Free DIY Plans for a How To Make a No-Sew Land of Nod Inspired Play Tee Pee

06.27.11 By //
Project Image

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! It's hard to focus on Turkey, while I've Christmas and Holiday Shopping Building on the brain… the timing of this piece worked out in an interesting way, and I thought it might bring you a little closing to your turkey eating weekend..and help usher in our gift giving holiday season!

Estimated Cost 

Under $25

Dimensions for This Project

  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • 1 1/2″ Hole Saw Drill Bit 
  • Miter Saw – Optional can use hand saw and Miter Box, or Jig Saw, or…Circular Saw
  • Staple Gun – optional but a great way to secure the bottom of this piece.
  • 1 – 2×3 at 10'
  • 1 – 2×3 at 6'
  • 5 – 1″ Diameter Round Dowel at 6' – each store carries different sizing options…you need each of these to be 66″.
  • 1 Large Painter's Drop Cloth – 6'x9' – you can opt for Canvas or Muslin Fabric as Well, this is really customizable a bit here…
  • **Fabric Glue or Iron On Hem Tape – Optional and will depend on whether or not you are a Non-Sewer, you can opt to use traditional sewing techniques for this
  • Velcro Squares or Strips – optional and can use staple gun to secure as well.
  • Sandpaper
  • Finishing Supplies – optional if you want to have the rods be painted or stained.
Cut List 
  • 2 – 1×2 at 28″ Long Single Legs
  • 2 – 1×2 at 6″ Upper Short Legs
  • 2 – 1×2 at 12 1/2″ Lower Short Legs
  • 5 – 3/4″ Round Dowel at 10 1/4″ Rails

** If you would like to sew this in a more traditional manner, please note that if you make small pockets in the bottom and top corners of each seam connecting the panels for the rods, you will not need to use the base pieces. The original constructs in a tent like manner…Sew the panels together, leave the corners undone and create a little pouch to hold the rods. The tension between the rods and the tent will keep it popped up and easily able to take down. You can also of course construct in the manner described below, and simply use your machine to create seams and hems.

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Cut your Boards to the Outside and Largest Size as indicated by the dimensions below. Then cut the corners at a 54 Degree angle. You don't need to attach the boards to each other, the weight of them is simply there to help give this strength and stability since we won't be relying upon the tension from the tent. Then add your 1 1/2″ hole in 1 of the corners of each board except for the boards near the opening. One of those will have 2 holes.

Step 2

Step 2 

Cut your Drop cloth or Fabric to size. Each Triangular Panel will be roughly 61″ prior to hemming, so cut them in an alternating triangular pattern.

Step 3

Step 3 

Fold the Bottom 1/2″ under twice to create a 1/2″ hem and run a thin line of Fabric Glue underneath to secure. Press in place, and allow to set up, then do the same for the top hem and continue in this manner for all 5 panels. Do not hem sides yet. My recommendation would be to secure squares or strips of velcro to both the bottom hem and the bottom side of the Base pieces so you can secure the tee pee tent and remove as needed (for washing or storing). The instructions for velcro can be found on the packaging and can be purchased at your local hardware store or Fabric store. To create the tee pee shape with your panels, lay the inside (not the side showing when finished) face up and lay 2 triangular panels side by side. Fold the adjacent sides up 1″ and use fabric glue to press the 1″ folds to each other. They will be sticking up at this point. Press firmly and allow to glue to set up. Consider placing stacks of books or something heavy along the seams to hold in place. Do this for 4 out of the 5 panels. The diagram below shows the top and bottom 1″ (total) folded in and the manner you should line up and glue the sides together:

Step 4

Step 4 

For the Front Panel, you will split your canvas piece directly up the middle 2/3 or 3/4 of the way, and fold over 1/4″ along that cut 2 times.. This will give you a clean 1/4″ hem to keep this piece looking professional and so it will remain durable.

Step 5

Step 5 

Once you have completed your hems on the front panel, you can glue it to the remaining panels in the same manner you glued the 4 of them together. Be advised that attaching this last panel will pull the other panels up toward you and form the final shape of the tee pee. Once that has set up and you feel comfortable it is ready to attach to the bases, go ahead and velco on to the bottom of the bases, or if you prefer staple them in place, underneath and out of site. Please note that since they won't attach to the dowels, and since the bases aren't attached to each other, this will still be collapsible. Attach them so that you have about 59″ diagonally left above ground so to speak. **If you would like to add the applique as shown in the original, it is simply a zig zag shape in an alternating color and you can glue that in place as well. This is a good step to do this so you don't have to work on an not so flat surface while attaching. Felt would probably be a good choice for this. The image below shows the dimensions I used for this, which simply used the sides of each panel as my width and a vertical dimension of 8″ total.

Step 6

Oky dok, now insert your rods into the pre-made holes like the diagram below shows, you will need to insert them into the inside of the tee pee first and out the center hole, then place into the base holes…and voila…play time fun for hours on end!

Finishing Instructions 

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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