How to sew a fabric teepee

Tepees are a fun hideaway for children. Youngsters play in them outside, or use them inside the home for a quiet place to hide. Tepees are also a great school project to make. These fabric tepees can be made with just a few supplies; paint designs on them or use a fabric with an Indian motif. Get the kids to help you put it together; it should take less than a day to build a tepee they can use.

Bundle your bamboo sticks or PVC pipes and tie them together several inches from the top. You can use several strong rubber bands or strong thread.

Stand the poles up with the tied portion at the top. Spread the bottoms of the poles out to make a large circle. The poles should all rest firmly on the ground. The further you spread the poles, the wider but shorter the tepee will be.

Lay your fabric on the ground and fold it in half so it forms a square. Fold the square diagonally so it now forms a triangle. Cut a half circle out of the fabric, starting at the point opposite the triangle's fold; end the cut at the fold. This is the bottom of the tepee. At the remaining corner, cut another half circle. This will go around the tied sticks.

Unfold the fabric and lay it over the stick tepee. Mark where the fabric meets the sticks near the floor. Mark the edges of the fabric at the top of the tepee where they meet and overlap.

Hand-sew large rings to the places you marked at the bottom of the tepee. The poles will slide through these rings so the fabric doesn't pull away from them. Sew Velcro along the upper edges of the tepee to keep it together. Do not sew Velcro the entire length down the fabric edges; you want to be able to have a door in your tepee.

Lay the fabric on the floor and allow the children to decorate it if you wish. Paint pens, finger paint, ribbons and bells all work great as decorations.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 bamboo sticks or PVC pipes, 6 feet tall
  • Rubber bands or string
  • 3 yards of 60-inch fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Rings
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Velcro
  • Paint pens (optional)
  • Finger paint (optional)
  • Ribbons (optional)
  • Bells (optional)
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About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.