Vivienne’s first birthday is coming up this June and I decided to build her a DIY (no sew) teepee for her (early) big gift. This week I finally found some time to put it all together. It was fun, easier than I ever expected and very inexpensive.
Warning: I am not a big measurer and just like go with the flow on projects like these. If you want to be very precise and measure and sew your fabric, go for it. I am sure there are other DIY teepees directions out there with instructions on how to do so.
If you are sticking with me, here are the materials you will need:
+ Hot glue gun and glue sticks
+ A ruler and pen or marker
+ A drill with a 3/8″ drill bit
+ (6) 1″ x 2″ x 8′ tall white wood pieces (I got mine at Home Depot for about $1 each)
+ A few yards of rope (I got parachute cord from the Walmart craft section for about $3 – many colors to choose from)
+ Fabric (I estimate that you will need about 6ish yards of fabric max)
If you already have a lot of extra fabric on hand (and like the mix and match look) – perfect. This project will run you less than $10 total. If you have to buy the fabric expect to pay more, obvs. 🙂
You can also do this project with one kind of fabric if you prefer a more simple/monotone look. The possibilities are endless.
Start off by measuring 12″ down on the wood boards and marking the center area with a marker/pen. Once all six boards are measured and marked take your drill and drill a hole over the marker. The white wood is pretty lightweight and very easy to drill through.Next, ask someone to help you place the wood where you want it (this step requires two people). Take your wood and evenly space it out into the shape of a teepee. Don’t try to be perfect – you can perfect and adjust later.
Tie a knot in the end of the cord so that it can’t fit through the hole and begin stringing your cord through all of the holes in the wood, connecting them. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just make sure all boards are secured together well. We strung ours together a little too tightly and had to loosen the cord later. You will want to have some give in the cord so you can move the wood at the base around reasonably easy.
Once you are happy with the shape of the teepee, it is time to wrap it with the fabric (I tore my fabric to give it an imperfect look). Don’t try and be perfect, just get started and slowly add more fabric as you see fit. Take your hot glue gun and attach the fabric to the slats, pull the fabric somewhat tightly around and glue every slat or two, but not too tight. Once you do one row of fabric you’ll get the hang of it pretty easily.Also you don’t have to glue as much as I expected for the fabric to hold. Just glue it as you see fit. I wanted my teepee to have a bunchy fabric look, so I kept my fabric loose and didn’t worry about being perfect. If you want more of a clean, streamlined teepee just pull your fabric tighter.
I guesstimate that I used about 15 mini sticks of glue on the project. Also the top of the teepee makes a great glue gun holder. 🙂
Repeat this step with the glue different pieces of fabric until you make it to the bottom of your teepee. I thought my different fabrics were getting a little too busy, so I decided to stop a little over half way down and stick to one fabric for the bottom part. If you are happy with the way yours is looking go for it.I played with the entrance area a bit until I was happy with it. I love the way the flouncy fabric drapes and creates a little “awning.”Just for an added detail, I chose to use some extra cord to hang feathers from the top. I also covered the inside exposed poles with some extra fabric to give it a splash of color.I would say that it took me about four hours from start to finish.And finally here is the end product (which stands about 7 feet tall and is about 4.5-5 feet wide)…
I really enjoyed making the teepee and just as I hoped…Vivi really loves it already.PS. It was super easy to fold up and transport upstairs to Vivi’s bedroom and it unfolded exactly as it was originally. This will help when I want to store it down the road.PPS. If you decide to build a teepee of your own, please share the final product in the comments below. I’d love to see what you come up with. 🙂