A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided that Olive needed a Tee-Pee.
“Needed” a Tee-Pee.
We searched the internet for one that we could buy, but I guess we were feeling ambitious, and decided that we wanted to make one for her, instead. We found a couple of tutorials online for No Sew Teepees (because generally, I just didn’t feel like bringing out my sewing machine) but things quickly started to go south when we attempted to follow the instructions. So, we had to improvise.
Below I’m going to go over the materials we used, what we did, and how we did it. I’m not going to lie – it was time consuming and tedious. And a lot of the time, there was no method to this madness. There were several moments during this project when I looked over at Patrick and said “We really should have just bought one online, instead.” And you know, he might have agreed. But after all is said and done…… we kind of adore what we created for her. Because I know that there is no other one like it out there.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A ROUGH GUIDE
- Two people (at least for the beginning of this project)
- Long, Wood Pieces (We used 4 of them, about 8 ft tall ones) to create the bones of the Teepee
- Fabric – I went to the store and bought several yards of patterns I liked. I also used this project to purge some of my older scraps of fabric too. I say, the more patterns, the more fun!
- Hot Glue. A lot, a lot, a lot of hot glue.
- A Drill
- Staple Gun
- So Much Patience
- A Bottle Of Wine (for yourself to drink, duh)
Drill a hole in the center and about 1 foot down from the top of each wooden piece. When that’s done, start to position the bones of the teepee and how large and tall you’d like the finished product to be. When you like what you see, start stringing the rope through the holes you drilled to secure their positions. Then wrap the rope multiple times around all the poles to get them to stay securely.
Start cutting up your strips of fabric. You will need them to be different lengths (because the base of the teepee gets larger as you work your way down) but I used all the same width (we made them all about 8 inches wide)
Start wrapping! The top few fabric pieces are easy – just start wrapping your fabric around the wooden beams, leaving some of the top exposed. Use hot glue to secure the ends. When you get farther down the teepee (I’d say at about a foot down), you’re going to have to start ‘weaving’ and wrapping your fabric in and out of the poles. This also creates some tension so the legs of the teepee don’t collapse. Alternate the weaving process – if you wrapped poles 1 and 3 with this first fabric, make sure you wrap poles 2 and 4 on your next fabric. Secure all ends with lots of hot glue. Do this until you get to the bottom of your teepee.
Step 4: To create a “door” for your teepee, just measure the how long you want the door to be against the leg of the teepee, and cut that length DIAGONALLY in your fabric (so you end up with a triangle of fabric). The length you measured gets staple gunned on the inside of the wooden beam. Repeat for other side of the door.
Step 5: To add a little more decoration, I tied more rope on the top of the teepee.
Step 6: Drink your wine, go to sleep….you’re done!
Some Tips: While you’re wrapping this teepee, don’t worry if it’s not perfect. It’s not supposed to be – it’s supposed to be rustic and original. Also, you can go back with the hot glue gun and glue fabric together if things aren’t as taught as you like them. We preferred the loose look for a more relaxed, bohemian looking teepee.
In total, this took us about 5hours and 30 minutes in total with two adults and a bottle of wine. Of course, you can spread this project out over the weekend, but if you have a small space like we do, it’s best to just get it over with at one go, and clean up too, so the baby doesn’t get into the glue!
Do you think you’ll give this a go?