The Tiny house Blog

Step-by-step Guide to DIY TeePee Construction

Updated on:
November 22, 2023
tiny house teepee construction

Photo by Martin Robles on Unsplash

So, you're looking to create the ultimate cozy corner in your home? Well, get your tools ready because we've got a fun DIY project for your DIY teepee construction. Whether you're new to tiny house DIY projects or an experienced enthusiast, constructing your TeePee can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide for your DIY project! Here’s what you'll need:

Materials and Tools

Before you begin the tiny house construction phase, it's important to make sure you have all the materials and tools you need. Checkout our list of the items that we think you need:


1. Wooden dowels or bamboo poles (ranging from 8 to 12 feet in length, depending on your desired teepee size).

2. Sturdy canvas or heavy-duty fabric (approximately 8 to 10 yards, depending on the teepee's dimensions).

3. Rope or twine.

4. Optionally, grommets.

5. Fabric paint or dye (for decorative purposes, if desired).

6. Sewing machine or heavy-duty needle and robust thread.

7. Scissors.

8. Measuring tape.

9. Pencil or chalk for marking.


1. Saw (if your poles require trimming).

2. Hammer.

3. Drill (if you opt to use grommets).

4. Level.

5. Work gloves (for safety).

Step 1: Design and Planning

The initial step in DIY teepee construction venture is thoughtful planning. In our experience, we need to determine the teepee's size, design, and intended location. Consider whether it will be a permanent or temporary installation. The teepee's height and diameter hinge on the length and quantity of wooden dowels or bamboo poles you select.

According to TeePeeJoy, “Construction will begin by creating a tripod out of the three largest poles, and lashing them together at the top. The three poles would form a triangle base on the ground. A dozen or more other poles would then be laid against the foundation tripod, creating a circle with a wide base (usually about 7 to 10 feet wide for a family dwelling).” This gave us an idea on how to skillfully build a teepee house. We hope that this could help you too.

When creating a teepee for children's play, it's a good starting point to aim for a diameter between 4-6 feet and a height ranging from 6-8 feet. If you're planning to build a larger teepee suitable for adults or as a decorative element, you might consider a diameter of 8-10 feet and a height of 10-12 feet. We suggest that you sketch your design and make a comprehensive list of the necessary materials to ensure a smooth construction process.

Step 2: Preparing the Poles

After determining your teepee's size and design, the next task is to prepare the wooden dowels or bamboo poles. If they exceed your intended height, use a saw to trim them to the desired length. We suggest that you sand the ends to avoid splinters and achieve a smooth finish.

You'll need at least three wooden dowels or bamboo poles to form the teepee's framework. These will serve as the primary support for your tiny house teepee. To ensure stability, select poles with similar dimensions in terms of length and thickness. If you intend to construct a larger teepee, you can use additional poles to enhance its structural integrity.

Step 3: Assembling the Teepee Frame

In our experience, creating the frame represents one of the most pivotal stages in teepee construction. Follow these steps to assemble the frame:

1. Lay out your poles on the ground, with their tops meeting at a central point. Configure them in a tepee-like formation, ensuring that the tops are equidistant from the center.

2. Secure the tops of the poles together using a length of rope or twine. Loop the rope tightly around the tops to ensure the structure's stability.

3. Gradually expand the base of the poles to form the desired diameter of your teepee. Ensure that the poles are evenly spaced.

4. To bolster the frame's stability, wind additional rope or twine around the poles at approximately halfway between the top and the base, forming a belt-like structure.

5. Employ a level to confirm that the frame stands upright and make any necessary adjustments to the poles.

tiny house diy teepee construction
Photo by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

Step 4: Attaching the Fabric

Historically, as per Britannica, “the tepee was generally made by stretching a cover sewn of dressed buffalo skins over a framework of wooden poles; in some cases reed mats, canvas, sheets of bark, or other materials were used for the covering.”

Ultimately, we can learn from its history and create a more climate appropriate covering nowadays. We suggest that you use fabric as covering or even a heavy-duty canvas to ensure stability for your tiny house.

Once your teepee frame is ready, it's time to affix the fabric covering. Utilize a heavy-duty canvas or fabric capable of withstanding outdoor conditions if you plan to position your teepee outdoors. Check out these steps:

1. Unroll your fabric on a flat surface. If you are working with a single piece of fabric, consider cutting it into a semicircular shape to facilitate wrapping it around the frame.

2. Center the frame on the fabric, aligning the top of the teepee with the highest point of the fabric.

3. Commence wrapping the fabric around the frame, leaving an opening at the front to serve as the entrance. Ensure that the fabric overlaps to completely envelop the frame.

4. To make sure the fabric fits tightly around the frame, fasten it in place by either using pins or marking the sections that require sewing.

5. You have the option to use a sewing machine or hand-stitch the seams to firmly anchor the fabric in place. It's important to strike a balance where the fabric is tight and secure but not excessively stretched.

6. Hem the entrance to prevent fraying and add fabric ties or Velcro strips to secure it when closed.

Step 5: Reinforcing the Cover

For enhanced stability and longevity, consider reinforcing your teepee cover with grommets. We emphasize the importance of this particular step to ensure your teepee’s durability. Here's how:

1. Measure equal distances around the base of the teepee and mark these points.

2. Utilize a drill to create holes at the marked locations.

3. Insert grommets into the holes and fasten them securely.

4. Thread rope or twine through the grommets to establish a robust, secure tie-down system.

Reinforcing the cover in this manner will help prevent the fabric from shifting or billowing in the wind, particularly if you intend to position your teepee outdoors.

Step 6: Decorating Your Teepee

Now, it's time for the exciting part (our favorite, if you ask) – decorating your teepee! Unleash your creativity as you personalize your teepee to match your style and intended purpose. Here are some decoration concepts:

1. Fabric Artistry: Employ fabric paint to introduce vibrant patterns, designs, or images to your teepee cover. This is an excellent project, especially for children, allowing them to express their creativity.

2. Suspended Ornaments: Hang lights, dreamcatchers, or other decorative adornments from the poles inside your teepee to establish a cozy, enchanting ambiance.

3. Cushions and Rugs: Elevate the interior's comfort and appeal by adding cushions, blankets, and rugs. These additions also render it an excellent reading nook or play area for children.

4. Exterior Landscaping: If your teepee is situated in a garden setting, contemplate landscaping around it with flowers, plants, or stones to craft an inviting outdoor retreat.

5. Chalkboard Coating: Cover a portion of the interior with chalkboard paint to inspire imaginative play and artistic drawing.

Step 7: Setting Up Your Teepee

With your teepee construction concluded and your decorations in place, it's time to position it in its designated location. The intended location could be indoors, in your backyard, or as an attractive addition to your living room. Employ the grommets and tie-downs to secure the teepee, particularly if you intend to install it outdoors. 

tiny house teepee construction tools
Photo by Eugen Str on Unsplash

Maintaining Your Teepee

To ensure that your teepee remains in excellent condition, consider the following maintenance practices:

1. Regular Cleaning: Clean the fabric cover on a routine basis, particularly if it is exposed to the elements. Use a mild detergent and a gentle brush to eliminate dirt and stains.

2. Patch Tears: Promptly repair any tears or damage in the fabric to prevent them from worsening.

3. Seasonal Storage: If your teepee is positioned outdoors, mull over storing it during adverse weather conditions or when it is not in use to prolong its lifespan.


Crafting a DIY teepee can be a gratifying and enjoyable project, resulting in a distinctive and enchanting space suited for a variety of purposes. We have carefully planned and procured with the appropriate materials, tools, and a dash of creativity, so you can also try and construct a tiny house teepee that not only captivates aesthetically but is also functional and enduring. Whether it evolves into a magical play area for children, a cozy reading nook, or an exceptional decorative piece in your garden, your DIY teepee is certain to be a source of pride and enjoyment for years to come. So, gather your materials, adhere to our detailed guide, and let your imagination roam freely as you embark on this exciting DIY tiny house adventure!

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