Monday, May 14, 2012

a teepee

my latest project for my little one was making this teepee. we had a little denim teepee growing up and i loved it. many afternoons were spent playing in that thing. not only did i want one for my son to enjoy for the play aspect, but it's going to look so cute in his playroom, right? :)

i would be completely lying if i said i loved this project and it was a piece of cake. i don't know what my deal is, but i am teepee challenged. it took two batches of fabric and the help of my mom for me to finally get it right. and it's still a pain to set up. BUT. i love it and am glad the hard part is done and this teepee can be used for stories and pretend, not me pushing it over because i'm so frustrated (yes, that happened. twice).

i used this tutorial from sew mama sew, it's a fabulous tutorial, i was just taking crazy pills the days i worked on mine :)

i think my very favorite part of the teepee is the striped poles. i wanted the fabric to be light and neutral, simply because i like the look (though i was really leaning towards making one like this for a while. isn't it cute?), but i figured it needed a little whimsy and fun, and the poles do it for me. love them.

to make your own teepee you need:

+4-6 six-foot-tall poles (the number you get depends on the look you want. i used 5 poles, but could have done it with 4. a lot of tutorials call for 6, so it's really up to you. mine are from home depot, you can use pvc pipe as well) 
+3 yards of 60 inch-wide canvas
+pack of grommets (i found mine at hobby lobby)
+leather for holding the front together and tying the poles together (found at hobby lobby)
+extra strips of fabric or leather to hold the poles in place

the sew mama sew tutorial has pictures, but just lay your fabric out and fold it in half length-wise. then fold the corners together to make a triangle. cut a half-circle out of the tip of the triangle and the bottom of the triangle. that's where i went wrong the first time, i cut the bottom circle angled the wrong way, so be sure to cut the way she tells you! then you can drape it around your poles to make sure you did it right. then i pinned the ties on the fabric from the inside to make sure they were in the right places, then sewed them. next, i added the grommets (with the help of my hubby) and it was done.

sounds easy, huh? i think it is for most people, so don't let me scare you away! regardless of how frustrated i was getting here, i'm in love with it now and am dreaming of picnics and back-yard-camp outs in our little teepee.


  1. So you all made this by yourself? I like this style and i will do it later! So if you like some Black chain strap bag you can also try it!

  2. so cute! i like the stripe pole detail. are those just very thick, long dowel rods? also, instead of the rings like sew mama used, those are just strips of fabric sewn to the fabric and tied around the pole on the inside, right? the grommet part, how did that work? sorry for all the questions, thanks!

    1. thank you!
      to answer your questions: yes, the poles are just the biggest dowels we could find at home depot. i can't remember the exact name, but they are with all the dowels and trim.
      i did use strips of fabric sewed to the main teepee instead of the rings. it seemed easier to me and works great.
      the grommets are the little silver circles at the top of the teepee that the leather is laced though. i had to cut out little holes and then hammer them in, but then the leather laces through them nicely, and keeps the whole thing tied together.
      hope that helps! good luck!

  3. thanks so much for replying. my little one will be three in a few weeks and i hope i can get it all together to make her one for her birthday. In the sew mama link, there were some in the comment section saying that it was not enough fabric, that it should be four yards and that the measurement of the fabric didn't make a square. Your's looks perfect to me, so i am guessing it is indeed 3 yards of 60 inch wide fabric?? also hancock fabrics has their canvas 50% off right now. Is that where you got your canvas?


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