Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Handmade Tepee

For my son's 7th birthday, his big awesome present was a tepee.  My husband did not want to just buy a tepee and give it him.  His plan was to build a tepee.  It was really a chance for the two boys in our family to do something together and create something AWESOME!!!

It was really a village effort.  Together my visionary husband, crafty mom, and creative son built and crafted my little boy's dream.  It was a process especially because it was completely new to everyone.  They fell the young pine trees from our property for the lodge poles.  Once cut down the trees were skinned and then left to dry for a month.

While the poles were drying, my husband and my mom worked to design the canvas cover.  It was a bit of challenge to figure out the surface area of a cone shape.  Who knew calculus would pay off?  
Surface Area of the tepee cover= πrl  where r= the radius of the circle at the base and the l= the length of the slant (or the lodge poles).  We also included enough overlap for the front.  Alright, enough math!

The front was secured using dowels that run through large button holes in the canvas. My mom sewed the button holes, lots and lots of button holes which was probably one of the most challenging parts of the project.  
The most challenging was dealing with the large amount of canvas required and to make accurate cuts on such a large scale. The tepee is about 20 ft tall.

This summer we are going to paint some Native American art and symbols on the canvas and work on the door flap and flatten out the slightly slanting grade.  I will make sure to post the updates.

One happy boy!

I am so proud of every one's hard work.  The kids have a super fun and unique place to hang out.  They are just getting started at making the tepee like a club house.  Many summer days last year were spent hanging out and playing games in the tepee.  This summer we might be doing some awesome backyard camping.  When I say "we", I mean the kids and my husband.  Haha!

City Girl
Make It and Love It


  1. I love this! Thanks for sharing. We went the easy way and just bought dowels. Now onto construction :)

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    2. Good luck with construction. Let me know how it goes and please share.

  2. Wow, this is amazing! I'm sure your family will have lots of fun with it! :)

  3. Wow! This is incredible! Love it! I want one!

    We would love for you to come and link up with us at Your Designs This Time, Mondays 8:00am EST. htttp://

  4. That is awesome! I need one of those in my backyard! Beautiful