.Tee Pee Step by Step.

Ever since I discovered the tee pee trend on Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod and various Etsy stores I've been completely obsessed. My only hesitation was most tee pee's started around $150. Don't get me wrong, my kid is worth ALL that and more, but honestly why spend the money when I know I could make it? So off to pinterest I went. I found various tutorials, but none of them only used four dowels (I needed it to be tall, but not very wide because of limited space) and were eight feet tall. Thankfully I have an amazingly smart math wiz for a husband, so I brought him my design and he did all the geometry for me because frankly, my brain doesn't have time for math.

This is true love people. TRUE love. Take note all single people. 

Alright I'll break down the costs and supplies.

.Four- 8 foot dowels. I used the inch wide ones. $25
.One- 9 foot X 12 foot 10oz painters drop cloth. $27
.One drill bit- As close to a normal screw size as possible. $ Already owned this.
.Drill. $ Already owned this.
.Sewing Machine.
.Patience...a lot of patience.
.Spray Paint- $4
.Blue painters tape. $ Already owned
.Wood Stain. $4
.One cute helper- $Priceless...but for everything else there's mastercard.
hehe...I kid I kid.

Total cost for us: Around $50 (we get a military discount at our hardware store.)
Costs will likely vary depending on store and location.

I stained the dowels in a darker walnut color to match our home better. Then after they dried I placed painters tape on the ends. Found a gorgeous brown-bronze-silvery paint and went to town on the ends. I later used the same paint to spray the tin cans for his birthday decor. See here. 

This is where your going to need your helped. You know, when he's in the way. But hey, at least he's cute!

I measured 14 inches down from the top, placed a dot and drilled a hole in each of the holes. Isn't my little helper so helpful?

Note to self: Do not leave drill with drill bit on the floor. It attracts little boys who love power tools and accidents happen.

Poor kid dropped the drill on his toe. First owwie. Awwwwwwe. 
Thread the twine through each hole. If your hole is big enough you shouldn't need to push it through, mine was small so I found this nifty pointy tool to help me thread it through each pole. It was time consuming though. 

Find a tall handsome man to tie all the poles together. 
Or just a stool. That should work well too. 

Voila! The beginnings to your tee pee! Otherwise known as the frame.
Whew! That was the easy part.
Now to measure. One panel was 72.1in high X 45in base width X 3.5in top width X 75in diagonal.

Then, sew all the panels EXCEPT the door together. Oh and drink coffee..and if you have coffee liqueur, that helps too. 

I chose red thread in a zigzag pattern. Pretty spiffy, no? 
 Take the door panel, fold it over and cut it down the middle. 

Then, take your iron (not necessary but it helps) and iron the edge your going to sew. Makes it so the darn thing stays down and it's SO much easier. 

Cross the two panels of the entrance over, poke twelve holes. Start thread from inside the tee pee and finish inside as well. Tie it off and your DONE! It really isn't very hard, just time consuming.
I also decided to get creative and make a couple flags at the top with my cuties name on one.

This project was by far the biggest undertaking I've done. But it was a lot of fun. Definitely a learning process and I am SO happy I was able to get him the gift we wanted for his birthday without breaking the bank. 
Now I need to figure out why the tension on my machine got wonky...bleh!


  1. Great tutorial, thanks! As far as the tension on the machine goes, try completely rethreading it. Mine was off for a while and the thread had somehow slipped out of the tensioner without me noticing. Good luck!

  2. How cool is this?! I had two daughters first but now a boy. I think tents and tee pees are just the thing for little ones. Love it.


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