Paper Teepee

Make and decorate a three-dimensional paper teepee (or tipi) while learning about Native American culture.
Paper Teepee craft

Materials

  • Brown A4 or US Letter size card stock
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Three sticks, skewers, or twigs
  • Rubber band
  • Scotch tape
  • Scoring tool (e.g. blunt plastic knife, spent ballpoint pen)

Safety Tips

  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.

Steps

Step 1 Paper Teepee craft 1.

Print out the template.

Print out any of these teepee templates on brown A4 or Letter size card stock. Pick the plain template if you want to decorate your own teepee.
Step 2a Paper Teepee craft 2.

Decorate the template.

Decorate the teepee using colored pencils, crayons, or markers. Decorate as you like or draw inspiration from how the Native American people decorated their teepees. Check out these resources for some useful info:
Step 2b Paper Teepee craft Bottom - the bottom part of the teepee represents the earth. It is typically decorated with a dark-colored band. Curved mounds springing from the top edge of the band represent hills while pointed ones are mountains.
Step 2c Paper Teepee craft Top - the top section represents the sky. It is often filled with round-shaped stars.
Step 2d Paper Teepee craft Middle - animals are usually found in the teepee's middle area. These are said to be the teepee owner's spirt helpers.

For animal drawing ideas, you can search online for Native American animal symbols or check out these two resources:
Step 3 Paper Teepee craft Ask for an adult's help.3.

Score both sides of the door.

This step is necessary if you printed out the template in heavy or thick card stock. Scoring makes folding the door a lot easier. Find a scoring tool such as a blunt plastic knife or a spent ballpoint pen. Place the edge of a ruler on one of side of the teepee's triangular door. With the ruler to guide the tool, score along the entire line. Do not score too hard as this may tear the paper. Repeat with the door's opposite side.
Step 4 Paper Teepee craft 4.

Cut a slit in the middle of the door.

Cut along the door's middle line.
Step 5 Paper Teepee craft 5.

Fold out the door flaps.

Fold out the door flaps along the pair of scored lines.
Step 6a Paper Teepee craft 6.

Assemble the template into a cone.

Apply glue along the entire tab area.
Step 6b Paper Teepee craft Glue the tab behind the teepee's opposite edge, forming a cone shape.
Step 7a Paper Teepee craft Ask for an adult's help.7.

Create a tripod of sticks.

Cut three sticks, skewers, or twigs to a length of about 6 to 7 inches.
Step 7b Paper Teepee craft Bind them together loosely with a rubber band about an inch from one end.
Step 8a Paper Teepee craft 8.

Place the tripod inside the teepee.

Place the tripod inside the teepee, with its bound end peeking through the top hole.
Step 8b Paper Teepee craft Tape the bottom end of each stick onto the inside of the teepee.
Step 9a Paper Teepee craft 9.

Check out your paper teepee.

That's it! If you wish to make some Native American figures to live in your teepee, you can draw them on card stock or construction paper. Cut them out and glue an L-shaped cardboard tab at the back of each figure to help it stand upright.

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