Whack It With a Hammer

Adventures in DIY and Decor

camping, children, DIY, family, garden, teepee, tent, Uncategorized

How to Make a Teepee

It’s the school holidays and it would be nice to say that my little darlings are playing beautifully, chasing butterflies around our sunny garden, but they’re not. We have a large garden but a small house so my son decided to make a teepee (which can also be spelt tepee or tipi!)

Mabel wants to play imaginary games all the time (which involve constantly jabbering, singing and sometimes squawking with her soft toys) Samson would rather loose himself in Minecraft or watch other people playing Minecraft on YouTube (I will never understand this) and they manage to disagree about absolutely everything.

Oh yes, and its been drizzling for two days.

Inspired by the need to be as far from his sister as possible and denied any more screen time by his evil mother, Samson decided that he would like to ‘do a project’ at the bottom of the garden.

Samson, a small boy in a leafy area making notes on where his teepee should be.
Samson planning out his project.

“I’m going to make a little flower garden and a teepee.” and he starts to dig and clear the ivy in what I call the ‘the nature reserve’ (I think you all know what that really means)

He had said ‘he’ was going to do a project but at this point he explained that actually ‘we’ were going to do a project.

So here’s how we made a hanging teepee…

pencil doodles of how we would make our teepee
First we planned it out meticulously

We measured the space under the bushes where it could hang and decided the best use of space would be a square base and that it would be 150cm high in the middle so he could stand up in it.

We bought 6m of wipe clean table fabric from our local fabric shop – you could do it with less if you wanted to sew some of the side panels together but at £4.99 a metre it was easier to cut whole triangles.

Red and white spotted wipe clean fabric cut into shapes to make a teepee.
This is the square base 100cm X 100cm

Now I remembered something about triangles and 3.14 but to be honest that might have been circles. So, to use as little maths as possible I measured 100cm across the bottom of the fabric, folded it in half and measured 150cm up the crease and drew a line joining the corner of the base to the point. I cut along the line and unfolded it and viola a perfectly proportioned triangle.

Red and white spotted wipe clean material cut into triangles ready to make a teepee.
You need three whole ones of these and one cut in half down the middle for the front door.

Now to my trusty sewing machine. I bought this second hand off a friends mum when I was 14 years old and it has to be the best £30 I’ve ever spent (Thank you Mrs Scanlon its still going strong)

sewing the reverse sides of the fabric to make a teepee.
First sew the triangle sides together to make the pyramid shape.
sewing elastic into the corners of the teepee.
Then sew the base on inserting loops of elastic in the corners.

I went over these a number of times as they will take the most strain. Make sure you only sew the door panels half way so they can open and close.

By this time the fabric was very heavy and was sliding all over the place. It would have been much easier to use a cotton or linen fabric which would be fine with consistent sun but useless in a persistent drizzle.

loop of elastic at the top of the teepee.
This is the loop on the peak.

I went over this a number of times too as it will be taking a lot of strain as it hangs from a branch. I also put an equal amount of loop on the inside so that Samson can hang a little torch if he wants to stay out later. It’s purposely not big enough to lie down as I know what his next question is going to be.

boy and girl carrying home made teepee in a garden.
Now to see if it works (someone’s clearly not convinced).
Home made red and white teepee hanging from a branch.
We couldn’t quite find a strong enough branch in the right place so used this stick wedged  across.

Mabel sat in it once then revealed to me that she doesn’t like this bit of the garden as it is where Sam relieves himself when he can’t be bothered to go inside, this was strongly denied by the accused and was about to irrupt into another squabble. I’m happy to never know if he has done this so did what I usually do when they bicker, sing ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen, quite loudly. Afraid that I would sing the whole song, Mabel scarpered inside to continue her production of Bugsy Malone played by sparkly eyes cats. (Mabel also got crafty and customised an Ikea dolls house)

pink sparkly eyed beanie baby cat and white finger mouse.
“My name is Tallulah…”

And Samson, well, I think this picture says it all…

small boy sat in a home made teepee reading a book and eating an apple.

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