making: Children's Tee-Pee

I am planning to write this post for a very long time. I can literally say that this post took years to make!
If you follow my Pinterest account, a couple years ago I was mostly pinning tee-pees. I fall deeply in love with a couple of them! After seeing inspired by a few designs I started to sketch my very own tee-pee pattern. I wanted a tee-pee where my kids could actually be standing once inside, which actually does not happen with most designs I was finding. I will be summarising below the best way I can my process of sketching and making my tee-pee. 

Step 1: Sketch your pattern
You will need to carefully design a tee-pee that better fits you needs, weight in the space you have available, and the overall use that you wish to give your tee-pee. Do you want your kids to play with your tee-pee outside? Do you have a lot of space available? Overall the use and size of your tee-pee  will impact the fabrics selection  and how much you will need to purchase.  You don't want  having to return to store and find your fabric gone if you purchase less fabric. Or you don't want to purchase fabric that will not last not even a few hours of play!

The conception of my pattern was not that difficult, particularly as there is a world of tee-pees out there to feed your imagination! I loved this one, also love the gift to illustrate the tee-pee too!  However,  thinking about the assembly and actually sowing and merging the pieces together was! The amount of fabric use is tremendous and actually sowing the pieces together can be quite difficult,  particularly towards the end. Just the sheer amount of fabric is huge!  I also decided to use contrasting fabrics for the tee-pee, so I ended up cutting and sowing together many pieces. The end result is beautiful, but it was very time consuming (adding that I do not use my sowing machine that much!) 

My tee-pee is actually quite high... And can make it higher given that I am using really long dowels so I can slide the tent and make the tee-pee higher, even if I leave empty space closer to the floor.

Step 2: Gather and purchase your materials
The dowels I purchased are the longest I could find, 2,40 meters, with 18mm diameter, I purchased these at my local B&Q store. The fabric selection was my favorite part. Who does not enjoy fabric shopping? My tee-pee was intended to be used both outdoors and indoors, so I knew that the fabric needed to be quite strong, otherwise even if I had a beautiful teepee, it would not last long, particularly if I used cotton fabric. So I chose upholster fabrics from my local Dunelm store. They were having a sale at the time, so I took the chance to buy fabrics at a cheaper price. These were picked by my kids since in the end the tee-pee would be used by them, so I allowed them to choose the fabric pattern. My oldest was at the time in a 'planet and universe' stage so he picked a space themed fabric and a contrasting stary one too. Altogether, between the two different fabrics I purchased around 7m.  I also purchased a lot of white rope. This would be used both for the entrance of my tee-pee as to tie in the dowels in step 4.
Note: If you will use my sketch as a model, you will have to add seem allowance to your measurements.

Step 3: Cut and Sew your tee-pee 
I cut 4 dowels sleeves, 5 large side pieces (2 were the tee-pee entrance, as the picture below shows) and 4 top smaller pieces. I began by sowing together the two pieces of the contrasting fabric for the generic tee-pee side, so I would have a whole side. I did this for the three tee-pee sides. For the entrance I had to sow together three pieces, as two pieces of fabric have to slide open to enter the tee-pee. You could the entrance differently, as a beautiful mess shows.  Its all up to your imagination! For the entrance  I also added a rope that can tie in place the tee-pee entrance, which will keep the entryway open:

After having the sides ready, you have to sew together two sides, alongside the pre-cut dowel sleeve. Before stitching the three pieces using the sowing machine, I cobbled using the actually dowel as a model. You have to make sure that the dowel can actually slide in. Otherwise you may find yourself having to unpick your work when discover that the dowel does not slide in. Yes, that happened to me...

Once you have two sides stitched together, you just add another dowel sleeve plus another side and sow these together. Just keep repeating this process  until you close up the 'tee-pee pyramid'. After just sewing two sides together, the amount of fabric just keeps getting heavier and it can get very difficult to sew.
I also decided to sew a rug for the tee-pee floor and with the fabrics leftovers also made a bunting and a couple of cushions. You can see the final tee-pee with both cushions and bunting below.

Step 4: Assembly your tee-pee
Once you have your tent ready, its just a matter of assembly the dowels and the tent. To assembly the tee-pee you first need to tie the dowels together. I used a lot of rope at this stage. For the knots I looked up for inspiration online. I found this tutorial at wikihow on how to tie the knot and I followed it to secure the dowels in place. I also found that some tutorials recommend to drill the dowels to thread the rope in. I skipped this altogether... It is true that having the rope thread in wholes will keep the rope secured in place, but it's not entirely necessary to be honest. My tee-pee has two years now, and the original knots I made are still in place. I am also opening and closing the tee-pee all the time, as we are using the tee-pee both indoors and outdoors... Even with all the opening and closing it up as an umbrella in the end of the day, the original knots are still there.  I do have to slide up the rope sometimes but thats about it. 

Step 5: Enjoy your tee-pee!
This is better part! Enjoying your work... and seeing how much your kids enjoy the tee-pee you made! They have so much fun just  by placing the tee-pee in place. And then, just by going in and out... Closing the entrance, opening the entrance! 

Iam very proud of my roomy tee-pee.  Even with lots of cushions inside (so its as comfortable as you possibly can make) both kidos fit perfectly inside... Since the dowels are very long, we can make more room inside the tee-pee by pulling the tent a little bit higher. You can fill in the spaces with extra cushions.

The cushions will also add extra comfort when outside.

I love to add the cushions and soft toys to this little tent. Its so very inventing to just lay in inside... Use it for some chill time... And it is a really comfortable spot to do some reading!

Now that the weather is so inviting since the spring finally arrived, we surely will be using the tee-pee outside everyday!

I linked up:


  1. Oh, I wish I'd had a teepee for my kids when they were little - endless hours of fun and creative play. And the way you've made it, Ann, so they can stand up - awesome. I've showcased your fabulous teepee today.

  2. Thank you so much for showcasing my tee-pee Pam!xx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...