How To: Create a Teepee

hello and happy Thursday!  My favorite day!  And today, I am going to share a project that I recently completed.  Whenever I type "how-to" in that little title box I have to laugh a little see, I will look online on how to do something... obsess over it, talk about it, and usually just jump right in and not take very good photos... plus, I use non- exact instructions like... "attach that to this."  And don't even get Mr. Hughes started on my mix-up of right and left... drives him crazy!  Anyhow, if after all this you want to know how I created a teepee for baby hughes' big boy room, then by all means, follow along... at least there were no injuries.

So, like I said... I have been obsessing over making a teepee.   I couldn't make it until after we got rid of the upholstered rocker from the nursery days.  The night we sold it, baby hughes and I sat on the sofa and looked at photos and how to create one of these bad boys.  As I was racking off what I thought we would need to create it, Mr. Hughes chimed in with ... you know, we have those pool cues that I picked up awhile ago.

Excellent.... so we started with those... now, I know that most of you don't have pool cues lying around your house, but we did.  You can use sticks.  These were the perfect height since the height of the stick is related to how big and wide you can make your teepee.  baby hughes has a tiny room, so this worked. If you want a teepee, buy some bamboo sticks that are taller.

We put together a rough form which I moved downstairs to have more room to work around it... that is why we didn't tie all the sticks together securely until the end... we needed to move it.  So, decide how big you want it... have your kiddo get under it and make sure it will fit him and your space.  I found that about 27"-29" between the "non door" sticks was the perfect measurement... I wanted them pretty even (this measurement allowed me to be able to butt 3 of the sticks against the wall.)  The space on the door side was around 34".  We used 5 sticks... with a larger teepee, you will need more for support (also, longer so they reach in the middle.)

See how we loosely tied them together... only for me to work on the canvas covering.

For the canvas covering, I bought a 9' x 12' uncoated drop cloth from Home Depot and I had more than enough.

Here is where I start to wing it... I measured a rough triangle, allowing an 1/2" for seams along the side.  If this was a stable structure, I could have just laid the sticks down and traced the exact angles.  Instead, I measured the base of the triangle and cut upwards... I also cut off the top point.

I made 4 of these triangles (the doors are different measurements) and I laid them out along the structure.

Then I began pinning all the sides together.... As I moved towards the top, the seam allowance got larger and larger... no biggie....

...because next, I trimmed all the seams to a manageable size (I waited to trim the bottom.)  

I made sure the seams lined up along the sticks nicely and then I stitched all the panels together by machine.

As I said before, I waited to cut and attach the doors... I had run out of pins and I also was sort of liking the exposed edge look... so I wanted to be sure that I wanted the seams on the inside.  When I did do the doors, I measured the base of the door area and cut that in half.  I then used that measurement and expanded by 2 inches (this includes seam allowances) and cut it.  I wanted one side to be a little larger to allow for overlap.  Again, since I wasn't using the exact angles, there was actually more overlap towards the top to trim once it was pinned together.

With the doors pinned in place, I trimmed the outer door straight down and then the inner door as well, allowing for overlap.  Then I stitched it all together.

Next (and it was very dark when I did this, so sorry, no photos of the process) I added the closure at the top.  I have seen several ways to complete the closure... lacing, some stitch it partially together.... I used wool felt and embroidery thread and some large buttons... I wanted it more childlike and not so authentic.... I mean, I am using pool cues here.... not quite up to par with the Native Americans from the Plains here.

Then, I simply trimmed around the bottom edge... I didn't hem the very top or bottom... I wanted it a little rough and it doesn't fray too badly....and when it does, it will be similar to the fray on blue jeans.

We moved it back upstairs and Mr. Hughes tightly bound the rope around all 5 sticks.  I have also seen people drilling holes in the cues and binding the sticks with rope through the holes and around the sticks... your choice.

Here it is all finished:

I spread the sticks a little wider once we got upstairs... baby hughes likes to have me over for company and it is a tight squeeze in there.  He loves it though... when you now ask him where he lives, he replies... in a teepee!

We are discussing decor options for the interior, but this is how is looks right now.... well, I cleaned up a bit. His big boy room is awaiting just a few things (like remounting the curtain rod he ripped out of the wall... with the anchors!)  He hasn't completely knocked it over yet *knock on wood*
Hopefully, I will be able to share his whole room next week... I am still needing more book storage.

So, I hope you enjoyed the little (long) *how- to*  Here is one *how-to* that I used for inspiration and another one here.  I had a lot of fun making this and he will have even more fun playing in it, so I am not too worried if there is a better way to do it.

okay, now, I have to finish a Robin Hood costume... happy Thursday!

bye for now!


  1. I love it! I think my youngest is too old for one, but I need one for MYSELF. ;) So cute, Michelle!

  2. ooooh! i love this but don't have a kid yet...i might make it for myself :)

  3. What fun! I'd be the best mom forever if I made one for my kids. Bet you are too!

  4. this is adorable, I want one for my grandsons when they come to play! How fun would that be? I could be the cool granny with a teepee in her house!

  5. I swear, is there anything you can't do? Just wondering! :) looks fabulous and I love that your little says he lives in a teepee...that funny boy! xo

  6. Holy teepee this rocks!!!! I have too....have too make this for my guy!!!!! Id rather you make it..heeeheee...but I think I could wing it!!!
    Love it,

  7. there anything you can't looks so great!

  8. HOW FUN!!! I bet Baby Huges LOVES this--you're an awesome mama :)

  9. *Baby Hughes. I got excited, lol

  10. I LOVE the pool sticks! And thank you for suggesting bamboo as well; everything I've seen has pvc pipe. This is awesome, great job!

  11. I love this!! What a beautiful tee pee. I would like to try to make a similar one. Can you tell me how tall you think yours stands? And maybe how wide? I like the size of yours and want to get wooden polls cut down to that size if possible. Thank you so much!!


Hi! Thanks so much for leaving me a comment. I do try my best to answer every question through email. Please leave your address if it isn't connected to your account.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...