Ruffle Teepee Tutorial

Ruffle Teepee Tutorial

DIY Ruffled Teepee Tent tee pee tutorial

 Preparing  Fabric for Ruffle Teepee:

rit dye, dyeing fabric, rit dye teepee tutorial

Supplies needed to dye fabric for ruffles:

Directions for dying fabric:

(Never use Rit Dye in a plastic or fiberglass sink or tub – it will stain.)

  1. Fill sink or bucket with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Use 1 package of Rit powder or 1/2 bottle of Rit liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for each pound of fabric. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to dye bath. Stir to mix.
  2. Wet fabric in hot water.  Uncrumple and add to dye bath.
  3. Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down) for 10 to 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear. Wash item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.
  5. Dry item in dryer or air dry.
  6. Clean sink or bucket immediately with chlorine bleach or scrub with chlorine-based powder, liquid, or gel cleanser.

Building Your Ruffle Teepee Base:

teepee tutorial, handmade children's tent

Tools to make the base:

  • Drill with 1/4 drill bit
  • Scissors
  • sand paper or sanding sponge

Materials to make the base:

  • 4-six foot PVC pipes (precut from hardware store)
  • zip tie

Directions to make the base.

  • On each piece of PVC pipe, measure 8 inches down and in the center, drill a hole using a ¼ drill bit. This is for the zip type that will hold it all together.
  • Sand the rough edges until smooth
  • Place the zip tie thorugh the holes and tighten. Trim off the excess. Position in the desired place and add the cover. Enjoy!

Putting Together your Teepee Cover:


Scissors, sewing machine, needle


  • One King sized sheet or two twin sheets sewn together for tent base.
  • Several twin flat sheets (the number depends on how fluffy you want your ruffles.) I used a ½ sheet per color. I had extra fabric left over that I will use for pillows and other projects to coordinate.
  • Thread for sewing on buttons
  • Velcro Brand hook and loop fastening tape 1”x3” inch strips
  • 6 packs of Buttons Galore and MoreBig Ol’ buttons – brights and pastels.

buttons, tent tutorial, velcro buttons, tent tutorial, velcro

Directions for making the ruffled layers on the tent.

  • On your sewing machine adjust your stitch length to the longest stitch setting.
  • Sew a straight seam along the edge of fabric that you want to gather, without backstitching at each end. This is also known as a basting stitch. Repeat a second time.
  • Pulling either the top thread or the bottom thread and start sliding your fabric together, creating a gathered look. You can pull the top thread from both sides or the bottom thread from both sides but just be sure that you don’t mix the two. If you try to pull the top thread on the left and then pull the bottom thread on the right side, it won’t gather correctly and will lock up.

Tip – If you are gathering on the left side and your gathers are sliding right out on the right side, you can always tie a knot on the right side so that you lock that side up and the gathers won’t slide off. (or vice versa)

  • Find the center of the base sheet by folding the fabric in half. Place a pin to mark your center. Fold the gathered piece in half and place a pin to mark your center.
  • Pin the pieces with right sides together. Pin the two ends together and then pin your two centers together. Gathering in smaller sections will just keep your gathers even all the way across
  • Then, pull your threads on each end (remember to pull either the top or bottom thread) and tighten up the gathers so that the gathered piece of fabric is exactly as wide as the flat piece of fabric.
  • Add more pins to secure your gathers in place. Begin sewing. Slide pins out as you go.
  • Repeat this for each layer of the fabric.
  • Add a ruffle trim piece on the side that will have the opening.
  • Sew buttons over the top ⅓ of the material.
  • Optional:
  • Velcro Brand hook and loop fastening tape was used as a method of closing the tent. Set the closures in the desired spots along the edge and sew into place.

And a few extra photos – just because I can.  🙂

DIY handmade ruffled tent tutorial

Teepee, Child's Play Tent, Rit Dye Projects Teepee, Child's Play Tent, Rit Dye Projects

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