A Teepee for the summer

hazel stick preparation

We love big making projects outside. One of our favourites is a garden teepee for the summer. Everyone joins in. First job is to cut long sticks from the hazel tree. A job for their father. The children help to strip the leaves and side branches.

hazel sticks

Great care is taken and everyone has a job.

fixing the teepee

Next, the sticks are made into a structure and the cloth is carefully fixed to them. Wrapping around.

sheet on teepee

Breathable ground sheet is put down inside and the teepee can feel very inviting. Especially when the day heats up.

top of teepee

And then the fun begins.

painting the teepee


This is the job that will take all summer. Visiting friends will be invited to add their mark to the cloth.

painting teepee lavender

The only rule is to choose a natural subject. No cars or buildings, but plants and animals. Maybe.

painting the teepee smile

The colour palette is limited, but that doesn’t stop them mixing to make new colours.

leaf printing on teepee

Multicoloured leaf printing is a must.

Every summer garden party, we put up a teepee. Children, and adults, are encouraged to paint it. This year we have reused some of the old cloths and “Happy Birthday” can still be seen, along with previous masterpieces. Its fun. It brings back memories of previous times. Of friends that have moved on. Of friends that have grown.

first teepee

This is the very first teepee we made. When AJ was one years old. Her first birthday party. Eleven years ago. (The glass of wine was not hers!)

Today is the summer solstice and it is mild and dry. The children are sleeping out in the teepee tonight. Another adventure to be had.

Happy Solstice.


Joining in with the amazing #CountryKids Linky. I may be a bit late hopping over there as I have a teepee waiting for me. Hope the children have left me a space!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




20 thoughts on “A Teepee for the summer

  • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 12:03 am

    WOW! what an amazing teepee – Well done. Somehow I can’t see us managing to create something like this. Not good with DIY projects at the best of times. It truly looks amazing and so impressive. #countrykids

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      They are having so much fun with the teepee, that it’s worth the effort.

  • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 1:54 am

    This is just stunning… so much fun, what a wonderful tradition!!! I love it… My kids keep asking if they can sleep out but it is so cold over here… they will have to wait a couple of months!!!

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      The last two years have been so wet, that we haven’t made a teepee. The children are beyond excited that we are doing it this year. It is good fun. Making the most of our warmer weather, before we hand it back to you, my friend! 🙂

  • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I fondly remember my mum throwing a sheet over the washing line and putting bricks each side to hole it down for a tent. We loved it.
    All these years later I can recall the smell inside the tent and watching the earwigs.

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Half expected earwigs, but none so far. 🙂 Glad it brought back happy memories for you, too.

  • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Well this makes tents look very boring! What a wonderful idea that is a reminder of some lovely memories over the years. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids and happy sleeping in the Teepee.

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      It is good fun and feels more of an adventure as they’ve made their own tent. Hopefully it will stay up all summer and we will have a few more nights of sleeping in it. (If the children have their way, we’ll spend all summer sleeping in it!)

  • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    That’s a great idea. I’m very jealous. Think we’ve got too many bugs (and dogs and other animals around the farm), but do really want to get a teepee for N. I really like the idea of decorating it as well

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      It makes a great focus for play in the garden. Adds a bit of shade too. We were a bit worried that the pup would pull it down, but, fingers crossed, she’s ignoring it so far. Maybe it looks too big.

  • Monday 23 June, 2014 at 10:16 am

    This is fabulous. Love it!

    • Monday 23 June, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks, Hannah!

  • Monday 23 June, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    This is just brilliant and I want to make one RIGHT now!! I have plenty of hazel around that I can use but what material do you use?

    • Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      We’ve tried various cloths over the years, but a decorator’s sheet seems to work best. It’s not waterproof, but it doesn’t need to be. Takes the paint well and is relatively cheap. One year, I cut up cheap fabric into triangles and sewed them together. A labour of love! Finished it in the early hours before the day of the party.

  • Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 8:54 am

    This is awesome, what a great tradition. I love that everybody does a little painting on it too.

    • Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      It goes down so well with visitors. Love seeing the ice being broken and everyone expressing their creativity. I guess they expect something a little bit different to happen at our place!

  • Saturday 28 June, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    what a fun project!! i especially like all the personalized touches with the paintings!

    • Saturday 28 June, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      They will add more painting as the summer goes on. It is fun.

    • Sunday 29 June, 2014 at 10:03 am

      I think we will. 🙂

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