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Monday, November 05, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: DIY teepee for a child

How inviting is this lace teepee? Since lots of readers loved the teepee in Abbey's apartment, we figured we'd share an easy way to make one yourself. Wouldn't it be a fun place to cuddle up, take a nap and read books? Here are the instructions...
My genius friend Kendra put together this tutorial:

1. Buy four 1" x 2" x 6' pine boards, which are very light, from a hardware store. If you can only find 8' pieces, you can ask them to cut them down to 6'. You'll also need a sanding sponge, a piece of elastic, an old sheet or basic fabric, some string and a pair of scissors. (I used a vintage lace tablecloth.)
2. Sand the boards down until the wood is very smooth.
3. Tie a 16" piece of elastic tightly around the lumber, about 8" from the top.
4. Spread the lumber out to make the teepee base.
5-6. Drape the fabric around and tie off (we just tied these on the opening and used three ties per pole: top, middle, bottom).

That's it! The whole project takes less than 20 minutes and costs under $15, and the teepee hardly takes up any space once you pack it away. Plus, says Kendra, "you can pretty much guarantee that any kid will ask to sleep in it." :)
Thanks, Kendra! What do you think? Will you try this out? It would be such a treat to present to your child on Christmas morning:)

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Kendra Smoot)

45 comments:

Wendy said...

This is so sweet/cool! And affordable! I kind of want one for myself. :)

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

A lace tepee is genius! Yep, I'm going to make an adult version.

fae ehsan said...

joanna, us midwesterners are very concerned that those impacted by the hurricane won't turn out at the polls! how are people feeling about voting tomorrow?

Annie said...

This is great! I want to make one for my niece and nephew. Just wondering if it will stay in place, though?

hooleywithaz said...

i have been looking for a DIY version of this project forever. this is perfection.

Kelly said...

Adorable. I am making this. Thank you!

Angie said...

How fantastic (and affordable)! Santa will be bringing this to my daughter next month!

Tina Lovely said...

This looks awesome. I love that she used lace fabric. We just made a teepee for my daughters first birthday party for her and some of her older pals to play in and it was a total hit. We weren't planning on keeping it up after the party but it has been so much fun that we have left it. My daughter loves to read books throw her blocks and just hang outside and the cool part about it is you can add tiny details to make it special for your child. We hung her circus mobile that she loves but couldn't have on her crib anymore from the inside with tiny xmas lights and it makes for an awesome magical place to play. We also live in an apartment in brooklyn so we don't have tons of space and it really take up no room at all, in fact you can move the lumber boards to make the teepee bigger or smaller which is a total added bonus for apartment parents.

alisha e. said...

This is great! I've been wanting to buy the babe a teepee, but they're so pricey-I love this alternative! Do you have dimensions for the piece of fabric you used?

Sonia said...

love it with the lace fabric!

Rachael said...

I love it, especially for the price. We have 4 little ones who would love to wake up to this on Christmas!

www.slurfeefrenchie.blogspot.com

Emily said...

Just today I was thinking: I want to get a teepee for my little boy's room. Thank you!

mariannepaul said...

I am not sure I would be able to realize this but the result is really great!

by Veronica Varetta said...

the tent is amazing!

xx
www.pretpenser.com
www.pretpenser.com

LaurenMax said...

So pretty. And I loved Abbey's home. Now I just need a kid to go in the teepee! (not yet, actually) Thanks for making it look so easy, Joanna.

www.laurenmaxwell.blogspot.com

Mrs. Habit said...

and for those of you not up for a DIY, my husband and I make beautifully hand carved teepees in three sizes on etsy for a very decent price. They're sturdy, fun, and easy on the eyes :)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/houseinhabit

Just wanted to throw it out there.
xx
Jessica

Yelle said...

Love the fabric that you used, it lets in so much light and yet has so much texture and warmth to it!

AngelaZ said...

Joanna and Cup of Jo readers: You might not understand why it is not okay to appropriate elements of native heritage, but you can take the time to learn about it. I remember when Joanna posted a photo of herself dressed as a Native American or Pocahontas for Hallowe'en a while back and some commenters did speak up about this issue. Cultural appropriation is one of many ways in which the legacy of colonialism continues to hurt native peoples today, and it is not a lot to ask for people to respectfully refrain from having items like this in their homes. Joanna, I enjoy your blog and hope you will educate yourself on this issue. A good place to start is: http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.ca/

AngelaZ said...

Here is a post specifically about baby teepees: http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.ca/2011/04/baby-teepees-are-like-totally-in.html

Melody Rowell said...

I had one of these as a kid! A friend of my parents made it for my first birthday. Mine had a cotton covering rather than lace. My sister and I played in it for years and years-- it only got tossed after a bird pooped on it.

Jeanine said...

AngelaZ you took the words right out of my mouth! Thank you for posting this--Native Appropriations is an amazing blog! (So is yours, Jo!)

little said...

i actually love this for my living room! so awesome!

romantically challenged

KateK said...

I'm 23 with no children and I really want one for my apartment!

Sara said...

I'm genuinely curious, where do you draw the line between tent vs teepee in terms of what is appropriate to have in your home? Is it about having the poles sticking out over the top? What you call it? Something else?
I guess I'm asking what the difference between a tent and a teepee is in the context you are talking about.

Allison Donohue said...

What a great idea, and at only $15! I definitely might have to try this for my nieces :)

allisondono.blogspot.com

Chloe Moon said...

This post has officially started my biological clock...That is so cool!!!!! =) I may have to make a bigger one for myself! =)

Ergo-Blog)

cleartheway said...

I would have loved to have this when I was little. It looks so peaceful and inspiring!

run19 said...

my roomate's mother made $15826 a week ago. she is working on the laptop and bought a $340600 home. All she did was get lucky and put to use the steps given on this web site http://www.taz3.com

Meghan said...

I'd like to chime in and say that I agree with AngelaZ and Jeanine. I'm sure you don't mean to offend, but appropriation is never cute!

And, Sara, IMO the shape/name/poles sticking out of the top all point to teepee rather than tent, and that's the problem.

Jennifer Terry said...

I am confused, is it children's fantasy play that you find offensive, or the appropriation of a design not belonging to one's own culture, and where do you draw the line? I guess I should go through my son's toy box and throw out any appropriated items, toy lawn mower (I wouldn't want to offend any englishmen), the toy tent (ancient nomads), the toy hammer (stone agers), baskets (I guess it would depend on the design as to whom would offend).
My point is, good design is appreciated worldwide. A tipi is a variation of a tool used throughout the history of humanity to protect ones self from the elements, the only difference between a tent, a cottage, and a tipi is that culture's take on design and function. I don't see how appreciation of such a thing is offensive.

Ana said...

I love teepees! we have one for my son and its so much fun

Elizabeth Rose Bowman said...

It is culturally offensive because for many decades/centuries Native Americans themselves were not allowed to practice their religion, wear their own clothing, etc etc so its insensitive when non Natives do it because it is "cute". Some states didn't even allow Native Americans to vote, or be "real" citizens up until the 1980s.

Natalia said...

I think this is culture appropriation.

lemonpunch said...

The use of the word "teepee" echos a sentiment of Aboriginal cultural appropriation so embedded in our culture that we don't think twice about talking about how "cute" teepees, or moccasins, or feathered hairpieces are. Joanna, I don't think what you said was malicious - you strike me as an intelligent and kindhearted person. But especially since you have such influence over your readers, please be careful with the language you use and be mindful of the connotations behind it.

Mindy said...

This could also be used as an opportunity to teach children about history and other cultures. I think it really depends on how it is approached. It seems sometimes we get stuck on the initial reaction but if you look at the big picture, everything is a learning opportunity.

Cameron said...

I love the idea of this craft. And I just wanted to say, I hope you don't listen to the naysayers. It's so much more important to be authentic and genuinely kind to people than to be politically correct, and I wish more people were like you than these commenters yammering about appropriation. The simple fact is that Native American culture is part and parcel of the American experience. Yes, it was awful the way the tribes were treated and forced to assimilate, even in living memory, and yes, many tribes on reservations still struggle with their role in modern America, and modern America struggles with how to respectfully interact with those tribes.
BUT...I've got Native American blood in me. And a surprisingly large percentage of North Americans also have Native ancestry. It's a part of the American mythos, and a part of many of our personal histories and even our self-identity. So as long as I'm not intentionally using Native American symbols to detract from them, and as long as I'm not using them to otherwise insult them, I'm going to continue dressing up as Pocahontas, and making adorable (and, as someone said, teachable) Indian crafts including dreamcatchers and teepees.

Colonialism was a bummer, but for most of us, it's history. Can we work on a better, more loving future for our world, and stop living in the past and bickering about the politically correct usage of common words and symbols?

Elizabeth Rose Bowman said...

Not trying to get into an interwebz fight, buuuut:
You have your opinion and I have mine, and as someone who Is part Native American I find it very insensitive (albeit, unintentionally) to have little non Native children play in tipis when as recently as 30 or so years ago, Native children themselves could not do so-as they were kidnapped/forced into White schools.

nasyitahtanwahling said...

I think this is a really cute idea aesthetically and I must admit I didn't think about the cultural implications at all. Reminds me to be more careful when dealing with the objects and ideas, sacred or not, of the various ethnic communities that surround me.

Still, I think you have an awesome blog there Jo :)

www.coloursofthedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com

Taylor Laree said...

Hmm. I want a grown up version of this...

flouncesandhubbub.blogspot.com

sara said...

I certainly don't want argue, but I think there is room for healthy discussion about this topic. Mainly, I think your view is a bit short-sighted. You say yourself, "Colonialism was a bummer, but for most of us, it's history." The key words are "most of us." Perhaps it's simply a glossed-over history lesson for most of America, but First Nation peoples are still very much such suffering the effects of hundreds of years of oppression. To me, appropriating Native culture or "dressing up as Pocahontas" is akin to wearing black-face -- it's simply not okay.

dmsmith said...

I'm wondering where you bought the elastic. I had a hard time at both a hardware store and a craft store explaining exactly what I needed-and they didn't have anything that looked like the piece you used in the picture. Is there a more specific name for it?

minina loves said...

Ihave my ownversion of this bed. if you want to see it? pleae

look here: http://mininaloves.blogspot.com.es/

julia aka garconniere said...

i WHOLE-HEARTEDLY second this motion.

nazli said...

These days I was thinking to have exactly somthing like this one for my daughters ever first nursery, I did not believe when I saw your entry about this. thank you soo much!
Ps.I mentioned this on my blog also, in turkish unfortunately but linked you.

han yu said...

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