I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. For this shop, I purchased Crayola crayons, washable paint, and sidewalk chalk at Walmart and used them to do a fun outdoor activity that involved the whole family (even the teeny tot!). #ColorfulCreations #CreativeBias
This was such a fun project and something I’ve been wanting to do for a while! If you’re on Pinterest and you’ve looked at kid’s stuff at all, you’ve seen the rise in teepee popularity. Little teepees have been popping up as reading nooks all over the place, but when you click through they are always either fairly expensive or they’re a DIY project that includes measuring and sewing. I don’t know about you, but sewing just kills my craft enthusiasm (and I happen to be a pretty good seamstress!). Something about dragging out the sewing machine…and finding the thread…and pinning stuff together…zzzzzz…
Anyway, I knew there had to be a way to make a teepee that wouldn’t break the bank but also didn’t need to be an heirloom item, so when I got the chance to make a project using Crayola supplies from Walmart I decided it was time to rise to the challenge. And look!
Here’s the how:
Make a Teepee (This is the grown up part.)
Materials needed: 5 PVC pipes (ours were 10 ft long), some fairly thin rope, a piece of canvas dropcloth (we got one that was 9 ft x 12 ft but I think we’d go bigger next time), a power drill (not pictured), duct tape (not pictured), safety pins (not pictured), and 15 hair elastics (not pictured).
First, take the power drill and drill all the way through each piece of pipe (making a hole on each side) so that the holes are the same distance away from the top. Where you put the hole is kind of a matter of taste, since it would have worked wherever. We chose to put them about a foot down.
Then, you want to cut a piece of rope that’s about five feet long and lace your rope through the holes. It’s easier if you take duct tape and you wrap it around the end of the rope because otherwise the frayed pieces will make it hard to get the rope through the pipe (think of it like you’re making a really big shoelace).
Once all the pipes are strung together like a necklace, push the pipes together and weave the rope in and around them in whatever crazy way you want until you feel like they’re secure and then knot the rope tightly. At that point, you should be able to fan the pipes out and make your teepee frame. ours ended up being tall enough that my 6 foot tall husband could stand inside of it.
The next part is a little tricky, but stay with me. Take your hair elastics and put three on each piece of pipe. I used adult elastics so I had to double them up, but if you’re using kid-sized elastics you should be able to slip them on. Once your elastics are on and you’ve spaced them out on the poles, wrap your uncut canvas dropcloth around the teepee frame like you’re putting a shawl on it. Center it so that it looks like it’s kind of where you want it to end up and then safety pin it closed. I used four pins to make sure it was secure. Note: you don’t want to necessarily pin it all the way up by where the rope is, just because the larger hole at the top will let in more light. Use your judgement.
Smooth out the canvas so that it’s pretty much where you want it against the poles. Go inside the teepee and use safety pins to secure the elastics to the canvas. All you’re doing is telling the canvas that you want it to stay in that spot. The elastic won’t hold the canvas up, but the safety pins at the top of the canvas should hold the weight.
Once the poles are all pinned, you can add more pins to the front to close it as much as you want and then cut away the excess dropcloth. We actually wish we had bought a bigger piece of drop cloth because ours didn’t let our teepee be quite as short and fat as we wanted. Still, it ended up a good size for Eva.
Optional: let your husband have a bohemian moment inside the teepee with his guitar.
Decorate the teepee (This is the kid part.)
We went to Walmart and found the Crayola art supplies near the Home Office section. It is amazing how many different art supplies they make now! We purchased the 24 count washable sidewalk chalk, the 96 count rainbow crayon box, and the 10 count box of washable paints. Note: we didn’t pick up any finger paint so I didn’t let Eva use her hands to paint the teepee. She wanted to, so we ended up tracing our hands and then filling them in. Just something to keep in mind before you go shopping if you don’t mind your kids getting messy!
The fun thing about this project is that the sky is the limit! I basically opened all of the supplies and we went to town. I thought that the paint would be the best (and Eva seemed partial to it in the end) but it was actually a lot of fun to use the other mediums. The sidewalk chalk in particular goes on really well and we mixed some of it with the paint to create different shades. I was also impressed with how well the crayon showed up on the canvas. If you had older kids, they could do a ton of really neat and intricate stuff just with the box of crayons!
Overall, this project was great since it was inexpensive (around $40 for everything), it was easy to clean up afterwards, and we can go back out and work on it whenever we want. Plus, since it’s only pinned together, we can add a new canvas and start all over when we’re done. We could even just flip the canvas inside out since the color doesn’t go through the dropcloth!