Here’s your next summer project!
If you’d like a lovely outdoor space to relax in, or to let your kids play in, all summer and beyond, check out this scrap fabric teepee from Twig and Toadstool. Beginning with cedar poles, Twig and Toadstool teaches you how to make an actual, full-sized teepee for your yard.
Once you’ve finished your teepee, collect several thrifted flat sheets and let Twig and Toadstool teach you how to wrap the poles and stretch the fabric between them to finish the project. The finished teepee would be a wonderful place to get out of the sun for reading and quiet play, and probably the perfect spot for backyard camping. I think it would be great as part of our vegetable garden, for kids who want to keep me company but don’t actually want to, you know, help.
I fully admit that my partner and I are definitely on the weird side when it comes to property ownership, but we’re big believers in letting the kids have equal ownership of lots of spaces in our home and yard, and have lots of spaces that are just their own. At various times in the kids’ lives so far, we’ve had mud kitchens, reading nooks, digging pits, garden plots in which many plants lost their lives to a deadly kid combination of over/underambitious watering, structurally unsound “forts,” wall sections that could be painted on, etc.
Our house and yard have never, then, looked conventionally “cute,” but they’ve always been comfortable, welcoming to our kids and their friends, and I do treasure the occasional visitor who doesn’t widen their eyes in horror upon walking past the giant kid-painted rainbow on the hallway wall but instead compliments it.
And yet, now that my kids are a little older, and they have that practice with painting, digging, planting, and building that made our place such a wreck in their early years, I have noticed that the projects that we’re able to do together, and the spaces that they’re inclined to make for themselves, are much more sophisticated and, yes, attractive. A one-foot plot with a dead tomato plant in the center of it has evolved into a genuine garden. The older kid decided to alphabetize all the books in her reading nook, and she did so. Grass gradually grew over the space where toddlers once made mud pies.
And now, we’ve bought a new house, with fresh, new spaces ready for these bigger, older, more capable kids. They’re old enough to build a real fort now, or even a tree house, with some help. The older one has drawn up plans for a butterfly garden that’s large enough for paths, and a fence around the perimeter, and a bench (that one’s probably still overreaching quite a bit, frankly, but her plans are gorgeous!).
And back in our couple of acres of woods behind the house, there is absolutely a small clearing that’s the perfect spot to build a scrap fabric teepee.
[image is the property of Twig and Toadstool]