DIY 3-Sided TeePee Tutorial

It was the little one's birthday a little bit ago, and I couldn't figure out what to get her for it. She got more than enough toys for Christmas, and I didn't want to add more to the mess. So, I got to thinking about her and what she loves. She loves books. So, of course, I got her some books. She loves my wallet. I got her her own wallet :) ...but that just didn't seem sufficient. Then I was thinking about how much she loves crawling into corners and cubbies. She just sits there or lays down and flops her legs around. It's so silly. She also loves to get under the covers. So, I thought a teepee would be perfect as her big gift. That was until the hubs said that we could not not get her a toy for her first birthday. But I already bought all the stuff to make the teepee, so I decided to go for it anyway.
DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!
This teepee cost under $7 to make.
Here are the supplies to make one:
3 pieces of 1/2"pvc pipe cut to the length you want, I chose 54"
Rope or twine
1 twin flat sheet
Scrap fabric

So, I warn you, this was a trial by error process for me, but because of that, I learned and made a pretty awesome teepee that is easy for anyone to make...and you guys don't have to do the whole error and seem ripping part like every 5 minutes :)

First step:
Use a large drill bit and drill a hole through each pipe about 7 or so inches from the top. You can pick the depth really. It's just how much you want the pvc pipe to show above the rope. I found that it was easier marking a spot on both sides of the pipe and only drilling through that top layer rather than drilling through the whole thing. If you drill through both layers at once, the bottom part will be really jagged. You can fix this by using some pliers and pulling off the jagged layers. Or just not have to deal with it by only drilling through the top layer, turning it over, and drilling again.
Make sure you use a drill bit that is larger than the size rope you are using. Not much larger, just a smidgen.

Step two:
Paint or spray paint the pipe. I just did the top part since the other parts will be hidden. Make sure you use spray paint meant for plastic; this will just make it easier on you, trust me :)

Step three:
Take the end of you rope, put a safety pin through it at the end, then wrap some tape tightly around where the safety pin meets the rope.

Send the rope through one hole, more than likely it won't go all the way through, so grab some pliers and pull the safety pin out the hole.

Do this to all the pipes.

Now, wrap the rope somewhat tightly...somewhat I guess medium tautness :) ...around the three pipes and tie off.

Step four:
Grab your flat sheet and fold it into thirds. Pin together.

Now measure 31" on the bottom and mark. Use the bottom already hemmed edge for will save you time hemming :)

Measure up from the middle (at 15.5") 40 inches and mark in the middle.

Now take that mark and draw an even line out 4.5" on both sides. This will give you a 9" line. Half an inch of that line with be for seem allowance, a quarter inch on each end. (see the diagram below)

Now connect the bottom line with the top line. Essentially creating a triangle with the top cut off. I used a valance from my blinds for the straight edge. Use whatever you have lying around that is long enough.
this picture is not what the top line should look's just to give you the idea of what you are creating. This was one of those trial and error things. As it was, the line needed to be a lot longer than 2" :) ...more like 9". Silly me...

DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!

Cut out the triangle through all three layers at once. Doesn't matter if they get a little off center, it won't matter much in the end.
Add a helper to keep the sheets in place :)

Step five:
On one of the pieces, cut a slit up the middle, half way or a little more than halfway.

Take your scrap fabric. Cut it about 4 inches wide, and 2 inches longer than your slit. For ease of use fold in half length wise and iron.

Open in back up, and fold the two ends and have them meet in the middle. Iron in place. So you should have three iron lines when opened all the way up...pretty much equidistant.

Open back up at one end, and fold down an inch. Iron. Now fold back over the other sides again. Iron. Confusing? Yes. See the picture below so it's not so confusing :)

Okay, now line up this part with the top part of the slit. Place the sheet in the middle of the fabric. Pin in place all the way down the slit.

Once you get to the end, see how much fabric you have longer than the sheet, fold over that inch or so of fabric once again like you did to the top. Pin in place along the sheet.

Now sew!

Do the same thing for the other side.

Now, this should be good. But if you are like me, I stepped on the thing and ripped the seam further, so I had to fix it. So I did the same thing across the top, only two inches or so of fabric though.

Step six:
Take two of the triangles and have their right sides facing each other. Line up one edge, pin in place and then sew.

Now take another triangle, and do the same thing with one of the other sides of one of the triangles you just sewed together.

Now you should have all three together, but not completed. Now line up the two unsewn ends and sew together.

You should have a circle cone type thing. Almost done!

Step Seven:
On the top opening, fold over an inch, and sew.

Step Eight:
Turn right side out. Take one of the seams and a piece of pipe and place the piece of pipe down the seam. Pinch the fabric with your finger on the other side of the pipe. This will give you an idea of where to sew. Mark it...or don't move your fingers and mentally remember :)

Now sew a parallel line at this mark -parallel with the edge. If you want, add an extra quarter inch just for good measure so you don't have to rip the seam and start over.

Do this to the other two sides

Step Nine:
Put the pipes through the opening, and then spread open!
DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!

Now, I couldn't just leave it like this, I had to add a cute rug...and a matching pillow. This little bean loves her pillows as much as her momma :) She takes them off of everything and rolls around in them... I happen to love them in other ways by keeping them on things :) She also will take two, one in each hand and toddle everywhere with them. It's so silly. So of course I had to give her one in there.
DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!

I made her this bunting for her birthday party and decided it was the perfect compliment to the teepee.
DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!

Now if only this were her big present...instead, we got her a huge ball roller thing. Ugh. It's so humongous I have no idea where to put it. It's just ridiculous lol. I guess I need to get that basement finished sooner than I thought.

Here it is closed. It can close all the way, just move the pipes closer together. Or add a tie to secure.
DIY 3 sided teepee. Only cost $7 to make!

So, this teepee is a little small, she's only one year, if you have bigger kids, you'll have to make this wider and taller...which means you'll probably need a queen size sheet. Or go to a 4 sided teepee.

The cost for this was $2 for the pipe and a little over $4 for the twin sheet. I just got the cheapest sheet I could find...probably on 200 thread count. Super cheap :) And I did all this in an afternoon...that's with all my mistakes and having to redo things. So, if you use my tutorial and don't have mistakes you can do it in half an afternoon :) 


  1. This is so cute. I bet she loves it - or will very soon! Great idea.

  2. I've seen these in stores and they sell for over 50 dollars!! soooo happy you made one to show me how!! my girls will love this!

  3. Going to tell my daughter about this, my granddaughter and the Daycare would love it.

  4. I have been wanting to make one of these for my daughter to hang out in during 'rest' time. Thanks for the detailed tutorial!

  5. This is so cute!! Thank you for posting! I've been looking everywhere for a cute, simple, 3-sided dig teepee for my babes 1st birthday!! :) so great!

  6. This is so adorable and creative! I have a 1 yr. old granddaughter and I'm going to share your post with my DIL!! Love it!!

  7. I love this project! :) Your daughter is adorable by the way. :)

  8. I love this tent! I saw it the other day somewhere and didn't get a chance to come over! SOOOO pretty! And that little gal is precious!

  9. Since Facebook is notorious for not letting page owners know when I tag them, I thought I would stop by myself and let you know I featured this post and my readers loved it!

  10. Costco has a Teepee for 80 bucks! This is just as cute and sturdy! $73 cheaper! I can't wait to make two for my grandsons who just turned one. I will make them bigger, so it might cost a bit more per teepee but even it it's $20 total and my time it's so worth it. Thank you so much for this!

  11. Wow! This is a fabulous and a very informative tutorial! I cannot wait to make this for my son and maybe for my future classroom too!

  12. Where did you get that little white shag rug? I love it! Love the tee-pee too!

  13. Yes...where did you get the white "fur" rug?

    1. I just got on for my baby at ikea! it was only $12 for the faux one!

  14. where did you get the one twin size sheet for cheap? I don't have any neutral color ones at home I could use ;(

  15. This is SO adorable! Thinking about making a slightly larger version for my niece & nephew since their birthdays are coming up :)

    How sturdy is it? My nephew has a case of the terrible twos, so want to make sure it will withstand that fun! LOL

  16. Great idea for any kids room! I am sharing this on Pinterest.

  17. Looks great! I am sharing this on Pinterest.

  18. Thanks a lot for sharing. I would like to make one for a 2 year old girl and this certainly is a huge help and good money saving. Using PVC pipes is a fantastic idea as you can find them in a different height.


happy DIYing! Alicia