One Little, Two Little, Three Little…

by Stefani on 17-October-2007

In a thrift store a few weeks back, I ran across a neat little book, “The Three Little Indians,” published by National Geographic, in 1974 (a good year, as far as one who was born in it is concerned :-). We read it, and it sparked a fire for learning all things Native American.

They want to fish with spears, ride bareback, make pottery bowls, paint themselves with berries and hunt, for what, they know not, but for something none the less.

The drive to be wild and free, readying themselves for the transition from boys to braves, has taken hold of their souls.

And so, remembering tepees showing up on some of my favorite blogs, I knew that we must create our own version.

Our Tepee

We bought three twin-sized natural fiber duvet covers at IKEA ($5 each) and 6 very long garden stakes at Home Depot. Two stakes fit in the small slot at the top of each duvet cover, and then are pushed into the corners to creat a fabric triangle. The poles are tied to each other at the top. I cut a small hole in the tops of the covers, and looped this over the “V” made by the tied poles. Repeat with the remaining 4 sticks and 2 duvets. Then, lash all three sides together at the top, and voila, tepee.

We used fabric paints (not berries) to create some Native American art on the sides.


It makes a nice place to relax,


and learn.

A Nice Place For Reading

We read that the plains Indians kept their fires going all the time, and only started new fires as part of their celebration of a new year.

All that talk of fire brought to mind a handy little trick that I’d read on another inspiring blog:


Now, I’m pretty sure that the Blackfoot did not get to roast marshmallows or cook hot dogs over the open flame, like we did, but the trade off, I’m told, is that they actually got to sleep in their tepees. The 21st century has it’s downsides, to be sure. One of them is a Mama who has a choice, and chooses air conditioning.

It’s not that I’m opposed to camping, really, I actually love it. It’s just that I’m opposed to doing it in an open air structure that cannot be zipped and hence free of critters. Call me crazy.

It’s time now for you to make a tepee too. You know why? Cuz it’s fun, and cuz everybody’s doing it. See:

Molly’s Heirloom

Lori’s Better Than A Treehouse Tepee

Eren’s Cowboy Camp

C’mon, what are ya, chicken?

Lori October 17, 2007 at 8:25 pm

love your version! :^) and i can’t believe you even used a duvet cover .. how funny is that. lol

Kelly October 17, 2007 at 9:11 pm

I am working on a Tepee right now for my son! It’s going to be a suprise 1st birthday gift, I wanted him to have a fort/cubby house but not one of those crazy plastic things, so after a little searching my husband and I have started creating at Tepee for him! So excited to see yours! Very Very Cool! -kb

Sarah Jackson October 17, 2007 at 9:19 pm

ooh! I love it! I’ve been planning to make one for my kids for Christmas. Yours rocks.

cloth.paper.string October 17, 2007 at 10:29 pm

the things you’re up to with those boys are amazing!! i love how you dive right in to whatever it is that you all are learning together.

Cheryl October 18, 2007 at 4:59 am

Love the new header photo, striking!
What a great project and very economically accomplished, kudos.
Are you guys going to Maker Faire this weekend? I was supposed to go but it is our Fall Festival weekend. My friend Tonia Davenport is doing a class on making plexiglass boxes. I featured her today. Cheers!

Kris October 18, 2007 at 5:04 am

I just got the rubber band gun done (ds birthday 11/01) and the bread recipie ready to go, and now a tepee? Holy smokes, it is a good thing my kids don’t read your blog!
Truthfully though, Stephani I find your ideas inspiring and delightful! Thank you for sharing them.
Oh and I just added a link to your blog from mine. ~Kris

Tracy October 18, 2007 at 6:11 am

Sweet teepee!

stephanie October 18, 2007 at 6:46 am

I just found your blog and am loving it. All of this is amazing. I want to try and do this more with my son…run with stuff.

Katherine October 18, 2007 at 8:07 am

The tepee rocks but what I am off to do right now is build a fire in the terra cotta pan of a flower pot. BRILLIANT!

Your boys might really enjoy the American Girl series of books about Kaya. We are finishing them right now. Historical fiction about a Nez Pierce girl in the 1700. An excellent read and portrait of life back then.

clara October 18, 2007 at 8:43 am

this is so much fun! love the fact that you can paint on the duvet. cool!

Lina October 18, 2007 at 9:59 am

Ooh this is SO cool Stefani. What an amazing and inspiring mum you are. This is definitely going to be on my “things to do with children” list. A project for the summer in these parts I think! Thank you.

molly October 18, 2007 at 10:08 am

We just had our teepee out on the front porch the other night, taking shelter from the rain and waiting for Grandma to come pick us up for ice cream. Wishing you many happy memories in your new digs. Avery enjoyed the Kaya books too 🙂 Not too girly at all. Good action, lots of horses, and interesting for mommy too (lots of history).

kristin October 18, 2007 at 10:46 am

wish i was there.

glad your fire worked.

i long to have fire going all day and all night.

erin October 18, 2007 at 1:10 pm

yes, chicken. that’s me.

dana October 18, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Oooooo! Love the teepee and the fire in the terra cotta pot. Hmmmm. I see s’mores in our near future. Do you use the whole pot or just the saucer on the bottom??

Also, I have posted the recipe for pumpkin stew on my blog. Thought maybe you could add it to your soup side bar. (no pun intended!)

dana October 18, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Oooooo! Love the teepee and the fire in the terra cotta pot. Hmmmm. I see s’mores in our near future. Do you use the whole pot or just the saucer on the bottom??

Also, I have posted the recipe for pumpkin stew on my blog. Thought maybe you could add it to your soup side bar. (no pun intended!)

nancy October 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm

is that a challenge? well, i might just take you up on that. i’ve been wanting to make some sort of teepee type hideout for sometime, so this might be the push/motivation i need.
great designs by the way and the fireplace idea is superb!

Dallas October 18, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Ooh the teepee looks fun. I like the terracotta pot idea – I’ll have to try that sometime.

molly October 19, 2007 at 12:17 pm

we got in on the tepee action this afternoon–and I linked to you on the momformation site! my girls are having a blast.

leslie October 20, 2007 at 9:34 pm

oh my gosh, loving the teepee and the fire to boot!

Kari October 26, 2007 at 8:06 am

What did you do withe the extra material at the tops of the triangles? Most of my crew will be camping this weekend and I thought that the littest guy and I would build one together.


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