How to make a backyard tipi

The ultimate summer nap: Create a curl-up space with room for a double-size air mattress

homemade tipi
Photo by Thomas J. Story

DIY backyard tipi

With some basic, straight sewing, you can make this tipi in about 8 hours for $395. You'll need:

  • Five 10-foot bamboo poles (2 inch diameter; we used Tonkin species from Cali Bamboo: $8 each with minimum order of 10)
  • 3 yards of 3/8-inch sisal rope
  • 15 yards of weather-resistant fabric like Sunbrella: We used 11 yards of Spectrum Daffodil #48024 for the exterior; 1½ yards (optional) of Caroline Seabreeze #5644 for the inside front flaps; and 2½ yards of Spectrum Graphite #48030 for the liner under the mattress
  • Sewing machine
On a flat surface in your yard, measure out a rectangle that’s 81 inches by 59 inches. Place 4 bamboo poles upright, 1 at each corner of this rectangle. Place pole 5 between 2 back poles for stability. Tether the 5 poles with the sisal rope.


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