Isabella Brown

How To Make A Teepee

The beauty of an Indian house, teepee, is in its simplicity. Children will really be happy to have a small house like this, especially when it is so easy to build with your own hands. When it is rainy, you can bring teepee in. When it is warm and sunny, you can get it outside.

Overall, we can divide the process of building a teepee into 2 stages. On the first stage, we’ll do the frame of the house. On the second stage, we’ll cover it up with a piece of cloth. So, for the first stage we’ll need:

  • 5 wooden dowels. The dowels should be 18 mm. in diameter and 1,8 cm in length. You can buy them in a hardware store.
  • An power drill with a 5 mm. auger.
  • A strong rope. The rope should be 1 m. in length.
  • A centimeter.
  • An adhesive tape (a scotch tape or an insulating tape).
  • Sandpaper.

For the second stage we’ll need:

  • A double bedsheet (or a piece of cloth of the same size).
  • A sewing machine and a set of sewing tools.
  • 3 m. of a decoration ribbon.
  • A centimeter.
  • A pencil or a felt-tip pen.

So, take all you need for the first stage and find a free space where you can work with the drill. Mark off approximately 26 cm from the top of a dowel and put there a mark. Do the same with all the rest dowels. After that, drill a hole in each dowel and put the rope through them. It will be easier if you wrap the end of a dowel with the adhesive tape. Leave a long piece of the rope on each side. Tie the ends of the rope in a knot. Once again, wrap the rope around the dowels and tie a knot.

So, the frame of the building is ready. Now we can get to the second stage.

Pay attention to the fact that on the scheme everything is measured and given in inches. If you decide to change something, you’ll need to make adjustments.

Transfer all the schemes on the piece of cloth and make stitch-allowances on the outward side of the cloth. The stitch-allowances should be 1-1,5 cm. In order to make the stitch-allowances you need to have a centimeter / a linear and a pencil or a felt-tip pen. Start making allowances closer to the edge of the cloth, this way the piece of cloth will be enough. Cut out the first piece and use it as sample for all the rest. In the piece that will be the door of the house, you need to cut out an entrance slot.

Decorate the doorway with the ribbon and make ties for it. (Overall there should be 4 ties, 2 ties on the both sides of the doorway. They should be on distance of approximately 12 inches from each other.) You may put buttons above the doorway.

Sew all 5 pieces you’ve cut out of the cloth together. Sew them together from the outward side. The stitches should be seen from the outwards. It’s not a mistake, you haven’t misread anything.

Now use the rest of the cloth to make poles in which the dowels will be inserted. The stitches should approximately be 1 inch wide. Still, you’d better measure and check everything. Take 1 dowel and try it out. The cloth should cling to the dowel tightly.

Don’t forget to trim the stitches before you sew the stitches. Once you do it, you’ll need someone help you to get the poles into the holes. Don’t mix up the sides. The holes should be upwards, not downwards!

It’s almost ready! The last thing to do is sew ropes with ties on the place of the fasteners. You also may make small loops along the bottom of the teepee. You can then put in them tent-pegs and your house won’t be blown away by the wind when it is outside.

Those who are keen on handworking can additionally make ribbons and flags! Have a great rest!


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