TeePee Tutorial Part 1

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.


That is Captain Hook and Peter Pan…as if you didn’t know. Vintage TeePee in background.

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!”


This was our first, Timmy’s TeePee, for Timothy Richard Avary’s first Birthday. The feather fabric is a designer print, about $14.00 a yard. I shop clearance or deep sales to find a coordinating fabric for the remaining amount needed.

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.


Finley Rose loved Timmy’s TeePee and could not wait for her 3rd birthday to get her own. She choose the designer Deer Head Fabric and i found the wine print on sale.

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.

Matching Thread

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:


These will be your 4 main Panels. The two end triangles will make your front flaps, the three full panels will be your back and sides.

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.)

IMG_4282 2

This is the 4 yard piece of fabric, opened on the factory fold. Use your first pattern piece to cut this fabric.

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.


Three of these: Back and two sides.


Two front flaps

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.


Pattern Piece for Top Tip of each side panel. This pattern is pieced together because…well…that is just how i roll, you might think i could have retraced it on a larger piece of paper and made it look legit…But, really…why?


We cut these from the designer fabric. You should have 4 of these when you open the fold of each piece.  These pieces should be symmetrical when you open the fold.

Photo on 12-3-15 at 1.46 PM

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??

TeePee Tutorial Part 2

TeePee Tutorial Part 3 Upgrades

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.

3 thoughts on “TeePee Tutorial Part 1

  1. Pingback: Tee-Pee Tutorial Part 3 Upgrades | NamaFish

  2. Pingback: Tee-Pee Tutorial Part 2 | NamaFish

  3. Pingback: TeePee Tutorial by Nama and Papa | NamaFish

Please Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s