Teepee time – sew your own tent

All sewn up - the teepee

This has been the most popular thing that I have made for my daughters. They love it and it really seems to be great for collaborative play. Honey even managed to put it up herself this afternoon.

So here’s the rundown on how I made it. I used this tutorial from My Poppet but didn’t follow it to the letter.


6 x 18mm dowel (210cm long)

4 metres home decorating weight cotton (lilac polka dots)

2 metres navy heavy cotton twill (from my stash)

(My Poppet suggests using a sheet, I wanted something more durable and stronger)


Cotton tape

3 reels of thread

Firstly I measured up to decide how big I wanted the finished teepee to be. I was aiming for 180cm high x 180 cm wide. I then used some maths (and bit of help from this) to calculate what size I needed to cut the panels.


Measurements for each panel

I drew the shape directly onto the reverse of the fabric with a fabric pencil. I have a long ruler that I use for curtain and blind making which came in handy for joining all the lines. I added a 4cm seam allowance on either side, 2 cm at the top and 4cm at the bottom. As suggested I then used my initial panels as templates to cut the rest which made things go pretty quickly.

As my fabric was only 137cm wide, I cut 3 whole panels and 6 halves (which I then joined).

I used french seams to join the panels to keep the inside nice and neat and one of the joined panels became the door opening.

I should have added the ribbons to tie the door before joining everything together – it would have been so much easier but  hindsight is a wonderful thing! I used the cotton tape to make 12 loops for tent pegs to secure it when being used outside. In practice, six would have been plenty (and we only have 6 tent pegs – doh)!

All in all everything went together quite easily and it was a fairly quick make with lots of straight stitching. It did use A LOT of thread. I went through about 3 reels (all in slightly varying shades of neutral!).

And there you have it! A children’s teepee that will hopefully last them many years to come. Why not have a go yourself?

Ribbons blowing in the wind

Ribbons blowing in the wind