Tim and i made a fabric TeePee and a fabric “cabin” out of PVC pipe and clearance fabric for our first two little guys 25 years ago.
Last fall when we saw the rash of designer TeePees popping up everywhere, we said “We did that 25 years ago!” When we saw the price on those trendy TeePees we said…
“We have to do that again for our Grand-babies!”
So Fun, and really truly so EASY! I have searched the internet for a good tutorial, i haven’t found anything i felt was easy, clear and accurate so here goes my spin around that block. It feels daunting, i am a doer not a teacher….but i really want to share this fun DIY gift idea. We make ours for about $40.00, that is with some high-end designer fabric. If you used all clearance pieces you could save a good chunck of that. If you are looking at this tutorial, you have looked at the trending TeePees and you know how much they will eat of your Christmas Budget….let’s give this a whirl.
i am going to split the tutorial into a couple posts. The TeePee could be made more simply then we do it, the process would be significantly faster and easier. i will give you a simple tutorial and then i will include our Nama/Pappa upgrades as additional posts.
Links to upgrades at the bottom.
Some of our upgrades are:
A mosquito mesh window in the back panel for ventilation and light + there is nothing like the giggle of a grand-baby when you sneak behind and “peek-a-boo” them through the window.
Ties added to the front panels to tie the teepee open, it would stay open simply by flipping the flaps over the poles.
We drilled holes in the TeePee poles and sewed ties to the top to aid in the fabric staying in place.
Two fabrics are purely design and many are made with one fabric. We line the lower front flaps for design, we also use the designer fabric for the top peak of each panel. None of this is necessary.
What you will need:
5 and 1/2 yards fabric, 45 inches wide. We buy 1.5 yards of a pattern we love, and 4 yards of an affordable coordinating fabric.
4 wooden dowels. 1 inch diameter is ideal. 72″ long. We have had success finding these at Menards. You could use PVC pipe, broom handles, thicker diameter poles i.e. a closet rod, or use many versions of molding or square trims.
1/3 yard mosquito mesh or bridal netting, if you wish to put in the window.
I pre-wash our fabrics, don’t use soap…just a short wash cycle with warm water and machine dry. This should prepare the fabric for any future machine washing needs.
If you have wrinkles after the wash do a fast casual press, this will make working with the fabrics easier.
First Pattern Piece:
Open the 4 yard piece of fabric so you have a piece that is 4 yards long and 42-48 inches wide. (this measurement varies because of factory widths and shrinkage, use what your fabric is.)
You will draw the cutting lines with a yard stick and pencil. Measure, mark and draw as in high school geometry. Then cut on our drawn lines.
Enjoy the process, exacting precision is not mandatory for an adorable TeePee.
Each Panel should measure 46 inches across the bottom and 18 inches across the top. The two end flaps will be half that width, if you have a few inches of extra fabric you can add an inch to the straight edge of each of the end flaps for the seam and hem you will put in the center. This is not necessary. Cut these 5 pieces and set aside for now.
Second Pattern Piece:
As before, measure, mark and cut to duplicate this piece 4 times. The straight edge goes on the fold of the fabric. Measurements are: 15.5 inches along fold : 3 inches across top edge : 9 inches across bottom edge.
Here is an additional image of how you may place your top peak patterns on the patterned fabric. You will refold your fabric after each piece is cut to place the pattern piece on a fold for each additional cutting. Or as i did for my blue plaid TeePee , i used my first cut fabric peak as my pattern for the following three peak pieces. I used the fabric piece unfolded, this allowed me to lay the patterned piece on top of the fabric aligning the patteren so all four of my TeePee peaks would have the exact same plaid pattern alignment.
There you go….
You now have all your pieces cut for the basic TeePee. Easy Peasy !! Right??
Sewing and poles are the fun parts !! You will decide to make these for everyone you love!! My Blessing is presently planning a party where she is certain i could sew a teepee for each guest. i love that she believes i can do anything….i hate that she has to learn the truth someday soon.