How to Make a Teepee for a Child

Written by tara dooley
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How to Make a Teepee for a Child
Build a simple version of a tepee in your backyard. (tepee image by Anthony Child from

Building a child's tepee is a fun experience for everyone. Whether it is for a school project or just something to do in the backyard, the time spent together can be rewarding. A child will also have tons of fun playing in the finished project using her imagination to travel to the Old West.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric in one long sheet
  • Three or four wooden branches or poles
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Paint and brushes

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  1. 1

    Gather all the materials needed. The fabric should be a solid colour, preferably white or cream. Depending on the height of the tepee you are building, you might need to sew two pieces of fabric together. The wooded branches should be relatively straight, and if they aren't available, pick up wooden poles at a lumber supply store.

  2. 2

    Decide the height of the tepee and cut the wood accordingly with the knowledge that the poles will be placed at an angle.

  3. 3

    Stand the wood pieces up and place them out from each other at equal distances, then lean them in until the tops meet at a point in the centre.

  4. 4

    Use the twine to tie the top ends of the poles together so that they won't fall. Bind the twine around the area several times to ensure stability.

  5. 5

    Find someone to help wrap the fabric around the tepee poles. Cut off the excess. There will also be excess at the top because the tepee is wider at the bottom. Cut the material so that it overlaps slightly, and discard the rest.

  6. 6

    Use the scissors to create holes in the fabric along one of the ends that will be vertical to the ground, and tie lengths of twine through each of the holes. Cut the twine long enough so that there is extra after the material is tied to the poles. The extra will be used later.

  7. 7

    Hold the fabric up against one of the poles and use the twine ties to secure the fabric to the tepee. Tie the twine piece closest to the top of the pole above where it connects to the other poles. The fabric won't slip down this way.

  8. 8

    Wrap the fabric around the tepee poles. As you go, create holes in the top of the fabric closest to the tops of the poles. Tie more twine through the holes, and connect them to the tops of the poles so the fabric stays put all the way around.

  9. 9

    Make holes in the other end of the fabric, then tie what's left of the twine from the beginning pole through the holes in the other end of the fabric.

  10. 10

    Find a spot in between two poles and use the scissors to cut a slit straight up. The length of the cut will depend on the height of the tepee. It should go about halfway up.

  11. 11

    Cut a hole on both sides of the slit and tie a piece of twine to both. This will be a way to keep the flaps shut.

  12. 12

    Use the paints to decorate the tepee, and enjoy the finished product.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution when working with scissors around children.

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