Step 1: Pick your fabrics. I bought ours from Hobby Lobby using coupons and also from Home Fabrics which is one of my favorite places to buy inexpensive home decor weight fabrics. Overall, I bought about 6-7 yards of fabric. You will need more or less depending on the height and width you decide to do for yours. Our finished size is a little over 80" tall and 45-50" in circumference.
Step 2: Purchase your poles. I bought ours at Home Depot. They were 1x2x8 size and I used 6. Depending on how tall you would like your tee pee, you can leave them at 8 feet or Home Depot will trim them down for you. I cut about 6-8" off mine. You then will want to drill holes through each pole. Make the holes big enough that you can thread twine through each one. Once your holes are drilled, you will thread twine through each hole in a continuous line like you're threading beads and pull both ends together and tie tightly. Stand up the poles and position them how you want them. I then wound the ends around several times for a wrapped twine look. Once you have this done, you're ready for the fabric portion.
Step 3: I didn't want mine to have solid fabric panels. I wanted it to have a more bohemian, rugged look like the Handmade Home No Sew version. I started out by cutting all of my fabric in long strips ranging from 5" width to 10" width. My original plan was to do the no sew tee pee like the tutorial on The Handmade Home. However, once I did a few rows, I decided I would rather have it partially sewn to make it a little sturdier for carting it to the back yard.
Step 4: I sewed all of my strips end to end by width so in the end I had three really long strips of three different widths. I then measured each panel on my tee pee in between the poles. I sewed the strips side by side alternating the different widths into three large rectangular panels.
Step 5: I then had my daughter hold up the panels while I traced the triangular shapes between poles. I fit two triangular panels on each large rectangular one alternating them. I then cut them out. You can see pattern samples on the Poppet blog, but you'll need to modify your dimensions.
Step 6: Here is where I used the glue gun technique. If you can see from the photos, I alternated over and under for the edges. I began with the opening and glued the first panel to the left under the front left pole and on the other side of the panel I wrapped and glued it around over the top of the next pole to the left. One mistake I made was wrapping the fabric too tightly. You want to leave a little give or the circumference of the tee pee will end up being smaller than you want it to be. You continuing gluing the panels in this way until you've gone around all of the poles. For the opening, I actually have two of the panels and I attached those last. I wrapped the edges of those panels around and over the top of the front poles on the left and right and then I left the middle part open. Gluing the tops of all the panels can be tricky near where the poles all meet together. I found that you can leave it a little messy and then wrap left over fabric strips around the top of the panels and glue down to cover this up.
Oh and I usually had to do a little trimming after I glued down the panels because they didn't necessarily fit perfectly!
Step 7: Your tee pee is basically done! You can leave it this way or add other embellishments such as inside pockets for books and toys or I made homemade yarn pom pons attached to the top and added a few feathers I had on hand. I also cut small slits in the front panels about halfway down right next to the front poles and threaded cotton twine through so that the front panels could be tied back.
This was such a fun project and relatively easy. If you have any questions on the directions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. Happy Summer projects!