Tuesday, June 21, 2011

LoLo's Teepee - tutorial

When I was growing up, my favorite thing was to run to the corn field that was behind my godmother's house, take a blanket, put the blanket on the top of the tall corn stalks and make a pretend house. My friends and I would then bring plastic bottles and cups, snacks, dolls, trucks and more blankets and pillows and spend a day playing house.  Well, we don't have a field behind our house and unfortunately even our deck is at the sad state of repair at the moment, so I thought I'll re-create the atmosphere in the park and instead of blankets-over-corn I'll make a teepee for LoLo's birthday.

Some of my inspirations: 

After many searches, I finally found a page with Teepee I loved and instructions that even I could follow :) HERE.

I really wanted bamboo pillars, but all the garden centers we went to had only the thin, flimsy kind. Home Depot had some wooden dowels, but they were only 4 feet long and I needed at least 6 feet long dowels. We ended up buying 8 pieces of 4 feet dowels and asked to cut 4 in half. Now, I may be crafty but have no clue how to put the two pieces together and as it turns out, neither did the guy working at the wood shop. He suggested using glue to put the dowels together ... uhmmmm .. oookkkaaayyy ... 

Then my father-in-law came up with a genius idea to use pvc pipe joints as connectors and guess what? They are puuuuurfect!!!! Not only because they do hold the dowels together, but also because the dowels can be taken apart and put together again and again ... 

The fabric came from Ikea. I bought 5 yards of the story print a bit more, just to be sure. And 2 yards of the gingham red and white kind. Now, I know this is a tutorial but can I just tell you also the story behind fabric shopping at Ikea?
Well, firstly .. Why isn't there anybody EVER at the fabric counter? 
I first bought only a yard of the gingham, but realized I will need more so we had to make another run to the store. I finally see a girl wondering around .. ask her for fabric and she tells me "Oh, you can just cut it yourself!" What?? Really??? She then moves in a tempo of a snail on a leisure stroll towards the counter. I ask for two yards of the red and white. She cuts a yard and proceeds to measure the other yard. "What are you doing?" I ask politely ... she looks at me with wide surprised face and eyes "Why?? You want two yards together???" Uhmmmm ....  "That would have been preferable, but OK, I'll take a yard only" ... Now came the most challenging part of this exchange! 
"Can I have a yard and a half of this fabric, please??" 
The girl takes the fabric, she measures, turns the roll around, right then left, upside down .. she then points to the table (where the measuring ruler ends at 1 yard, of course) about 3 inches away from the ruler and says "It'll be this much!" .... SERIOUSLY??? If you fell asleep in math class ok, but what happened to logic? "Do you want me to show you how to measure?" I ask .. She nods .... 
"Ahhaaaa that's how you do it???" .... 

Now back to the tutorial ... I love Pink Toes an Power Tools 's tutorial and tent
These are her great notes I used ...
I didn't make a pattern just cut the pieces straight out of the fabric according to the photos above.
The part you should be careful with when cutting, is that the connectors (if you end up using them) need additional width of fabric - something I forgot :)
This is how I cut: I folded the fabric diagonally on the line, pinned and cut.  
I love the little story left to interpretation on it with the fox, the bunnies, the squirrel and the house.
I also made a tie out of the gingham fabric instead of using a rope. The "doorway" is also different from the one on the other blog - mostly because I forgot to cross the two sides, so that it would cover the entrance, but also because I just think the checkers down the middle make it all come together. 
(When you make a mistake crafting just say "it's design" I am told  :))))
So, that's my design ladies and gents! 
Side view 
A teepee is also great for a puppet show!
Don't be intimidated by this project, I promise it's much easier than what it seems like!
And if you don't sew, here is one that's even easier  a "No Sew" kind at Sew, Mama, Sew! :))
And if you absolutely need a pattern, I found one on Amazon HERE for 8.98 USD. 
Aaaand if you want to see how the birthday party turned out go HERE

Happy hiding in your Teepees!

Lo(Lo)Ve, LV


  1. Your teepee turned out fantastic!! What a great birthday present. So glad the tutorial helped :)

  2. I am going to make one, adult size :)) Dani (Praha)

  3. I love IKEA fabric, but never had a good experience getting it cut either!

  4. Adorable! I love this use of the IKEA fabric. If you're in NYC, I just noticed that some of the flower supply stores along 27th Street off 6th Ave have lots of really long poles that might work for this kind of project (though frankly, your solution sounds easier to store!)

  5. love it. i've been wanting to make a teepee for months now, but have run into the same problem with the sticks. your solution is perfect! and i'm always trying to think of a project for the large scale ikea prints. but getting fabric cut there is never easy!

  6. found you on the crafty round up at the long thread! Love your teepee, that fabric looks like it was meant to be a teepee! Also loved your IKEA story!! I've had mixed success there too! Great job!

  7. oh.my.goodness...saw this awesomeness on ohdeedoh, what a super wonderful idea! looks like such fun, nice job Mama!!

  8. This teepee is so cute - I love it!!

  9. I, too, have been wanting to make one for ages. Was a bit intimidated by the idea, but your post gave me the get-up-and-go I needed. Just finished it for my boys for Christmas. Can't wait for them to see it! Thanks a million!!

  10. I've been looking for a reason to use that Inea fabric for EVER and I just so happen to need a teepee for the big gurl's camping party, so...
    Could you tell me what this project cost you?

  11. Erika, after the fabric is bought you only need the poles and they are not much. I would recommend buying plastic plumber pipes though instead of wood (just lighter to carry if you are going to the park like we do). Maybe 20 - 30 USD? Good luck with your project!

  12. Hi!Love your teepee.I wanted to know how tall and wide the sides are when it is open?Thanks

  13. Thank you! Hm good question .. not too wide. I am not sure about the exact measurements when open, but one adult can fit inside sitting ... It's ok for two toddlers to hide out but it's definitely not a place for an adult to hang out ..