Lace and Chenille Teepee Tutorial DIY
For my first ever tutorial, I figured I'd go big. This tent is a show stopper! I made it for a customer based on her wish for a "girly tent with patches of chenille and doilies on it." And I think I nailed it! What do you think? Ready to make your own?
You 'll find a few links in my tutorials for products. These are all products I hand picked and use. Poetry Tea is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.
For this particular teepee I started with the usual supplies:
- A King Size Vintage Chenille Bedspread (you could also use a full size or queen size, but twin won't work for this particular pattern)
- A Vintage Quaker Lace Tablecloth (I linked a new one below that will work if you don't have a vintage one)
- 2 40" pieces of lace trim for the door tie backs (linked some below)
- Doilies and Patches of Chenille (Linked doilies if you don't have a vintage collection)
- Sewing Machine, Thread, Fabric Shears and a Heavy Duty Sewing Needle (you need heavy duty to sew through this thick material, and I linked my favorites below. I usually just use the "heavy duty" but have had to use the leather needle once or twice. It also comes with a denim needle so all your bases are covered for hard to sew fabrics).
- 4 - 6' poles
- Rope to tie around the top of the poles
These are my Amazon Recommendations for any supplies you may need:
This tent has 4 sides, so there are 3 solid triangles and the front panel made up of 2 chenille flaps and 2 lace flaps for the underlay.
I do the front two "door" panels first every time. You'll use the bottom 2 corners of the bedspread. These usually have design or fringe on them and they are matching.
Each door panel is essentially a triangle with a notch taken off the top. I have used yellow chalk to mark here, so it's not super visible but if you squint you can see where I marked the fabric ...sorry!
First, Measure 25" from the bottom corner to the right and mark. Then from the bottom corner up 56.5" and mark. From the 56.5" measurement, measure 4" to the right and mark it. Draw a line from this point to the bottom point you marked at 25" This is your right "door."
Tip: to make a perfect line for cutting, use one of your teepee poles as the straight edge for marking.
After the right side is cut out, lay it over the other bottom corner of the bedspread (right sides together) and use it as a guide to cut the left "door" panel. This is what it'll look like:
For the back triangle teepee panel, I use the bottom of what's left once the two doors are cut out. Measure to make sure you have 44-45" of fabric across the bottom edge. In this case I had 50" so it was plenty.
**(If you're using a Full/Queen bedspread, you'll probably only have about 40" left here. In this case, measure across the bottom width until you have the 44" and cut off the bottom strip of fabric.)
This is the bedspread where the doors are cut out of the two corners. The part in the middle will be the bottom of the back triangle.
Measure 22" from the center point on each side for a 44" width across the bottom and 57" up for the length. From the center point, measure 2" out each way for a 4" top width.
At this point, you should have 2 identical triangles cut out on either side. I folded them on top of each other and they made identical side panels.
Since the top was almost 4" I just measured 57" down from center, marked, drew a straight line across, and then cut the bottom edge for the 2 side walls.
**If you are using a Full or queen, the points left here will be too narrow at the top. measure a line under the points that is 4" across and cut the tip off. Measure from the center of the new 4" top down 57". Cut across and trim the extra bits off the bottom of the triangle. You will have something that's about 4" wide at the top and 44" at the bottom. If it's a little bit off at the bottom, that's ok. It doesn't have to be perfectly the same at each side of the base...nobody will notice!
Next, I had a leftover scrap from a tablecloth, and I cut a triangle that was 56" long and 8" wide at the top and 60" wide at the bottom. Then cut it straight down the middle.
Fold the lace over and do a rolled hem on the two edges where you cut the panel in half.
Your two lace panels will look like this:
This particular teepee has lots of funky designs on the front. I cut pieces of scrap chenille and used doilies to decorate the front of the pink chenille. This step is completely optional. Just lay everything out, pin in place, and then sew it all on.
Turn the pink pieces face down and lay the lace on the back.
To make the front doors, layer the chenille and lace and fold down 1" then pin and sew it together
Next step is hemming the bottoms and tops of the back and side triangle pieces. Fold 1/2" and then another 1/2”. I usually just roll this, too since chenille is very thick and difficult to press.
If you have a thinner fabric like a bed sheet, you'll want to press it before you hem it. If you have any pieces where the actual finished edge of the bedspread is the top or bottom of your triangle, you don't need to hem it.
Now for the left and right sides, I added doily windows. First lay the triangle out, place the doily on it and pin it all the way around. The more pins the better because you don't want it slipping around while you're sewing
Sew it on and then cut out the back of the fabric with pinking shears to make a super cute window!
You can do this on one side, two sides or all 3 sides...or no sides! totally optional and up to you!
Now, you just need to sew it all together.
Pin & Sew one of the side triangles to the back piece first. You'll be left with this:
Next pin & sew the other side onto the back wall, and you're 3/4 there!
Finally, the front needs to be sewn on.
Since the front has 2 layers, you need to be careful to pin all 3 layers together.
Err on the side of using more pins than you think necessary.
Before you sew it, measure the seam about half way down (for me it was 38" from the top) and put your lace trim tie backs in between the layers.
I wove it through the two pink chenille layers first and back through the lace. This way, the pink front can be tied back but the lace will still show:
Now sew and repeat on the other side!
Before you're finished, we'll put some ties on the inside of the fabric cover. I do this so the cover stays in place during its use. Remember the circles we cut out of the teepee for the doilies? I cut 4 pieces from the middle of them. If you don't have these, just use about 15" of any ribbon or fabric scraps.
Measure 12" from the bottom of each seam and pin & sew them onto the inside.
Now it's ready! But what about the poles?
Well, you can buy them from me here or you can easily make your own.
You'll need 4 six foot sticks.
My husband makes all of mine, and they are the perfect width with routered corners and are sanded all around. We have spent years perfecting these, and they work perfectly. We drill holes through the tops of the poles for the string to go through so it won’t slip around, and the poles come with rope.
Substitutions and cheaper options can usually be found at your local home improvement store or cabinet Shop.
The cover will slip over the top while it's still closed. Once it's on there, open up the frame and spread it all out. Tie the cover onto the poles using the ribbons you sewed on.
Please remember that this pattern is NOT for making play tents available for sale. It is for personal use only.