DIY a Teepee

What You'll Need
Large piece of canvas or other weather-resistant material (at least 9' x 12')
5 wooden poles
Rope or twine (synthetic works best)

Teepees make awesome forts, hideaways, and storage spaces for just about anything. While they can be water resistant, they aren’t completely waterproof, so it’s important to carefully consider the materials you use to make the teepee and what you put inside of it.

Gather your teepee-making materials and get started. Make a teepee in your backyard using just a few supplies, some of which you may already have lying around the house.

Step 1: Create a Floor

If you want an indoor teepee, or one that's especially comfortable or clean, you will want to have more than a dirt floor. Before you begin constructing the frame and walls, lie an old blanket or a very large section of cloth on the ground. This will be the floor of your teepee. It’s completely okay if it extends wider than your teepee does.

Step 2: Position the Poles

The easiest way to create a stable teepee is to tie the first 3 poles together to create a semi-triangle shape, and then add poles around that base. Two of the triangular poles should be near the front of the teepee, and the other one in the back center. Additional poles should all be added one after the other, installing in the same direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Step 3: Tie the Poles Together

Use rope or twine to tie all of the poles together. The first three base poles should be tied together first, then after all the additional poles are added, the rope or twine should be weaved through the poles where they meet at the top. Lastly, wrap the rope or twine around the top of the teepee several times, then tie a very strong knot several times to hold the rope tightly. Non-synthetic rope will work the best and hold the knots.

Step 4: Cover the Teepee

After you've created the frame for the teepee, wrap the large canvas or other weather-resistant material around the frame. The best shape to cut the material into is a half-moon shape, which wraps around the teepee quite nicely, leaving material for the door. Start wrapping the fabric around the teepee beginning where the front door is, and leave a bit of fabric for the door. Attach the canvas or other material to the teepee frame by cutting a small, 1-2 inch hole in the edge of the fabric and slipping it over a teepee pole. After the fabric is where you want it, you can secure the canvas by wrapping rope around it and the top of the frame, as you did when securing the pole frame.

Step 5: Create a Door

The two front poles should have a space several feet wide between them, in order to create a door or entryway into the teepee. The extra fabric left over on each end of your half-moon fabric piece can be left hanging, tucked just inside the pole on each side, or wrapped and tied tightly around the two poles that make the door frame.

Step 6: Decorate the Inside

Depending on whether your teepee is indoors or outside, you can decorate the inside however you like. If your teepee is inside the house, make your teepee cozy by adding blankets and pillows to the inside. If it’s outdoors, add some patio furniture, camping blankets, or create a play space for the kids with toys.