Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In spite of all of my dreaming, sketching and planning for this project, our tipi turned out to be so easy to make.

Someone gave me some free bamboo.  (Most people who grow bamboo would like to give you some free bamboo.)  Okay, the sawing, transporting, drying and hacking off leaves with a machete were not so easy, but they were fun.  Hopefully, you can get your hands on some clean, dry bamboo.  I just started experimenting with it today, and this easy version worked perfectly: 

Use five tall poles (mine are 12'), some twine and several blankets and sheets.  Lay the bamboo in a pile on the ground and tie it tightly together about 2' from the top.  Then, stand it up and just start spreading out the base until it is stable and feels like the right size.  One person can manage this easily.  This probably works best on grass or sand, because the poles will not slide open.  If you look up from the middle, it should look like this:

Finally, take your sheets or blankets and start draping them around the frame.  To secure them, use clothespins or clamps or just tie them together.  This whole thing takes less than ten minutes to build, and less than five to put it away.

You can play there all day, and then eat dinner!

This was the first, but hopefully not the last time I could say, "Come on, everyone!  Sushi in the tipi!"

I'm making a 6' version for inside the house, but I love the giant one.  You can see the small one draped in grey on the left.  The kids attached it to the side of the big one so that there would be another 'room.'


  1. what a great summer house! where did you put it - on the front lawn?

  2. Nice! I've been thinking of making some sort of tipi or fort inside out of fabric for the winter. I like that more organic shape! (and you are mosquito-free there? can sit outside in the grass?)

  3. what a beautiful family you have

  4. Cool!

    I love that picture of Joe and the boys!


Thanks for leaving a comment!