Build an Outdoor Teepee in a Day for about $150

It was the 4th of July and the family and I were outside enjoying our backyard. We have been slowly in stages creating the perfect backyard for us and our 3 boys. 

When we first bought our house, the backyard had nothing! I mean the fence wasn't even closed on one side. The poor hubby had to learn really quick how to install a vinyl fence. I just watched and made sure he had shade because it was mid july when he installed it. (That topic deserves its own little blog post)

But back to the 4th of July scenario, me and the boys were hanging out on our floating deck (that hubby built last summer...again...that deserves its own post) playing games and my boys started to build a "cave" with my furniture cushions. After fixing and building and re-fixing the cushions that kept falling off....I knew it was time to make them a little fort of their own. We didn't have trees...yet...but we needed something that was completely covered where the boys can just hang out. (insert pinterest)

Pinterest is my best friend when I need a little inspiration! And It did not disappoint! I found some really really cool teepees. Some made out of cloth, some made out of PVC and some even made out of pallets (of course there was)

We thought about having a cloth teepee but was afraid how long it would last with it being outside. We live in Utah, so the snow, also played a factor on our decision. 

We had decided to make it out of wood, but I also wanted to give it a teepee feel with the cloth (I love drop cloth) so we designed it with wood and cloth.

And the best part of it only cost about $140 to make!! You can't beat that with a stick!

We used cedar fencing to make it outdoor worthy! It was a super fun project and it only took a full day to build. Even better. mean the kids couldn't wait for it to be done!

Here are some photos of the build and the finished product!


Materials used to make a 8 foot wide by 8 foot Tall Teepee:

(3) 2x4's Cedar post (For base)

(25) Cedar Fencing

(5) 2x2 Pine Wood

6x9 Dropcloth

Rope (to tie the 2x2 posts together)

A lot of nails

A lot of screws



Scrap Fabric for top of teepee and to make pillows and a little rug

Equipment used:

Nail Gun



Miter Saw

Staple Gun


Directions (As best as I can describe it)

First we measured our space which determined our materials.

Build the base using the the 2x4's. You may need more or less depending on the size.

Once the base was built, be installed the flooring which was the cedar fencing.

Then, we took the 2x2 posts and drilled a hole about 6 inches from the top on each of the pole. We then used a rope long enough to thread through all the poles (also long enough to be able to wrap it around many many times, because if you are like me, I always want to be sure it is secure)

Ok, I will try my best to explain how we got the poles situated:

Once we threaded all 5 poles with the rope (you need at least 2 people doing this part) we then place the first pole in the front right and nailed it in. (Oh I forget to mention, the hubby cut the bottom of the poles at an angle to make it easier to lay on the flooring)

And then we took the 2nd pole and placed it on the front left and nailed it in. And then took the 3rd pole and nailed it in the back. The 4th pole got nailed in between the front right and back pole and the 5th pole got nailed in-between the front left pole and back pole. 

And then you take the rest of the rope and you tie it around the top of all the poles. This is where you can go crazy! We bobbed and weaved and wrapped the rope around like a hundred times...well if we had that much rope, I sure we would have!

Whew. Are you still with me?

So hopefully that created a teepee like structure for you. You may need to adjust the poles to make it look teepee like. Sorry. It's hard to explain and honestly I wish I had taken a photo of it!

Next is the more tedious part. To created the walls of the teepee, we used the cedar fencing as well. You will need to measure each one to make sure it fits and covers. So I didn't put our measurements down, because honestly we just went with the flow and adjusted our cuts based on what we needed. Ours was not perfect and yours may not be, but hey, it is ok! The kids will love anyways!

Once we got the walls installed. We sanded the crap out of it. My hand was numb after I was done! Oh make sure you wear as masks. Sawdust EVERYWHERE. I didn't know you can get a little high from sawdust! LOL...just make sure you wear a mask! Oh and eye protector! I had a few little wood fly into my eyes...that told me to wear glasses!!

For the front of the teepee, I used a 6 x 9 drop cloth. I just placed it where I wanted it to go on the teepee and folded the sided so it was fitted to the teepee and then just stapled away!

I then used scrap fabric to make the top a little pretty and to add color. That too was stapled on. 

I cut the teepee cover down the middle for the opening. I added little ties on each end using scrap fabric.

Made little pillows for the inside (We need more and we will be adding more) and also with the fabric made a little "rug" that can double as a little blanket as well!

The pillows we actually sell in our store that I make and personalized. You can check it out in our Etsy store:


I hope you found this tutorial a little helpful or at least got your creative juices flowing or at least inspired you to make something! 

Until next time!

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