If you’re looking to buy a lovingly handmade play teepee tent for your kids, then you’re in the right place here at Teepee Joy, but as a crafter myself, I also understand the desire to jump in and make your own.
After doing some research, I’ve gathered my favorite DIY teepee tutorials from all around the web. They have varying levels of difficulty and material costs, so you can choose the one you’re most comfortable with. Get your crafting kit ready, and clear a space. It’s time to make a teepee at home!
JULIE BLANNER’S TUTORIAL
Teepee Description: A canvas and wood dowel no-sew teepee with four sides. Julie reports that this project cost her about $60, and took approximately 45 minutes to assemble. There are no windows on this design, but there is a wide front door flap.
Why I Like This Tutorial: This is a nice sturdy design which can be put together by one person. Julie recommends using heavy canvas as your outer material, which is very similar to fabrics used on authentic tipis.
Teepee Description: An interesting hexagonal design made from six wood dowels and fabric of your choosing (although Lauren, the blogger, recommends you avoid linen.) This design has a large door in front, and seems big enough to accommodate two toddlers.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Being a seamstress myself, I always appreciate the strength and sturdiness of well sewn fabrics, but I also understand that not everyone has access to a sewing machine. This tutorial has both a sew and no-sew version, which I think is really helpful.
Teepee Description: A hexagonal wood dowel and canvas teepee that will definitely require a good bit of elbow grease and familiarity with the hardware store, but the results are sturdy, durable, and quite spacious.
Why I Like This Tutorial: This is another no-sew design which definitely makes it more accessible, but be aware that this design calls for the use of hammers, miter saws, drills, PVC pipe, and a few other things that may be harder to get your hands on. If you can find or borrow everything you need, you’ll have a lovely teepee at the end.
Teepee Description: A 5-panel wood dowel and canvas teepee which requires a sewing machine, and a few tools to assemble.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love it when a blogger is transparent about their trial and error, and in this tutorial, the blogger admits that this is not her first attempt. Practice makes perfect, and this iteration seems to have held up much better in the long run. It’s a kid tested and approved finished product.
Teepee Description: A clever take on a traditional bed canopy, re-imagined as a floor to ceiling play tent. You will definitely need a sewing machine for this project (in fact, the blogger used a serger for much of this,) a hula hoop, fabric, and some way to safely attach this to the ceiling.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I like that this is a totally different take on the play tent design. It’s very light, and very portable, which means it can easily be set up or taken down without too much fuss. The blogger also made the walls detachable so that they could easily be washed – genius!
Teepee Description: A 6-sided teepee made from wood dowels and canvas, with a large door in the front. This teepee features a higher height and wider base than many of the “toddler” teepees out there, making it more appropriate for older children.
Why I Like This Tutorial: If you’re the kind of person who prefers to look at a pattern rather than pictures, this is the tutorial for you. A large-scale project like a teepee can really benefit from schematics, and that’s exactly what this tutorial offers.
Teepee Description: A viking style play tent constructed from a durable wood frame and a canvas exterior. If you’re not afraid of carpentry and woodworking, the end result is well worth your effort.
Why I Like This Tutorial: The originality of this play tent design is fantastic! The sturdy wood frame also means that this tent will hold up quite well to enthusiastic play. The step-by-step instructions are very helpful, especially for those of us who don’t consider ourselves natural-born carpenters.
Teepee Description: A hexagonal teepee tent made from PVC piping and heavy canvas. The tent stands approximately 5 feet tall, and was designed to accommodate a toddler.
Why I Like This Tutorial: This project was tackled by a beginner (as far as sewing is concerned), and I think it turned out great! She also had some great ideas like using a canvas dropcloth as the outside, which is significantly cheaper than purchasing new fabric by the yard.
Teepee Description: Wood dowel and cotton cloth teepee sized for younger children, which requires some sewing, and perhaps the tiniest bit of woodworking.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love that this blogger made the outside of her teepee from a queen sized bed sheet. When I think of all the fun printed sheets I can find at a discount store, the possibilities are endless.
Teepee Description: A 4-sided wood dowel and fabric teepee with a large opening in front. A sewing machine is required for this tutorial. The finished products will be about 3′ x 3′ on the ground, and approximately 5 feet tall.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Obviously, I am a fan of the 4-sided teepee, as that is what I make and sell here at Teepee Joy. I feel that this design is much easier for a single person to set up or take down.
Teepee Description: A no-sew teepee made of six wooden slats and fabric. This pattern was designed to accommodate three children, so it is nice and roomy. It measures approximately 6 feet in diameter, and 7 1/2 feet tall.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I always appreciate seeing teepee designs that are built larger to accommodate more than one child. Also, this blogger suggests that this project is a good “stash buster” for everyone like me who has an overflowing fabric and bin (or closet, or room…)
Teepee Description: A very beginner friendly teepee design tutorial consisting of four wooden slats, and a canvas dropcloth that you could get at any hardware store. No sewing, no tools.
Why I Like This Tutorial: They call it a 10 minute teepee, and they are right. This may not be the sturdiest or prettiest teepee around, but it certainly gets the job done on a budget, and in relatively little time.
Teepee Description: A very simple and approachable DIY project requiring 4 to 6 wood dowels, lace tablecloth, and some silk flowers.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Again, while this design may not be the sturdiest, it certainly is cute. And talk about easy to set up. There are some modifications you could do to make it more sturdy and kid friendly, but if you are looking for an ultra dreamy, feminine design, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than this.
Teepee Description: A super easy and super affordable 3-sided teepee made from half-inch PVC pipe, and a twin bed sheet. According to the blogger, the entire project cost her seven dollars.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love the budget friendly aspect, and the creativity of upcycling bed sheets or other household fabrics, rather than paying for new materials at the store.
Teepee Description: This charmingly rustic pattern calls for six saplings and a canvas dropcloth. You also need to be familiar with an eyelet kit. No sewing required for this one!
Why I Like This Tutorial: Not everything needs a glossy finish, and this earthy design is actually quite a bit closer to what an authentic tipi would look like. If you are going for woodland or outdoorsy decor, this will be a fantastic addition.
Teepee Description: A creative use for cotton yarn, this teepee design gets its striped frame from yarn wrapping. You will need a selection of cotton yarns, wood dowels, wood screws, and fabric to create the tent exterior.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Projects that let you dive into a cool aspect of creativity are always welcome. I love the idea of wrapping cotton yarn around the wood dowels to create a painted effect.
Teepee Description: A much smaller scale wood dowel and fabric teepee intended for our furry friends. And it’s a no-sew pattern.
Why I Like This Tutorial: If we humans love tents so much, why shouldn’t our pets enjoy the same quiet hideaway? Also, this may be a good beginner project if you plan on making a larger version for your kids later on.
Teepee Description: A pretty lace 5-panel teepee, left open in front to create a wide door. Large enough to accommodate one or two young children, requires a sewing machine, and a bit of drilling.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love the look of an all lace teepee, although certainly any fabric could be substituted and be just as fun. I also like that this design creates a sturdy bottom edge, helping to give the whole tent a very nice shape.
Teepee Description: An adorable no-sew teepee for dogs. This is made from 4 wood dowels, a single piece of fabric, twine, and some creative glue gunning.
Why I Like This Tutorial: This is a sweet and easy way to provide a calm and shady spot for man’s best friend. I also like that it is so light and portable, so you can bring it with you wherever you go.
Teepee Description: A cute 5-sided teepee made from wood dowels and fabric. There is sewing required, but if you can stitch in a straight line, you can easily follow this pattern. Large door flaps can be held open in front or closed for quiet reading or naptime.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Thorough, thorough, thorough! This blogger really takes the time to carefully explain and illustrate each and every step to you so you can follow along more easily. Especially helpful for beginners!
Teepee Description: A great tutorial on how to make a wood dowel and fabric teepee of any size. Great for pets, kids, or even adults. Sewing is required.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love that this tutorial gives you instructions for how to scale up or down the size of this teepee so you can make the most appropriate version for you.
Teepee Description: A 4-sided teepee (my favorite!) Made from fabric and wood dowels, with a door that can be opened or closed in the front. Sewing is required for this pattern.
Why I Like This Tutorial: Having made hundreds of play teepee tents myself, I have become a big fan of the 4-sided design. I feel it is the most stable and the easiest for one person to set up.
Teepee Description: This “summer reading tent” is built using a frame of PVC pipe, and covered in lightweight material that will work inside or outside. Sewing is required, as is a knowledge of how to work with PVC piping and related tools.
Why I Like This Tutorial: I love that the bottom of the teepee tent is framed out in PVC piping, adding extra stability to the whole set up. This is also sized appropriately for older kids, so they are less likely to outgrow it as fast.
Teepee Description: A very cute 4-sided teepee tent made from wood dowels or PVC pipes, and fabric. The poles are inserted through fabric tubes, making this a unique design. Sewing is required.
Why I Like This Tutorial: With my own teepees, I also create tubes out of fabric for the wood dowels, as I feel this gives the tent more stability, and allows for better positioning of the outer walls.