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How To Make A Teepee Tent For Your Kids

Teepee tents are amazing for their simplicity and comfort. They’ve been in use and popular for a very long time. That is one of the reasons the teepee’s shape is almost a stereotypical representation of the tent shape. Practical uses aside, teepees have their playful uses as well. A small teepee tent can be an amazing addition to your child’s room. It doesn’t have to be large like those used for camping, but a small and private space for the child to play or spend time reading a book. 

Setting Up A Teepee Tent For Your Kid’s Room

The easiest way to add a teepee tent to your home is to buy a cool teepee tent. While the larger tents for camping are most popular, there is a stunning variety of teepees available for children. Teepee tents for kids are available in a wonderful variety of patterns, fabrics, and comfort options. 

A playful design with a few accessories can make a wonderful play area. Setting up a tent is generally easy enough, so you’ll likely be done in a few minutes. Do take care when buying a tent to ensure that the fabrics and other materials used are kid-friendly and have not been treated with any toxic substances. That is, of course, something you do with every purchase, but it is worth pointing out anyway.

Customizations can be difficult for store-bought tents. If you’d like to have a tent that suits your perhaps style, and save some money while at it, taking the DIY route is a rewarding option.

Making A Teepee Tent For Kids — The DIY Route

Taking the DIY route lets you put in some customized touches to your tent. You could also make it to your child’s preferred specifications and add little touches of your own. Maybe get the kids involved too, so they can proudly proclaim that they made their own tent

All of this is awesome, but I’ll suggest you only take this route if you have previous experience with craftsmanship. Teepees are simple to construct, but a practiced hand is a better choice.

Putting Together The Materials

Here’s what you need to put together a teepee tent.

  • 5 wood dowels (6-feet tall)
  • A drill
  • 1 yard of rope (¼ inch)
  • 4 to 4.5 yards of 60-inch fabric. You can use any sturdy fabric you like, though cotton canvas is an excellent choice
  • 4 yards of bias tape
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine, fabric scissors, fabric chalk, matching thread
  • Decorations and trims of your choice

Getting Started – Drill Holes In Wooden Dowels

The ideal way is to start by constructing the frame. For that, we drill holes into the wooden dowels at least 6-inches below the top. A better point would be at 10-inches or 12-inches. Use a drill bit that is at least the width of the rope. Since we are using a quarter-inch rope, be sure that it can pass through the hole made by the drill.

Passing The Rope And Tying The Dowels

Lay the dowels flat and pass the rope through them. As the rope comes out of the last dowell, tie it into a secure and sturdy knot to ensure that the rope will not pass through the dowells again. Now it’s time to tie the dowels together. 

You could simply put the dowels in shape and wrap the remaining rope around them. An approach I prefer is to loop the rope around each dowel, and then tie them all together. The result is a sturdier frame.

Setting Up The Frame And Preparing For The Fabric

Once the dowels are tied up, it’s time to arrange them to create the frame. Ideally, the entrance should be wide enough to allow your kids to enter and leave easily. For a teepee, the entrance will be wide while the back can be narrow. So we’ll arrange the frame in a way that makes it possible for a wide entrance.

Now is also the time to take measurements so the fabric can be right on size. The main measurements here are the height, bottom width, and top width.

Draping The Fabric On The Frame

If you’re making a very simple tent, at this point you can simply drape the fabric on the frame. Secure it with some pins, and you have the tent ready. Remember not to cover the entry and you can either leave it open or add a flap or awning. Voila! The teepee is ready.

For a more clean and elegant approach, decide on a pattern and cut the fabric according to the measurements taken. Add an inch on each side for seam allowance. For the width, be more generous with the seam allowance, and keep it twice the width of the dowel, and then add a little more for each side. Generally speaking, the number of panels will be the same as the number of dowels.

It All Comes Together

Sew the panels together so the frame can be covered. Add half-inch hems for the top and bottom of the panels. As you sew hems and put the panels together, also leave slits between panels where the dowels will go through. 

The length of the slits should be large enough to allow the dowels to go through easily. This will ensure that you can easily assemble and pack away the tent as necessary. Once the panels are ready, put the tent together with the frame, and you’ll have a sturdy, well-made tent.

Finishing Touches And Decorating The Door And Panel

A very simple way to go about this is to cut open a slit on the front panel. You can keep it at whatever length you prefer, and have a large and open door ready for you. Secure the door area and slit with bias tape so the fabric, as well as the door, can be well-protected. Plus, it adds a good look and the teepee tent for your kids is now ready.

While these are the basics, you can also customize the tent with other features as you build it. Once it is done, add comfort elements like blankets, toys, pillows, and other things to increase the comfort and coziness of the teepee tent.

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