How to Make a Wigwam Project

Written by jen kim
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How to Make a Wigwam Project
Wigwam structures are typically covered by mats and birch bark. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Some Native Americans lived in wigwams, which are dome-shaped or tented dwellings made from covering a pole structure with birch bark, woven mats and animal hides. Wigwams protected them from harsh weather conditions and also provided a safe and warm shelter at night. The typical wigwam, which stood at 8 to 10 feet tall, was relatively quick and simple to build. You can design your own mini wigwam model, using materials from nature.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large round bowl
  • Dirt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Twigs
  • Leaves or grass
  • Brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Cling film

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  1. 1

    Wrap the outside of the bowl in cling film. Tuck the ends inside. Flip the bowl over so that the open part is face down.

  2. 2

    In a separate container, mix two parts dirt to one part flour. Slowly add water to make a thick mud-like consistency. You can experiment with using different parts, but always add the water last.

  3. 3

    Take a clump of the mud and spread it on the bowl. Cover the entire outside of the bowl in a layer of mud, about 1/2 inch thick.

  4. 4

    Stick on twigs, leaves and grass blades to decorate the mud hut. Cut out shapes from the brown paper bag for animal hides. Brush water onto the back of the paper shapes before applying them to the dome.

  5. 5

    Keep your wigwam in a sunny spot and let dry for 3 to 4 days. Carefully peel off the wigwam from the cling film and set on a flat surface.

Tips and warnings

  • You can leave an opening for the chimney at the top of the dome.
  • Cut out a black construction paper rectangle and stick onto the front of the dome for an optional door or entrance.
  • This craft can get very messy, so wear old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.

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