For Cold Winter Days: Sew a DIY Teepee Play Tent

Mar 07, 2018

Kids love enclosed play spaces like tents, forts, boxes -- anything that’s cozy, compact, and good for private play time. If you want to raise the bar on playtime, sew a DIY Teepee Play Tent! To help you craft your own teepee, Timbercreek brings you this how-to guide.


Before You Begin

Before you buy your materials, it's good to know what you're getting yourself into. For a toddler-sized teepee, the dimensions will be roughly 36″ x 36″ and 5′ tall. For a larger size, you just have to buy longer dowels and account for the added fabric. The project requires a bit of sewing, but it’s easy to do both by hand, or with a regular sewing machine.


You don’t need a lot for this badboy. Just four lightweight wooden dowels (easy to find at Home Depot),  a painter’s cotton canvas drop cloth, 1 1/2 yards of printed cotton fabric (for the entrance), and either a needle and thread, sewing machine, or staple gun.

Frame Set Up

Get your dowels (get 6 foot lengths of ¾” width dowel from Home Depot), and tie them together about 9” to a foot from what would be the top. Spread out the bases evenly to get the proper width for the interior.

Fabric Walls

From here, there are two ways to go:

Method #1

Drape the drop cloth around the dowel frame. With a pencil, mark lines along the outer edge of the dowels. You can use just the one side of the frame as a mold for the other 3 sides.  After marking, cut the four triangles from the drop cloth.


For the door piece, take one of the precut sides. From the bottom to about 1 foot from the top, cut a line right down the middle. This will be the entrance. Cut a section from the printed cotton fabric that’s the same length as the door slit, and cut in the same length door line to match. Sew this piece onto the panel, and along the entrance slit as decoration.


Sew together the 4 sides leaving space at the top for the dowels to pop through. It doesn’t have to be super pretty. Remember, that A) it’s for an infant, and B) the sewing will be hidden on the inside of the structure. Still, use light thread color for max finish value.

Method #2

Instead of cutting or sewing at all, go old school. Wrap/drape the entire length of drop cloth around the dowel skeleton. With the right amount of material, as long as you place the folds over the door area, the entrance almost makes itself. If too tight, you can do the same as #1, cutting a hole or slit in the doorway to create the entrance. Use a staple gun to attach the canvas together (in a circle around the top, with a few well placed staples along the bottom, or in a line up the doorway-front side of the teepee).  And voila. Teepee. Read more.

Timbercreek hopes this helps you build the perfect DIY teepee for your little munchkin. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

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