Easiest Play TeePee Tutorial

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Make your own Play TeePee with free easy step by step tutorial from Ana-White.com This teepee is so easy to make you can do it in a few hours!

My little one has been asking for a play teepee for a couple of years now.  How about you?  Do your kids love the little play teepees?

Well, with Grace now in Kindergarten, learning all about the Pilgrims and Indians and Thanksgiving, she's been begging for a teepee.

Now I'll tell you straight up - straight stitching is about all I'm good for on a sewing machine. Fabric doesn't listen as well as wood, does it?  Stay there, and don't move and don't stretch out!  

So when I went to design a plan for a teepee, here's what I decided.  It's going to require straight cuts and straight stitches, and as few of those as possible.  Something even I can do.  No hemming, no odd shapes to cut out, and each cut has to do double duty.  

Here's the plan - take the fabric, and cut it into three triangles for the three sides.  The remaining two half triangle will make up the front entry panel.

And then we just sew the triangles together, with ribbons looping out on the finished side for threading the poles through.  Because we use the factory edges of the fabric, no hemming is required!

Well, as simple as this plan is, and Christmas approaching so fast, I knew I could get it made by Christmas morning.  But where would that leave you if you wanted to make a teepee too?  I really wanted to get the instructions out to you as soon as possible - just in case you wanted to make it too!

So I sent the plans to my dear friend Jaime at That's My Letter to make this teepee.  

Jaime spent about $40 and three hours total on this teepee (compared to $250!!!!) and even added the name on the front!  

Is it not darling?  I think I'm going to make a few more for my nieces!  I can just imagine a thick sheepskin rug, some pillows, and a lantern light hanging in the center on Christmas morning!

And don't think you need to just stick to pink and natural canvas.  The thick canvas fabric will accept paint well, and you could embellish with all sorts of fun things! Here's a few fun ideas from Pinterest:

Source: theseventytree.blogspot.com via Anna on Pinterest

Source: babyccinokids.com via Rachel on Pinterest

Source: landofnod.com via Gabby on Pinterest

So are you going to make this play teepee?

We've got you covered with the step by step below, but please go visit Jaime at That's My Letter for more details on how she made this one, how she did the name, and of course, lots more photos! Thank you Jaime!



Shopping List

4 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
4 yards of webbing
4 yards 60” wide cotton canvas or duck fabric
Sewing Notions

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Cut fabric out as shown here. I gave a full 1” on the ends just in case you want to fold over twice for a finished seam. If your fabric is wider than 60” no biggie, cut same as shown above.

Step 2

Make the front first. If you want to add a zipper or anything else, do it now.

You can decorate the side panels (add windows!) at this stage too!

Step 3

Sew front to one side, pinning ribbons in the seam every 11-12"” or so. You will need ribbons at bottom and top.

TIP: Jaime suggested looping the webbing instead of the ties to save on ribbon and also for a stronger hold to the poles.

Step 4

Then add the remaining two sides and attach to the front panel, same thing with the ribbons.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Ron Mitchell (not verified)

Mon, 12/17/2012 - 05:23

Your measurements don't add up. Not a serious problem if you ignore the overall length measurement.

Heather Funk (not verified)

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 21:01

I made a Teep Pee for my girls following your directions and they love it. I'll post photo's on my blog with a link to your site when I get a chance so others can make play tee pee's for their kids.


Thu, 04/21/2016 - 10:39

Thanks for the tutorial! Is Duck Canvas absolutely necessary for this (to keep it sturdy) or could another fabric be substituted? I have curtain panels from a hanging tent which I am looking to use for this teepee instead. But the fabric isn't nearly as sturdy as canvas, wondering if it could still work? Also is it ok to cut down the size quite a bit and still get a decent sized tent? I need something smaller that can fit in my daughter's smaller sized room. I'm have 4ft boards and was thinking of spacing them 38-40" apart at the bottom. Hoping this will work for a 4 year old to sit in by herself, with maybe a few stuffed animals/toys.