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How to Build a Kids Teepee at Home

Posted on 23 August 2018
How to Build a Kids Teepee at Home

The school holidays are the perfect time to get busy on a project or activity with your kids. Not only does it keep them entertained, it strengthens your parent-child bond and gives you a finished product that you can be proud of.  At Pialba Place, getting prepared for a good project activity session is easy thanks to stores like Truckloads, Open House and Big W. These stores can help get you started on a range of different projects, including your very own teepee. And what child doesn't want their very own teepee?

Why a teepee?

Every child deserves their own little sanctuary away from nosy parents. Whether used for imaginative make believe, reading a book or hiding out with friends, a teepee is their own little piece of magic, a place that's truly their own. 

A teepee is light and foldable too, making it easy to move around your home. On a beautiful day it can even offer some welcome shade to encourage kids out into the garden. 

In other words, every child should have a teepee!

Making a teepee

Tools and equipment

To start building your teepee gather together everything you need. You should be able to get things like pencils, sticky tape, twine, markers, ribbons and fabric at the stores mentioned above and the rest you should be able to pick up at Bunnings or a similar store.

  • Power drill
  • 5mm drill bit
  • Sewing machine and general sewing supplies
  • 5 x 1.8m dowels (around 20mm diameter)
  • 1 metre (minimum) 5mm thick cotton rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Long ruler
  • Sticky tape
  • Sandpaper
  • 3m x 150cm-wide piece of fabric (or old queen-size bed sheet)
  • 3m bias tape for trims and ties
  • Soluble fabric marker or tailor's chalk
  • Cute button (optional)

 

Method

Step 1. Choose a suitable work area

You want to work in an area where you'll have plenty of space. Remember, you'll be using a power drill so you want to make sure your child can help but not be at risk of getting hurt.

Step 2. Mark your holes

Measure 26cm down from the top of your five dowels and position where the holes should be by making an X. Using your drill, carefully drill one hole in each dowel. Thread the rope through the holes you have created.

Step 3. Knot your rope

Pull a good length of rope through to leave a couple of good ends. Tie a knot firmly, then wrap the rope around a few times over and under dowels to get rid of the excess. Knot again to secure.

Step 4. Prepare your fabric

Lay your fabric out and mark out a triangle using a ruler and fabric marker. You can do this once and then use the template you cut out all five panels. Each triangular panel should be 9cm at the top,140cm on the sides, 135cm down the middle and 82cm along the base. Add seam allowances of between 1cm and 1.5cm. 

In your door panel cut a 96cm slit from the ground up. Add bias tape around the door opening and a button at the top of the door if you would like.

Step 5. Make bias cords

Make 15cm x 30cm bias tape tie cords by sewing your bias in half. Pin and sew 4 ties to the door panel around 30 cm apart so they are equally spaced from the top and bottom. Reserve the remaining tow ties for later.

Step 6. Sew your fabric

With your five panels cut sew the WRONG sides of the fabric together along the long edges. The seams should be on the outside of the cover at this stage. Don't worry, you haven't made a mistake. Hem the top opening edge by rolling a small edge over twice so there are no raw edges exposed towards what will be the inside of the tent.

Step 7. Make the tubes

To make the tubes that the poles will feed through to keep everything together, sew a seam down the long sides of each long panel. The fabric should have the CORRECT sides facing each other. The seam width should be about 2-3 cm depending on the width of your dowel. Do a test to ensure the dowel fits snugly. You can then finish the bottom seam to ensure the tubes don't poke out the bottom.

Step 8. Feed in the frame

Feed your frame through the cover via the top opening. Two people will likely need to carry out this step. Arrange the teepee frame on the floor, spacing dowels evenly apart. Slip the teepee cover over the frame, moving the poles so they are positioned along the seams.

Step 9. Secure your door

Take the remaining two bias cords (or ribbons if you're using) and tie one piece halfway up the pole on each side of the opening. Use to tie the flaps back.

Teepee construction hacks

Sewing not your strong suit? For a no-sew version, purchase a couple of sheer curtains, thread some ribbon through the casing, draw up tight and finish with a bow. Then drape them around the frame.  Prefer a wooden teepee? With just a few lengths of pine, a piece of canvas and a sample pot of paint you can make one.  Or is outdoor your thing? You can also make this super cute outdoor teepee that grows as your child grows.

Sewing not your strong suit? For a no-sew version, purchase a couple of sheer curtains, thread some ribbon through the casing, draw up tight and finish with a bow. Then drape them around the frame.  Prefer a wooden teepee? With just a few lengths of pine, a piece of canvas and a sample pot of paint you can make one.  Or is outdoor your thing? You can also make this super cute outdoor teepee that grows as your child grows.

Styling your teepee

Now your teepee is built the fun can really start. Your kids will love styling their very own space. Some styling tips you might like to try include:

  • Tie in the colour scheme of your child's room by hanging some tassels or a garland from the dowels
  • Drape a few strings of fairy lights for night time story book magic
  • Lay a soft rug, mat or sheepskin in the base for extra comfort
  • Add soft furnishings like cushions, a comfy throw and some soft teddies
  • Add some greenery and pockets of colourful flowers
  • Add a camping lantern for a cosy glow
  • Tie a disco ball to the centre of your teepee
  • Create a path leading up to your teepee

Don't forget to keep certain items in close proximity of your teepee too. A small bookcase or basket of books outside the teepee door gives your child great incentive to use their teepee as a reading nook.  Ready to style your teepee or start another project you know your child will love? Visit Pialba Place and see what inspiration you can come up with.

Tags: How to Build a Kids’ Teepee at Home!

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