The brief arrival of summertime (now departed, replaced by a week of torrential rain), turned our heads this week to camp-outs and camp-fires; to nights under the stars and balmy, warm evenings under a wide open sky. These at least are Harry’s thoughts; as a camping novice, his romantic notions are untroubled by reality; midges, creepy-crawlies, rising damp and those strange, spooky rustling noises in the dead of night that seem somehow to be bear-sized are all yet to come. We have agreed that this summer we will gather sleeping bags and canvas, torches and firewood and try it for real …in the back garden at least.
Until then, we’re making do with these fun paper tipis which I created in Powerpoint and which we’ve been constructing in different colours and sizes to make a small reservation for the various Lego men, animals and other homeless itinerants of Harry’s toy box. They seem to appreciate the gesture, even if unused to sleeping under the same pitched roof;
These are very simple to make once you’ve printed them out; you’ll need only a handful of wooden skewers, cocktail sticks and some glue or tape. I’ve drawn one authentic-looking leathery tipi complete with markings, and one more plain ecru-design which can be coloured in, decorated or otherwise customised as you see fit (because there’s always room for sequins and glitter glue, even on the plains).
To make the tipis, I used these wonderful free leather textures – definitely worth bookmarking if you’re a creative type. So, arm yourself with a pair of scissors and give them a whirl. Even if you don’t have little people in your life these are fun to make and look very decorative on a bookshelf or mantle. Or why not print them out and make a kit to send to someone for whom it might be JUST the project to occupy a rainy day?
Instructions below – email me if you get stuck. Oh, and of course, be careful not to accidentally poke yourself in the eye with a skewer, especially if doing this with a glass of wine in the other hand. For added safety, you could add a colourful bead to the tip of each one like here.
Still, I can assure you that making a paper tipi is far less hazardous than trying to erect the real thing, especially when your assistant is an easily distracted four year old.