How to Make a Small & Easy Teepee

By S. Herlihy ; Updated August 31, 2017

A teepee is a kind of housing traditionally used by Native Americans. Teepees are generally lightweight, portable and easily assembled. Making your own teepee is not difficult. All you need is a few basic materials and a bit of time. The finished product can be used as long as you like and then taken apart and stored in a compact corner.

Start by choosing a place to put your teepee. The site should be as level as possible and ideally clear of underlying debris such as rocks. A grassy corner near a tree is a good choice.

Knot together three strong sticks with string. The knot should be fastened tightly. The resulting sticks should form a triangle. Sticks can be any length you choose; 6 feet is a good length.

Add more sticks. Knot them all together with more string. Choose at least three additional sticks to make the teepee stand up properly. The result should be shaped like a cone.

Place the stick frame in the area you have chosen for the teepee. You should be able to easily push the sticks into the ground. If the ground is too hard, use a rubber mallet or hammer and bang the sticks into the dirt.

Place the canvas or cloth cover around the top of the sticks. Poke several holes in the canvas or cloth starting at the top of the cloth and working your way down until you've reached the bottom. Weave string around each of the holes to bind the canvas to the frame of the teepee. Pull tight. Leave an opening at the top of the structure to allow air to circulate.