How to Make a Tepee With Bed Sheets

Written by siva stephens
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How to Make a Tepee With Bed Sheets
Make a bedsheet tepee with your child. (tepee image by Anthony Child from

Children love the privacy and excitement of secret "places" including tree forts, club houses and even caves made out of stacked sofa pillows. With just a few common items that you probably already own, you can make a play tepee with your child that can provide many afternoons of imaginative fun and can easily be cleaned up when he's through.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 5 6-foot straight poles, ½ to 1 inch thick (dowels, bamboo or PVC pipe, for example)
  • String
  • 1 twin bed sheet
  • Safety pins
  • 5 rubber bands

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  1. 1

    Tie the poles together with the string 8 inches from one end. Stand them upright and spread the untied ends of the poles apart evenly until there are approximately 2 feet between them and they form a stable cone shape.

  2. 2

    Drape the sheet lengthwise around the tepee frame, overlapping it, if necessary, so that the tied ends of the poles protrude. Pull the ends of the sheet gently until the sheet is stretched taut. Pin the edges of the sheet together where they overlap, from the top of the tepee to halfway down the side.

  3. 3

    Fold back the bottom corners of the sheet to form a triangular opening in the tepee covering. Pin the corners to the outside of the tepee to make the doorway.

  4. 4

    Fasten the sheet to the bottoms of the poles with rubber bands.

Tips and warnings

  • When you're stretching the sheet over the framework, arrange it so that the opening will fall between two adjacent supporting poles. This makes it much easier to use the doorway.
  • If you want to make the tepee a more permanent structure, cut the sheet into a semicircular shape, overlap the straight edges and sew or pin them together. Make the doorway by folding the bottom corners back or cut a circle in the side of the tepee and cover it with a door flap.
  • If you don't want to use the sheet as a sheet again, let your child make it more authentic by covering it with paintings or marker drawings of Native American symbols.
  • Bed sheets are flammable. Do not allow candles, campfires or any other source of flame inside a bedsheet tepee.

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