How to make a wooden teepee – with Rust-Oleum
How to make a wooden teepee
Advertisement in collaboration with Rust-Oleum
This week I joined in with Rust-Oleum’s summer garden challenge to create or upcycle something for the garden – I chose to design and make a wooden teepee for my son and painted it with Rust-Oleum Universal Paint.
I chose this paint as it can be used on a wide range of surfaces including wood and metal, it can be used outside, and best of all it is a paint and primer all in one (if using on wood)! We all know how much I hate priming before painting, so it’s pretty much my dream paint. It also comes in a range of colours, and for my project I used Thyme, white and gold.
Keep reading to find out how I made it.
Materials and Equipment
To make the teepee I used:
– 4 treated wooden battens. I bought mine from B&Q and had them cut to size (1.8m length) for free in store. Click here to see the ones I used.
– Feather Board Fence slats. You can use reclaimed ones from old fencing or buy them new as I did from here. I used about 20 slats altogether. Alternatively you could use reclaimed planks of wood for a more rustic look.
– Galvanised nails
– Jigsaw (not essential but makes things much easier and quicker)
– Electric drill
– Electric precision sander
– Paint brushes of various sizes
– A pen
Step 1 Choosing the Size
I measured the space where I wanted the teepee to go once finished, to work out the maximum possible dimensions of the base.
Step 2 Making the sides
To make the first side, I lay 2 of the battens down on the patio as it is a firm, flat space. I crossed them over at the top, and spread the other ends out to my desired base width (110m). I then used a drill to drill a hole through the top batten and slightly into the one underneath, and used a screw to fix them together.
Next I began attaching the feather boards. I positioned the first board across the wide edge of the frame ensuring the thick edge was towards the bottom, and marked out the size using a pen. I cut the board to size using the jig saw, then fixed the board onto the frame using a nail in each top corner.
I repeated this process for each board, until I neared the top.
I then repeated it again to create the second side.
Step 3 Making the front and back
I stood both sides up and leaned them together so the tops met in the middle. I measured out the base at the front and back to ensure they were roughly 110cm. The back was slightly wider than the front, due to the way the battens fitted together at the top.
I drilled into two of the battens at the top and screwed them together, to keep both sides in place.
Next I attached feather boards to the back of the teepee, and a couple to the front, in the same way as I did the sides. It was more difficult to hammer the nails in with the teepee upright, as there was no firm ground behind it to offer resistance. Because of this, I sometimes had to drill a little way into the wood using a very thin drill bit before inserting the nails to make it easier.
Step 4 Sanding
To make the wood nice and smooth ready for painting and to reduce the risk of splinters, I sanded it down using an electric sander. I started off with a very rough grit sandpaper (60), then moved to 80, then finally 240.
Step 6 Painting
I had a rough idea of the sort of pattern I wanted to paint, but hadn’t planned it in detail. Using Rust-Oleum Universal Paint in Matt white, satin thyme and metallic gold, I painted the teepee freehand making the pattern up as I went along. I loved that I didn’t need to use a separate primer or do any other fiddly preparation before painting. The paint went on really well, and didn’t need a second coat. It poured with rain the day after I finished the teepee and the rain just rolled right off surface of the paint, so I feel reassured that the wood beneath is well protected and the finish will last a very long time.
Overall, it was much easier to make a wooden teepee than I expected, and painting it with Rust-Oleum paint was a dream!
Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think of this project 🙂 I love hearing from my readers!