Summer Sewing: Child’s Tent

on July 17 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 131 Comments

From Beth: Meg created this tutorial for you to enjoy. Don’t you think kids will love it?! Find her introduction here, and you can learn more about Meg and her creations at Boutique NutMeg Designs.

This Child-Size Teepee Tent is perfect for a rainy day or great for the outdoors! This easy, no sew project stays together with the addition of grommets!


Materials Needed:

  • 6- 6ft bamboo garden post (can be purchased at Home and Garden Centers)
  • 3.5-4 yards of 60 inch wide white painter’s canvas
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Craft paint & brushes
  • 3 Strong rubber bands
  • 6 plastic 1 Β½ inch rings
  • Embroidery floss or strong thread
  • Sewing needle with large eye
  • 12 Large Grommets & grommet setting kit (I used 1/4”)
  • Hammer
  • Ribbon approximately 3 yards for lacing (additional ribbon for decorating is optional)
  • Straight pins


Step 1
Hold all 6 bamboo post in your hands wrapping the 3 rubber bands tightly around the posts leaving about 4 inches at the top. Spread the posts making sure they will sit evenly on the ground.


Step 2 (Steps shown in diagram above)

  • Lay fabric out flat folding the piece in half lengthways.
  • Fold on the diagonal in to a triangle.
  • With a marker draw a half circle on the top and cut away extra fabric.
  • At the folded tip of the triangle draw a small half circle and cut away extra fabric.
  • Unfold the fabric. You should have a large half circle which will be the sides of your teepee.


Step 3
Drape the cut fabric over the bamboo posts and pin the fabric in place at the top to make sure it will fit properly. After fitting, remove the fabric, lay it flat and use fabric paints & brushes to decorate the fabric anyway you like! The kids had a lot of fun with this step!


Step 4
After paint has dried, drape the fabric back over the post and pin in to place spreading each bamboo post approximately 18-20” apart leaving the front two a little further apart for an entrance. Then measure 8” from the bottom of the fabric at each post using a straight pin as your marker so you will know where to sew the plastic ring into place. Continue to measure every 18-20” at each post where the other 5 rings will go. Take fabric down from post and using strong thread or embroider floss sew the plastic rings into place. These will help hold the fabric in place when the teepee is standing and keep the posts separated evenly.


Step 5
Grommet time! Measuring 1 inch in from the side edge of the fabric and 1 inch down from the edge of the small half circle which is the top of the teepee, mark every 2 inches with a pen. A grommet will be set on each mark for a total of 6 grommets. Once you have marked where the grommets will go, cut the small circles out and then set your grommets.


Step 6
On the opposite side of fabric, measure 1 inch down from the top half circle and 2 inches in on the side of the fabric. Mark with a pen, every two inches for six grommets.


Once you have six grommets set on each side, lay your fabric painted side down and fold the side flaps over until you have both sides of the grommets matching up. Start on the underside, lacing the ribbon back to front through the grommets in the same style you would lace a shoe. Pull the ribbon to the front of the bottom two holes so you can tighten the fabric in place on the bamboo post!


Step 7
Sliding the bamboo post through the laced top part of the fabric, pull the bamboo post down through each ring on the inside of the fabric one at a time until all 6 post are through the rings. Then holding on to the top of the fabric, set the posts up spreading each post evenly, leaving the front two slightly further apart as this will be the entrance. Tighten the ribbon laces so the fabric stays on the post and finish in a knotted bow. Note: This process is easier with two people! I pinned my fabric in place at the top with a straight pin to help hold the fabric in place until the ribbon was tightened then I removed the pin!


Finished Teepee with the side flaps folded back and flaps down.

Step 8
Optional and Additional Views
I added a handful of ribbons around the rubber bands at the top for decoration.


Interior views, top of teepee and plastic rings around post.

Step 9
Have lots of fun!


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131 Responses to Summer Sewing: Child’s Tent

  1. Well said, I could not agree more with you on this issue. I think your blog is very popular on this topic judging by all the other comments posted to it. I just wanted to leave a comment to appreciate your hard work.

  2. Carol says:

    I’m so glad to have found SewMamaSew Site!! I have printed out the instructions for the Child’s Tent. I will be making this for my grandson’s Charlie and Will. I love the idea of them getting to paint it too! Thank You so much.

  3. yay! says:

    This is awesome!!! i made this at grandmas and she loved the designs =D thanks soo soo much now i have sumwhere to spend time at…at summer time =D

  4. Marcela says:

    I was looking how to make a teepee tent for my kids (1 and 3 years) for christmas, now i have all the neccessary things, i think they will love it.
    Thank form Chile

  5. Raisah says:


    Finally I made my tent! πŸ˜€

  6. Erica says:

    I just started making this. I had the same problem with the 108″x60″ fabric not making a square. I cut off the excess and now my tepee is too short for the poles. It hangs 18″ from the floor. I think Alissa’s idea of getting four yards of fabric would only give you more fabric around but not more in length. I’m going to buy some fun contrasting fabric and sew it along the bottom to make it longer. Extra work but it will be worth it in the end.

    I would be helpful if Meg could comment about the fabric size.

    My 3 year old son is already having fun playing in it with the short fabric just draped over the poles and temporarily clipped together. A great project overall.

  7. Anne says:

    The teepee looks super fun! Same question…the 3yds doesn’t make a square when you fold in half. Do you cut off the extra? About how wide is the base & height in the center? I am wanting a teepee large enough for 2 toddlers to play/hide out in.

  8. Linzi says:

    I have just finished making this for my son. I made a couple of adjustments – didn’t use the rings or the grommets and used material ties instead. Much easier and just as effective. Love, love, love it!! More like this please.

  9. Christy says:

    This is so neat! Love it!

  10. Heather says:

    This is a great idea but I am having some problems…. The size of the cloth is 3 yards(108″) by 60″ so when you fold it in half it does not make a perfect square. So then when you go to fold it diagonally there is a large section that hangs out. I don’t know how to cut the holes, it does not look like your pictures. Am I missing somthing, or thinking too hard???

  11. Hi Meg,
    I love this idea and just got started making it for my son’s second birthday. Quick question, please. When I spread the poles out the 18-20″ that you suggested, the space inside seemed quite small. I am hoping to spread the poles out a bunch further, but am not sure how to adjust the size of the canvas, any suggestions?(When I spread the poles to about 32″, it looked great – enough headroom for the little ones and space for a few of them!)
    Any help would be appreciated; his birthday is later this week!

  12. Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.

  13. Mackeran says:

    I read a few topics. I respect your work and added blog to favorites.

  14. annefrank says:

    Great ideal, thanks for the help. I sprayed mine with camp dry to keep it longer outside helped alot. Now going to make one for our church project for our Harvest Diner with our youth group to have them put their give thanks to on and their hand prints can’t wait!!!!!

  15. Madeline says:

    this is great it looks like fun

  16. Clemento says:

    I liked it. So much useful material. I read with great interest.

  17. Kalebarkab says:

    I want to find good pop music. Help me please.

  18. N. says:

    Has anyone tried to make this with 5 ft long bamboo stakes? Is it too short?

    Also, I have some cotton duck that I want to use, but edges are already fraying – any ideas on how to stop this from happening or at least limit it?

    Thanks for the great tute!

  19. Lisa says:

    Wow! Awesome… love it!

  20. Cecelia Drury says:

    I might or might not make/sew this for my five year old little sister. My mom may hep but, It seems so much fun. Can’t wait to see.


  21. Donna says:

    I have just finished cutting out the fabric for this tent and wanted to reasure people that 3 yards is perfect (well since I am in Australia I decided to do 3 metres and it is slightly too much πŸ™‚ ). After a sleepless night worrying that I had spent a small fortune of canvas I wouldn’t be able to use this was an incredible relief and I thought I would pass on the good news.
    Thank you for the tutorial, my daughters birthday is in two weeks and she is going to love it.

  22. Megan Davey says:

    i Just want to say that who ever came up with this idea is really creative so yeah keep makeing them up!!

  23. Christina says:

    we just did this project.. we made 2.. used a 15×12 piece of canvas drop cloth. We cut off 3 inches and then cut in half.. so each piece was 6×12. our poles are 7 feet high (bought 8 ft ones but cut them down to 7feet). It came out perfect :).. Thank you soo much, my kids love these!!!

  24. alissa says:

    it *should* be FOUR yards of fabric – 120 inches to make two squares with 60 inch wide fabric.

    sadly i didn’t do the math until after i came home from the fabric store with 3 yards cut. Now we have a very short tent and disappointment.

  25. Dayna says:

    This is fantastic! My daughters would love this.

  26. Susan says:

    What a great project and a way to get the kids involved and they get something fun to play with for the summer! I have been wanting to make a teepee – thanks for the tutorial!

  27. beatrice says:

    Fantatic! I will make this for my kids! They will be attending a camping holiday and I could just imagine them having fun with great tents.. Thanks

  28. Deb says:

    Great tent! A awesome idea for a summer day at Grandma’s house!

  29. Noelia says:

    I love it! And kids will have too much fun inside! πŸ˜€

  30. belle says:

    I love it!

  31. Cindy Martinez says:

    I can’t wait to make this for my kids. We’re going use liquid watercolors on soft canvas fabric to paint it!

  32. Brenners says:

    What a cool idea!!!

  33. Andrea says:

    My daughter is going to love this!!

  34. Lil' d says:

    How cool!

  35. SuZ says:

    thank you for such awesome tutorials everyone!

  36. SuZ says:

    great tut !!! just what I need for my grandson! thank you!

  37. Lorrie says:

    This is such a great idea. Everyone loves a tent!


  38. Leslie says:

    what a great idea…my kids would love that

  39. Amy says:

    Yes, yes, my kids too will love this…. now for the time to do it with them!

  40. I really love this idea! I want to make this for my 2 girls! They would love playing with this for months! We live in Arizona, so they could play with it all year round. Great tutorial. πŸ™‚


  41. SallySews says:

    This teepee is wonderful. With two young grandson’s, aged 3 and 18 months, it gives me great ideas to keep them occupied this summer – and probably many summers to come. Also reminds me of being a child and making our own tents.

    I’d also love to be one of the lucky “FREE FABRIC FRIDAY” winners!

  42. shelle says:

    Love this!! Great idea, great tutorial thank you.

  43. HES says:

    This is such a fun project–thanks for the instructions!

  44. renee says:

    This is so cool! I’ve been trying to figure out how to make one that is durable enough to warrant the time. This is great and i can’t wait to get started on it. Just gotta find a grommet tool and grommets and i’m going to get started. Thanks!

  45. Beth says:

    I love this!! I just need to find the time to make one for my son….

  46. Judy says:

    If you make it with clear plastic, it’s a portable greenhouse.

  47. Bobby-Jo says:

    This is so adorable!
    So whimsical and fun!

  48. Regina says:

    This is awesome – and simpler than the contraption of pillows and a flannel quilt that my son is enamored of right now.

  49. Liv says:

    Fantastic! There is sure to be a teepee in our backyard by Labor Day! Thanks so much.

  50. aimee says:

    Love this! What a fun project and what a great birthday gift it would make!

  51. suesue says:

    i love this-need to remember it when my grandbabies are a little older. it’s so much fun to play in a tent!!

  52. mojoandco says:

    What a great idea! So much nicer than the cheap plastic versions available at the shops.

  53. Jen Borley says:

    Fun Tent! I have to try this:)

  54. DizzyMom says:

    I just bought a pattern for a kid’s tent but this looks SO much easier. Thanks!

  55. Jessica says:

    I love this! I have to make one for my little natives!

  56. Brandy says:

    How fun!!! Our boys will love this and I’ve always wanted to make one ^-^ I think this will have to go in near the garden ^-~

  57. heather h says:

    This is one of the most awesome tutorials I’ve run across. Love it!! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to try it out–my little one will go bananas with her very own little tent. Thanks!

  58. Jenny says:

    I just had a friend making one of these. Hers was not this easy. I will definitely use this pattern for one.

  59. Kate says:

    I had a tent like this when I was a kid! I will definitely save this pattern to make one!

  60. anja says:

    love the tent idea, perfect for my boy.

  61. Sara says:

    What a fantastic design! I can’t wait to try this with my kiddos!! Thanks!

  62. katie r says:

    I love the idea, it would be nice in my kindergarten class too. Thanks for the tips!

  63. Mary Sarah says:

    This a great project. Kids would have a blast with this!

  64. Emily Cross says:

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this! My boys will love it! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  65. Mary says:

    Love the tent!!! Mary

  66. Genevieve says:

    I am so going to make one of these (or two) for my kids. Maybe one where they can paint it and then another one out of some home dec fabric. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  67. Annie says:

    This is so cool! Thanks for the tutorial πŸ™‚

  68. Jess says:

    So cute! I really need to find the time to do this for my boys!

  69. Christina says:

    My kidlets are going to love these! What a great idea! I never would have thought this up!

    Thanks so much!

  70. TinaJewel says:

    I loved this indian teepee tutorial! My son would love for me to make him one! We’ll see!

  71. nettie says:

    my daughter would LOVE this! thank you!

  72. kate says:

    I love this idea! Especially letting the kids paint and derate it themselves. What a special hiding place!

  73. Valerie says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a tent for my son for months now. Guess I have no excuses left now that you’ve posted such a great tutorial! πŸ™‚

  74. Tine says:

    Thanks! I’ve been looking for a tent like this! I want to get rid of the ugly plastic one my children have…

  75. Cocoa says:

    This is ingenious! I can picture making this for my nephews as a collective birthday present. Three boys in the same family all with birthdays in the span of ten days.

  76. Alison says:

    I LOVE this teepee!!! I should make one for my nephews and nieces or just have children of my own. πŸ™‚ I think it is great to have fun outdoor activities that stimulate the imagination of children. My mom always said that if we were bored, we weren’t using our brains. We played outside a lot and built a lot of forts. I would have absolutely loved to have a teepee like this as a child!

    Beautiful…I’m bookmarking this one!!!

  77. Kristen D. says:

    Thanks for this great idea! My three year old boy wil LOVE this!!!

  78. I just LOVE this and know that my three boys would too. We are definitely going to be making one of these for them.

  79. domi says:

    Great project to make with kids!

  80. Sarah Brown says:

    Oh I would LOVE to make this…. is it dog proof? πŸ˜‰

  81. amy says:

    This is adorable. My son would love this!!!!!

  82. Molly says:

    My boy would love this! Thanks for such an inspiring post.

  83. Rachel says:

    I love this idea! I have two boys that would love to have this in the back yard! Thanks for such a helpful tutorial!

  84. Marissa Waldrop says:

    I think this tent is a great Idea I want to start on one for my son now. He will love it. Thanks for the idea and the tutorial.

  85. Janeen says:

    Welcome Meg! I love this idea…so simple, but it creates something just amazing. I love making things like this with my kids. I especially like that they can paint it to be unique and just for them. We can have a homeschooling unit on American Indians or heiroglyphics or cave paintings and they can use this to decorate what they’ve learned!

  86. amanda chadwick says:

    Yeah I love the hand prints!

  87. Amy Hodge says:

    I would have LOVED to have had this when I was a kid! Awesome!

  88. Kendall says:

    Such a fun craft that involves the whole family! I’m bookmarking this one for when my toddler is a little older and can participate.

  89. v & co says:

    oh i love this idea my boys will absolutley loove it!

  90. Virginia Lindsay says:

    What a great tutorial! I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks so much for your time and effort in putting this together.

  91. Alicia A. says:

    OH!! My kids might need one of these. Thanks!

  92. Kerri says:

    What a great idea! I would have LOVED this as a kid.

  93. Natalie P says:

    THis is so cool. I might have to make it for my kids.

  94. Kristena says:

    Great project! It sure beats ugly plastic outdoor toys any day. I’ve been thinking of making a tent of sorts for inside. I’ll have to keep this bookmarked. Thanks!

  95. bec says:

    oh boy. not something else to make! this looks like a lot of fun. hopefully not too much work.

  96. molly says:

    This is really cute. Do you think it would work with oil cloth for a slightly water resistant tent too?

  97. Collins says:

    My children will love this!

  98. Joan Henderson says:

    When you fold a 60″ wide and 3 yds. length of fabric in half, it isn’t square. What do you do with the
    extra 6 inches? Do you trim it off? Just wondering.

  99. Nature Mama says:

    I LOVE this!!! My kids have asked for one before but I wasn’t sure how to make it, now I can πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to do it.

  100. Shooky says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial! My son is almost 4 and in that “hiding” phase. This will be great! We already bought the bamboo – just have to pick up the other items. I know he will love it! Also – thank you for all the pictures in the tutorial. I am a very visual learner. πŸ™‚

  101. Lisa says:

    Too cute! Putting it on my to-do list.

  102. Barbara says:

    Ooh I wish I’d had this tutorial before we made our tepee last summer. I made 8 different panels (some painted by the children) out of cotton sheets and then had to sew them all together! Love the rings sewn on the inside to keep the poles apart too, wonder if I can adopt that and add it to ours. A really great tutorial and as you say, so cheap and fun to put together.

  103. OH wow! that looks like so much fun to make. I like the fact that my kids can help make it! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  104. how FUN!!! my kids will love a teepee πŸ™‚

  105. claudia says:

    This is quite a children friendly project. Well done.

  106. Kathryn says:

    My seven year old will love a portable play tent, my daughter too.

  107. Melissa says:

    Love it! I’m grommet crazy, this is a great project but also opens up lots of potential for other fun and related projects! Camping shades and all. Thanks a ton for posting it.

  108. Kati says:

    very cute! i have some tapestries that this would work great for!

  109. Camille says:

    I had one of these growing up, now my son will too! Perfect and thank you.

  110. My sons will love this! The love to paint fabrics, so painting a tent will be tehe best thing I can think of. We will send dad to the store right away πŸ™‚

  111. Feather Webb says:

    Wow..Can’t wait to make this for my kids. I think that both my son and daughter will love this!


  112. Christine says:

    Wonderful tutorial. Thanks!

  113. Mary says:

    My girls will be all OVER this! Thanks for the great tut! ~Mary

  114. Megan says:

    Thanks, Meg! This tutorial is fantastic and I can’t wait to make one for our backyard. My son is going to have so much fun helping with this project.

  115. Sarah says:

    i REFUSE to let my son see this post.

  116. LisaC says:

    I have been looking for instructions on how to make a teepee! Thank you thank you thank you!

    Mine will be pink and sparkly I think.

  117. Michele says:

    I would have loved one of these as a child! I’m thinking that my daughter needs one!

  118. DawnMarch says:

    Wow, what a fabulous project!!! Thanks for the detailed directions!

  119. Georgia says:

    So COOL! My kids will love this!

  120. Beth says:

    What a great tutorial – the twins would love this too! Maybe a mid-summer project for the whole family…Thanks!

  121. Page says:

    This looks like so much fun. I think we will do this with our whole family. Even my 1 year old can get in on the painting part. I can’t wait for a free weekend to do this!

  122. Kelly says:

    I am so excited to try this! This will be great for my kids, but I can also see making these for gifts!

  123. erna says:

    what a coincidence (or maybe not?) I was looking for over a month now for a tippi pattern to make for the holidays! And….tomorrow the holiday will start this couldn’t be better! thanx soooo much!

  124. Meg says:

    My son has so much fun helping me!
    I had under $20.00 in it the banboo stakes were only 1.49ea and the fabric was $3.00 a yd at Walmart grommets are very inexpensive as well! Have fun! Meg

  125. Brooke says:

    Awesome! My son will love this.

  126. Lorajean says:

    e is just 2 1/2 months, but I think I need to go buy 3 yards of fabric today so I can start building his first tent!

  127. Elizabeth says:

    This is great! I love the fact that it’s made with canvas and painted on. Fun for everyone!

  128. katie says:

    Oh, THIS I love. My daughter is in a serious fort phase right now and I was just about to go looking for poles… SMS beat me to it. Thanks! Nice work, Meg. Great tutorial!

  129. rachel says:

    what would you estimate the cost of this project to be?

  130. Jaime says:

    VERY CUTE! My son’s only 5 months old, but this is a great idea for when he’s older. His room is jungle-themed so we could decorate ours safari! Thanks for a great idea!

  131. Carrie says:

    This is so cool! My 4 year old son is going to love this!!!

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