Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recycled Teepee

When a friend of mine pointed me towards this tutorial on A Beautiful Mess about how to make your own teepee - I jumped at the opportunity to whip one up. I was amazed how quickly this project came together - but also the size of it - it is much bigger than I had thought it would be!

Before we moved into our house the previous owners had lived here for 45 years. I don't know if they had the same curtains for that period of time - but we took every curtain down. I washed kept some white 'cotton' eyelet curtains for a potential craft project. This material has now been sitting in a box for 3 years - hurrah - a purpose and confirmation of my belief that one should never throw material away.

I had to amend the tutorial slightly (my teepee is slightly narrower by 2" at the base) as I had a limited amount of material to work with.

Some of the material was damaged - but I just had to embrace the frays and nicks in some places.

I constructed the front panel differently from the tutorial. The front panel is a triangle at the top and then two gentle ruffled curtains with more abundant ruffles at the base of each curtain. I had some fabric scraps left over from the project and not enough length in the curtains so I sewed all the left overs scraps together and ruffled them - I think the ruffles hide all the seams well.

I carefully trimmed and saved some of the scalloped edges to make the curtain tie backs.

Inside the teepee I sewed 3 ties to each seam. One at the top, in the middle and at the bottom. I used ribbon that was left over from our Princess Tea Party - but I think you could use anything that can be tied tightly without ripping.

Instead of using 2x1 lengths of wood - I opted for a pricier round 1 3/8" wood molding poles (8ft lengths). Personally I think they were worth the extra cost.

The teepee will be mostly used outside but I did put felt pads on the bottom of each pole. Despite sanding the base of each pole before hand - I was worried that the poles would scratch or mark the floors when we played with it inside.

I made a mat for the tee pee out of an old wool blanket I purchased on ebay for $18.26 (that price includes the shipping.) Ebay is an excellent source for finding recyclable materials. Once I had reminded myself of the basic geometry of a perfect triangle I began cutting and constructing my hexagon blanket. I even reused the binding of the original blanket on the edges. I might decorate this blanket in a cute way at a later date.

I hope this will inspire you with your own tee pee! The Land of Nod & Magic Cabin have lovely teepee's for sale. And if you would like to make a smaller scale teepee here is the cutest little teepee on LoLovie her teepee is made from a tutorial on Pink Toes and Power Tools.


  1. I gave my nephew a teepee when he was about 4. He, his baby sister and the dog all loved it. When the kids weren't playing in it, the dog slept there.

  2. Oh I think this would make a wonderful Mommy retreat.Surely a cup of coffee would taste so much better in there.


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