Saturday, September 1, 2012


We did the letter Hh.
Which led to a lovely weeklong exploration of the word Home.
What it means to us, how others in the world live, what homes have looked like in the past.
One of my previous homes was a tipi.
The little guy's eyes bugged out when he heard that.
I forget he has only known this domesticated mama version of me.
It reminded me of something a friend (a mama of two young 'uns) posted on facebook.
'Beneath this conservative exterior lurks a wild woman'
                                                                              Uh huh!
To make a tipi:
You need a handful of kebab sticks(we used 12), 3 toothpicks, corrugated cardboard (we upcycled a box), scissors, fabric, string and glue. Rocks and lichen for staging are optional.

Get your child to draw out a circle on your cardboard.
Insert pointed end of kebab stick through one layer in at four points of the compass on your circle drawn on the cardboard. (This works because of the thickness of the cardboard...the kebab sticks are inserted through one layer of paper, not pushed all the way through - try it, you'll see!)
Pull together the sticks and tie to secure.
Add other kebab sticks between these until you have a good framework, tie these all at the top of your tipi.
Play around with a piece of paper to get the pattern for your tipi 'skin' ... you want to leave enough fabric at the front to overlap.
Cut out your fabric using the paper pattern you made.
Wrap your fabric around the tipi framework.
Using toothpicks cut in half...insert the pointed end through your fabric at the front to create the closure.
You can paint the base, glue down some moss or lichen to create a whole scene. The resident little guy here was in too much of a hurry to play with it to wait for any paint to dry.

Ours was a little short at the bottom and left a pretty big smoke hole at the top but it worked.
It is now home to a family of rainbow gnomes.
And the tooth fairy stopped by in there too.


  1. cool tipi! I thought it was life size until you started talking about kebab sticks... looks great.

  2. What a gorgeous little tipi. The scale is deceptive - I thought it was big enough to stand in, then realised its just a little one.

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