ISSUE 75  |  Travels with an Editor: Paris

DIY: Instant Children’s Teepee, Summer Edition

June 02, 2013 10:00 AM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

Last summer, I spotted a great looking teepee in the neighborhood that seemed like a perfectly doable DIY. I was compelled to investigate. Greg Pitt had made it for his two young children, as the family likes to hang out in the front garden to catch the sun at the end of the day. While he and his wife, Kelly, enjoy cocktails, their two children play (and ideally repose) in the teepee. 

Greg told me that he put it all together in two hours with six bamboo poles, three large painters’ drop cloths, some nuts and bolts, a hole punch, and some rope. Read on for instructions.

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.


Above: Create a frame out of six bamboo poles (12 to 15 feet are an ideal length). Use longer poles if you want a larger tent. “It’s easiest to start at the top, then move around the frame to attach the cloth to the poles. “¨I left the cloth a little bit longer for the door,” says Greg Pitt.


Above: “I used three painters drop cloths–15 feet by 20 feet–the bigger the better,” says Greg. “Cut each one into a large triangular piece; then take an angle off the top so that the pieces fit together.”


Above: Wrap the drop cloth around the bamboo pole and attach it to the next piece of drop cloth with a washer and a 1-inch bolt. Use a hole punch for making the holes in the fabric.


Above: Use washers and bolts to attach the drop cloth to the poles.


Above: Greg tied the six poles together at the top of the teepee with some rope.


Above:  This summer, Greg is thinking about jazzing up the tent. He says, “I might put some Gesso on the outside and paint stripes around it. I have all this old house paint I could use. A cool lime green would look great.” We’re hoping the neighbors like it, too.

To see more on the Pittses’ garden, check out our previous post on Gardenista.