Make a DIY pet teepee for your furry friend in just five steps. This pet teepee is customizable, too! Pick fabrics and trim to match your home decor, and adjust the sizing to match your pet.

By Margaret Curry
October 24, 2018
close-up cat lying in teepee looking out propped open door

Give your furry companion their own cozy space. We'll walk you through how to make a cat or dog teepee—our instructions make it possible to do it at home. Store-bought pet beds can be expensive and don't always look great in your home. This DIY cat tent bed sits perfectly over a pillow or pet bed and looks adorable.

Related: Make a DIY Cat Toy

  • Working time 2 hrs
  • Start to finish 2 hrs
  • Difficulty Hard

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Cut Fabric Panels

Fold a 1-yard length of white broadcloth in half and use the template to:

a.) Trace four body panels. Cut out the panels and set them aside.

b.) Trace two front panel sections from broadcloth. Cut out.

c.) Trace one small upper panel and two of each lower panel from broadcloth. Cut out.

Get the free template
sewing other side of strip of fabric
sew end of ribbon onto panel
Step 2

Sew Body Panels and Trim

Cut a length of twill trim that measures the length of the top of each panel, and use the sewing machine to attach the trim to the panels. Do the same with upholstery trim of your choosing and sew it to the bottom of each panel. Stitch along the top and bottom of each trim for added security.

front panels side by side with pom-pom trim
Step 3

Sew Front Panels and Trim

Sew upholstery trim to the bottom of the front panels. Add decorative pom trim (or other trim of your choosing) to the inside edge, then pin and sew. Using the single small front piece, press 1/2-inch seam into the top, then add twill tape to the seam and stitch. Pin the smaller piece to the top edges of the longer front pieces. 

When all the pieces are sewn together, you'll have a triangular panel with an opening edged with pom trim as shown. This will be the front of the pet bed teepee.

pinning pocket fabric on teepee panel edge of sewing machine
DIY Pet Teepee sewing panels
Step 4

Create Pockets for Dowels

Cut 10 pieces of twill tape the length of the side edges of the teepee body panels. You'll use two pieces of twill tape to create a pocket for each corner of the teepee. The pockets will hold the dowel rods that keep the teepee standing. Sew the pockets together individually—you'll attach them to the panels later. Pin two pieces of twill tape together. Stitch along one long side and one short side of the twill tape, to create a pocket that's open at the top and on one side and closed at the bottom. Repeat until you have five individual sets of these twill tape dowel pockets. 

To attach the twill tape pockets to the teepee panels, fold two tent panels with right sides facing. Place the unstitched pocket edge along the diagonal edge where the tent panels attach to each other. Overlap 1/2-inch with the stitched end of pocket along the bottom and sew with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat on all corners of the tent, until all the flat panels (as well as the finished front panel) are attached with a dowel pocket in between. Be sure that the open end of each pocket is at the narrow end (or the top) of each panel. 

woman inserting dowels into pockets
woman applying second zip tie to dowels
woman tying large pom-poms to top of teepee
Step 5

Secure and Finish

When all the teepee panels are sewn together, add thin dowel rods to each pocket. We used dowels with a 5/8-inch diameter. We used dowels 36 inches in length, but if you resized the teepee patterns before starting, you may need to adjust the length of the dowels. When you have a dowel in each of the pouches, adjust the tent so it stands upright on its own. Use zip ties to secure the tent by tying the dowels together at the top. Cover the zip ties by wrapping yarn or cotton cording around the intersection of the dowels several times. We added two large pom poms to the top of the teepee for decoration. When the teepee is finished, set it over a pillow or a small pet bed and let your cat or dog enjoy.

The DIY pet teepee can be easily washed and dried by removing the cording, zip ties and dowels from the fabric structure. We recommend hand-washing the material or using the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Let the pet tent air dry before putting the dowels, zip ties and accessories back on. 

Comments (3)

How difficult was this project?
July 28, 2020
Difficulty: Very Hard
I had no idea what to do half the time
July 28, 2020
Difficulty: Very Hard
I had no idea what to do half the time
July 29, 2019
Difficulty: Very Hard
I printed the instructions out and then clicked to get the templates. To my surprise and consternation nothing happened. I was very interested in this project for my kitties but don’t know how to proceed without the templates. Can they be mailed to me? My address is 408 Hanover St, Burleson, TX 76028

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