How to Make a Teepee Out of Popsicle Sticks

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Decorate your teepee's "hide" with crayons, markers, stickers or paint.
Decorate your teepee's "hide" with crayons, markers, stickers or paint. (Image: Mitja Mladkovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Whether you’re making a school project or just having some rainy-day craft fun, teepees make a perennial project favorite. The conical tents of the Plains Indians were made from wooden frames covered with hides from buffalo or other animals, and they could be disassembled and packed up for moving quickly and efficiently. You and your youngster can make your own model almost as quickly. All you need is craft sticks, fabric or paper, and craft glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton fabric, cardstock or paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • 3 craft sticks

Draw a 3-inch circle on the fabric or paper. The lid from a coffee can makes a good template.

Cut out the circle.

Draw a triangle from the center of the circle to the edge, with a 1 1/2-inch base. Cut out the triangle.

Place a quarter in the center of the circle and trace it.

Cut the small circle out of the larger one

Match the edges of the cutout and lightly crease the fold line to mark the center of the circle.

Glue one craft stick to the fold line, placing one end on the outer edge of the large circle and extending the other end into the small circle.

Glue one stick on either side of the triangular opening, with the outside end of the stick about 2 inches from the triangle base and with the other end extending into the small center circle.

Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.

Fold the circle into a cone, overlapping the edges of the triangle slightly. Glue the edges together.

Tips & Warnings

  • To hold the teepee together until the glue dries, add a small piece of tape near the bottom and top edges.
  • If little crafters get impatient with holding the sticks in place while the glue dries, clamp the sticks with binder clips to hold them in place.
  • For a larger teepee, cut the circle so that its circumference matches the size you want at the bottom of the cone. Add extra craft sticks for support.
  • Construction paper also works well as your teepee “hide.”

References

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