Thursday, March 12, 2015

DIY Polka Dot Tee Pee

Last night our nephews "Facetimed" us in the midst of fixing dinner. My heart melted as those two crazies laughed and chatted with Andrew and I. Benedict has even learned to say "Uncle Dandy" and to be honest, I about died. The sweet child cannot say "three" but he has "Uncle Dandy" down pat. We sure do know who we love, even at a young age.  

So today it got me to thinking about Benedict's DIY polka dot tee pee. Or in Benedict's vocabulary, his "pee pee". 

I am always after the perfect gift. This Christmas, (which seems like years ago!), I was on a strict budget but still wanted to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. When it came time for Benedict's gift, I didn't want to give a toy that he wouldn't care about days later or an outfit that he would outgrow in a matter of seconds and I wanted something that could be neat for him to use when he visits Newport. Its hard finding a gift for a 2 year old. In reality, they'd prefer pots and pans and empty cardboard boxes. So I started scouring Pinterest and Etsy. The place of all great ideas. And I found THE perfect gift. 

A tee pee. A place where Benedict could hide away and read books, use his imagination, and escape from his older siblings. He really hadn't had any place of his own!

As I searched and searched I decided to build it myself. The ones online were either too expensive or too kid like. I wanted something he could grow into. So I pinned a few great tutorials on how to build a tee pee and off I went to Hobby Lobby. I settled on a grey and light khaki polka dot duct fabric for the tent and an antique like car duct fabric for his reading cushion. A lot of tutorials recommended either dowels or pvc pipes from Home Depot for the tent legs. I found the pvc pipes to be cheesy and the dowels to be too pricey. So I got Andrew to make them out of a 2x6 with his chop saw. He even was able to sand each edge and chop the bottoms at an angle for it to sit properly on the floor. A perfect solution!

As a sewing newbie, this project was challenging for sure, mostly because I am spatially challenged. I found cutting the triangles and sewing large amounts of fabric to be the hardest part, so if you want to attempt the project and don't have those issues, it should be a piece of cake! I recommend these tutorials from Dress this Nest and Pink Toes and Power Tools. I adjusted my measurements a bit to fit my tent poles (I made them slightly smaller) and for all my "oops" sewing mistakes. Once the tent was all put together, I made the simple reading cushion with a piece of foam and the car fabric, just like you would a pillow. 


When Benedict found out this tee pee was his very keep...he made sure everyone knew that this was HIS "pee pee".  To be exact, I believe his words were...."My pee pee...Mine." All he wanted to do that night was read or nap in his "pee pee". He didn't want anyone else to come in HIS space. That reaction, that joy in his expressions, that love, that is what gifts are all about. 

I guess you could say that the DIY polka dot "pee pee" was a success. 

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