How to make a Yarn Teepee (Tipi)
This week we made this fun Yarn Teepee, or Tipi if you prefer. It's very much still a work in progress with the children and I adding yarn to it when we get a spare half hour. At the moment it resembles a multicoloured spider's web but with more wool it could become more of a serious shade giver. The key componets to making this teepee are the hooks on the bottom, more on that below.
What you will need
10 8ft bamboo canes - I chose 8f ones so that I can stand inside the tipi and that seems to give enough space for Kitty, age 7 and Ozzy, nearly 6 to sit and read / eat/ play in.
10 eye hooks
Few small cable ties
1 large cable tie
Balls of assorted yarn / wool
10 tent pegs
Electric drill with small drill bit
We bought everything locally, apart from the mallet, tent pegs and cable ties which we already had at home. The canes, eye hooks and wool came to £12. We bought yarn from the 'bargain bucket' in the local wool shop.
1. Drill a hole in the end of each cane, approx 8cm from the bottom. Then screw the eye hooks into the holes.
This is a really important part of the yarn teepee. Not only does it ensure that your teepee doesn't blow away in your garden or get moved by over-excitable children but it also keeps the canes in place when you are weaving the wool through the frame.
2. In the garden, peg your first cane down using the mallet and tent pegs, as below.
Don't hammer the tent pegs right down to the ground, you might end up looking at the finished bar frame and deciding you want to adjust a cane!
3. Arrange the canes in a circle joining them together at the top. I used smaller cable ties to join 3 canes together at a time from opposing sides, sort of in a triangle formation. Doing this helps strengthen the top and is way easier than trying to bring 10 cane tops together at one time! Once all your canes are arranged and pegged in use the large cable tie to secure all the canes.
You can make a narrow and tall teepee or a more squat and wide one - whatever works best for you.
4. Optional - we made the doorway by using an old offcut of bamboo that we had in the garden, cable tied into place. You could also use a couple of the eye hooks, one on each side of neighbouring canes to tie yarn to form the top of the doorway if you prefer.
5. Now the fun begins - unleash the wool! I would strongly suggest starting at the top first before the bottom is woven. Once the bottom is woven it's hard to lean in and up to do the top, unless you get inside the teepee. What worked well for us was me standing outside the teepee weaving the top whist the children sat inside weaving.
Freestyle, this yarn teepee is all about being creative and having fun. Running around the teepee in circles with a ball of wool is fun for children, as is playing 'catch' with a ball of wool over the frame.
Make sure that some of the weaving is done by an adult, weaving through and looping round canes pulling the yarn taught, this give a strong 'base' for the looser child's weaving.
How much you pay for the wool is your decision, but if it helps we found the really cheap mixed-wool blends to sag a little more than slightly better quality ones. If you want a yarn teepee to last the summer I would recommend investing in some discounted good quality yarn.
So there you have it, our yarn teepee - we'll be adding more to it over the next few days, Kitty has asked to buy red yarn and Ozzy caught sight of a sparkly ball in the shop too so if you see this on instagram in a few days it might have drastically changed!
Now how do I make a pompom spider....