A Reading Nook Teepee

I shared an update on my in-laws guest rooms a few weeks ago and mentioned planning to build a teepee for the corner of their bunk bed room. Last week I had a huge work conference so I took a four-day weekend after and spent half my Monday building a teepee. I started out by reviewing this teepee plan, and then I pretty much winged it. I bought 5 thick round dowels at Home Depot last week and had them all cut 70" long. Then I also bought 50 ft of 1/4 in wide natural fiber rope and a 6' x 9' canvas dropcloth. 

I clamped each dowel to our (still in the works) wooden entry table for stability and used our cordless power screwdriver and three different sizes of metal bits to drill a hole 1" down from the top of each dowel. Once each hold was drilled, I lightly sanded the edges around the holes so the rope wouldn't snag. Then I slid the rope through every drilled hole while the dowels were laying on the ground parallel to each other. Next is the part that I recommend having a second person for - which I didn't and that may have been the beginning of my downfall on this project. 

After the rope was through all the holes, I laid the dowels on top of each other (on the ground) and wrapped the rope tightly around until all five dowels felt secure. Next I stood the dowels up, with the tops leaning toward each other and gently started to angle out the bottoms, at a spacing I thought would work well. Then I stood on a ladder and tied a knot in the rope to hold the teepee frame in place.

For some reason, before I attached the canvas tarp, this spacing looked wide enough to me and I felt like it was an appropriately sized teepee. I didn't want it to take up too much space in that room and thought of it more as a reading nook (verses a play tent). The tutorial I linked to earlier in this post sewed the fabric for the outside, but since I wanted this to be a simple afternoon project, I decided to entirely wing it on this next part. I wrapped the canvas around the frame lengthwise, used scissors to cut a hole (this is thick fabric) at the back, near the top and wrapped rope through the top rope to secure the canvas to the piece. 

I repeated that step on all four sides and then continued attaching the canvas to the frame further down by following the same cutting holes and tying rope to the frame process. At this point I definitely started to get a little worried that my winging it process wasn't the best ideas, but I kept going because I didn't have a better idea at this point. Plus canvas fabric isn't too expensive, so I figured I could also just start over again on this part if necessary. 

To complete the front of the teepee, I curled the flaps and tied them to the front two dowels, all the way to the bottom of the frame. I then trimmed the extra fabric at the bottom and left a little extra in case I decide to hand-sew that edging (or just leave it raw). Then I moved it into our sunroom and quickly styled it to share in this post! 

I go back and forth on thinking it's completely adorable or too small. I keep trying to decide if I should remove the canvas, widen the frame spacing and redo it to allow for a little more reading/play space but I also don't want to move it to the bunk room and have it take up too much space. I'm trying not to be a complete perfectionist about it, because this is only a future "grandkid hang-out space" and not a kid's full-time bedroom. So here's where you come in - should I redo it to make it a little more spacious or do you think it's sweet just the way it is?