Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools is here with a tutorial for a fun gift for kids of any age, a Fabric and PVC Teepee. Kristen is a “Jane of all Trades” kind of gal, sewer, crafter, builder of Stuff…my kind of gal!
I am so excited to be here at Sawdust and Paperscraps–thank you Sandra for having me! I’ve been coming to Sandra’s blog for awhile now for building inspiration and now I’m looking forward to being inspired by her Christmas in July series.
My post is a tutorial on building a PVC pipe teepee. I first did this about 13 years ago for my first born and all three of my kids enjoyed it so much over the years that I had to make one for my little nephew for Christmas this past year. Here is our 13 year old teepee:
A perfect reading nook
If you sit still for long enough, you just might be lucky enough to see some wild animals around the teepee.
So here’s how you put it together.
- 4 (3/4″) PVC pipes cut to 67″ and sanded smooth
- 8 end caps for PVC pipes (optional)
- shoe lace (or cord)
- thread to match your material
- 5 1/2 yds. heavier weight fabric at least 54″ wide (no more than this–I had a little left over because I always get a little more “just in case”)
- 1 yd. fabric at least 45″ wide (if you are going for cheaper and are going to piece your loops in order to get the length you need. Otherwise you need 1 and 2/3 yards to get the correct length).
I used denim for the heavier fabric. The fabric for the tubes is 45″ wide decorator fabric, but I used regular cotton for my original teepee and it has held up well.
Make some patterns with the following dimensions (I used tissue paper), or draw the dimensions on the back side of your fabric and cut it out:
1. Hem the top of the Upper Front piece (5″ section). Hem the 35 3/4″ side of the two Lower Front pieces.
2. Right sides together, you are going to stitch the two Lower Front pieces to the Upper Front piece to form the front triangle teepee piece. Use the following picture for placement of the pieces:
They end up like this:
3. Zigzag the edges of the seam you just stitched to finish them.
4. Iron the entire seam up toward the top. Stitch this seam up:
How it looks from the outside (I did a double row of stitching because I thought it looked nice. This is optional):
5. Straighten the bottom hem if needed so it is the same length the entire way across and hem.
6. Hem the tops of all three of the sides.
7. Even up the bottoms of all three sides so they will end up the same length as the finished front panel. Keep in mind that you still need to hem these so don’t cut them the same length as your front panel–if you are turning them up 1/2″ twice to form the hem, then they should be 1″ longer than the front panel) ; hem all three.
8. Piece together your loops so that you have the length you need–if you only bought a yard for the loop fabric. My original had the loops 1 3/4″ shorter than the actual teepee sides. I don’t know if that was a mistake I made back then, or not, but I followed what I had done before and make the loops shorter than the sides this time too.
9. Now you will sew all of the sides of the teepee together, with the loop sides sandwiched in. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE LOOPS INSERTED IN WITH THEIR WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. I put that in all caps because I was watching TV and sewed up one of the loops the wrong way. I had finished the seams before I realized my error. That. was. not. fun. to. fix. If one of the pieces is longer than the others, see this post for easing in that extra fabric.
10. Reinforce this seam by stitching again 1/8″ in from the last row of stitching.
11. Zigzag all the layers together to prevent raveling.
12. Drill holes through the PVC pipe about 3 1/2″ down from top.
13. String the shoe lace through the holes. I used some masking tape wrapped around the end of the shoe lace (down about 2″) to make it stiff enough to lace through.
14. Put the end caps on the tops and bottoms of the PVC. I find that the legs of the teepee stay in place on the carpet better without the PVC end caps, but the caps keep the loops from slipping down off the ends of the pipe. You might want to glue the caps on also, if you are worried about little ones and choking.
My kids have really gotten a lot of use out of this over the years, inside the house and out. But I do have to warn you that one time it was used to hide two of my children while they played their Gameboys that they were not supposed to be playing. So do know that the teepee might promote juvenile delinquency.
Thanks again for having me over here Sandra! And I hope that all of you will drop in and say hi over at Pink Toes and Power Tools.