Clever mum saved over £200 creating a teepee for her daughter out of old pallets

Garden playtime has never been more fun!
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  • We’ve seen bars, we’ve seen daybeds, pergolas and benches, but now one savvy mum has saved over £200 creating a budget teepee for her daughter out of pallet wood.

    Emma Hughes, from Liverpool, had just moved into a new home with her husband and baby daughter, and suddenly had a large garden with lots of space so was looking for some new garden ideas. ‘I love to do DIY,’ she told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, ‘and I was excited to get started on some projects.’

    While doing some research online, Emma came up with her idea. ‘I googled “Home DIY projects” and noticed there were lots of different teepees in the search results,’ she says.

    ‘They inspired me to give my own teepee ago. Although I was on a low budget, I wanted to make something for my baby girl to be able to play in, where she could also have shade to sit and eat lunch in the sunshine.’

    Sourcing materials was the first step, and Emma picked up a number of bargains from Facebook Marketplace, including five old pallets, which were free to collect, and some offcuts of artificial grass. ‘Some of the other teepee parts came from various stores, but they didn’t come to much overall,’ says Emma.

    ‘I got four 2×2 batons from B&Q for the frame and they cost £3.95 each. I also bought copper wire solar lights from Amazon for £8.99.’

    Budget pallet teepee

    Making the frame

    To start with, Emma took one of the pallets to use as the base. ‘I sanded down the best one I had, that wasn’t broken, and filled in the gaps,’ she says. ‘I then made the A frame and this was the hardest part as I didn’t know what I was doing – I had to just figure it out!

    Image credit: Emma Hughes

    Emma arranged two of the batons so they made an arch shape across the back. ‘It’s best to sand or saw down any excess wood from the batons, so they fit comfortably next to each other with a pointed top,’ says Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk. ‘Next, drill the two batons together with one or two nails, ensuring that the bottom of the arch remains wide enough to fit across the pallet.’

    Repeat this process with the other two batons, arranging them near the front of the pallet and ensuring all four batons make a point at the top. When it’s assembled, attach the A frame to the base with wood screws.

    Keeping it secure

    Next, Emma split the other pallets for wood, cutting and placing them as panels in an arrangement she liked.

    Image credit: Emma Hughes

    She cut four small slats from one of the pallets and nailed them around the top of the teepee, just under the point, to hold the frame in place. ‘Cut the remaining pallets down to size and nail them around the back and sides, leaving the front open as the entrance,’ says Tom.

    If you want ‘window’ gaps, then remember to leave spaces in between each plank. Then drill the pallets you apply to the base of the frame onto both the batons and the decking. This will attach the teepee to its base and keep it secure.

    Adding finishing touches

    Image credit: Emma Hughes

    Lastly, it was time to sand down the wood. ‘Once everything was screwed in, I sanded it down and then used burnt linseed oil to treat the wood,’ says Emma. ‘I already had this product in my shed, but it only costs around £4 on Amazon.’

    With the teepee built, Emma covered the base with artificial grass and added a few colourful cushions.

    Injecting some sparkle

    Image credit: Emma Hughes

    We’re pretty sure this teepee gets a lot of use, especially as it’s prepared for dark evenings with sparkly fairy lights wound around the frame. ‘I attached copper wire solar lights to complete the look and it was done,’ says Emma.

    ‘I loved making this project and my husband, daughter and dog all love it, too. It’s a good thing I know how to do it, as now my nephew wants me to make him one – so I’m starting all over again!’

    Emma made some great savings by building the teepee herself. ‘The whole project cost £24.79 overall, and I saw ready-made ones online for around £250!’ she says.

    Would you have a go at making one yourself?

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