How to Make a Teepee

To build a teepee you’ll just need a few tools. However, it requires a lot of planning ahead. The stability of the structure depends on it.

Required Tools and Materials

12 Pegs
12 Poles
Knife or other cutting object
Clothing materials
100 feet of clothesline

These measurements are for a ten foot high structure. The sizes will change depending on the scale you’re building.

Step 1

Start by shaping / cutting the canvas. The shape should be a half circle. In this example, it would 15 x 30 ft. The length needs to be double that of its width. Take the knife and make an incision in the middle. This will be for the smoke flaps.

Step 2

Continue to build a teepee by making cuts at the end points of the canvas (or whatever material you used.) When you bring the two together, they should form a circular opening.

Step 3

Cut some canvas and create a rounded door. Fold a pocket in it. Now add a wood stick or other object. This is to keep it closed. Hem this piece to the main canvas.

Step 4

Get the remaining canvas. Use your knife to cut three smaller pieces. Shape them into small pockets. Sew them on the smoke flaps. This is a critical area so add more canvas. Include as many as you think is needed.

Step 5

The next step to build a teepee is to get some rope. Go to the base of the material and hem the rope down. Make sure that the rope loops are of equal length. Secure a rope on the top. This will be needed when the structure is set.

Step 6

Now it is time to get the poles. For this project you’ll need a dozen. Each should be three feet lengthier than the width of the structure cover. That is, if the tent is 15 ft, the poles must be 18 ft. Take three of these and assemble them into a tripod. To build a teepee frame, place the other poles around the tripod. Use a rope to fasten them together. The poles will look like a cone.

Step 7

Tug the material along the frame and secure with the pegs. Set down the bottom part and apply the poles to spread the canvas. Now put a couple of light poles in the pockets you made. This will be the draught.


There are several materials you can use. Some of the most popular are muslin and flannel. Duck is also preferred because it’s very strong.

You can protect the tent from rain by installing a flexible rod. Put this at the hem or fold corners. Put the storm cap (made from canvas) on a pole and attach some cords around it.

Remember to use dry wood when making a fire in the tent. Damp wood is not recommended. Some would also keep the door ajar. Raising the tent’s cover lower part can also help. Don’t raise it too much if there’s a strong wind.

Camping out is fun and when you build a teepee, you’ll get to experience outdoor adventure and living quite unlike any other.

Related Posts