I don’t know if I can blame pinterest or some of the blogs that I read, but for a while I have wanted to get Will a teepee. There was one in particular I’ve seen on Etsy, but the $180 price tag was a little steep for something I wasn’t sure if he’d like or not. So, I thought I’d put my novice sewing skills to the test and make him one. (By the way, when I say “novice sewing skills” I am not being humble, rather I’m being optimistic. I just found out a few days ago I’ve been threading my machine wrong since my mom gave it to me… 13 years ago. But I digress).
I looked at a few tutorials I found online that had measurements that made for a good starting point, but I wanted the teepee to look more like this one. I preferred the ones that had four sides and would be easy to collapse, since we don’t have a huge space to store it or to keep it up all the time. I made many mistakes and my estimated two evening project took four or five evenings, but I LOVE the result. Plus the mistakes kind of look intentional (specifically, the added 12 inches to the bottom of the teepee).
I got the fabric at SR Harris, a discount fabric store in the Twin Cities. It’s huge and overwhelming, but I find it fun to sift through their stuff, especially if you have a lot of time on your hands. The fabric is 100% cotton and seems to be coated with something, although I don’t know what. I got a TON of fabric for $30. I believe it was 3 1/2 yards and super wide (120″ maybe?). This was helpful since I did make so many mistakes I was able to compensate with the large amount of fabric.
I used PVC pipe and have plans to spray paint it to cover up the writing, but I’m having trouble picking a colour. We drilled holes into the top of the poles about 14″ from the top to thread the yarn through. Without the holes the tie had a tendency to slip down and cause the teepee to close. This way, it has no problems staying open, even with an almost-walker pulling himself up on the poles. The poles are 6′ long and were less than $2 each. I wanted wood poles, but they were hard to find in the length I wanted and were much more expensive.
Will isn’t quite sure what to do with the teepee yet. He likes it if we sit in there with him. The other day his friend Zoe (who is about 7 months older than Will) LOVED it. She ran in and out of the teepee and squealed with delight each time she emerged. When do kids start to enjoy hiding so much? I’m looking forward to that phase with Will.
The total for the project was less than $40, and that includes all the extra fabric, an extra PVC pipe (which we used to make his birthday sailboat) and the little caps that go on the bottom of the poles. If you know what you’re doing this project could be even cheaper!