Thursday, 30 July 2015

Birthday project - Heni's Hanging Teepee

As you read this post I will probably be mid air on my way to Italy for a respite break with daughter number two and won't be back until the end of next week.... while I'm away I will be computerless and so this will be my last post for a week.  
Today I  thought I would leave you with a post that tells you all about a project that we completed recently for Heni's 20th birthday.  

I had seen a really fun looking hanging teepee swing on Pinterest that I really liked and thought that Heni (and the other kids) might enjoy having one.... (another cool area to hang out in the summer other than her swing). However, I didn't want to pay the extortionate megabucks that they cost and knowing that the boys are always up for a project AND we had a whole week where we had Niamh around to provide some respite... we decided to have a go at making one ourselves.

First, I put out a plea on Facebook for anyone who had an unwanted trampoline... and immediately had three very kind offers! We decided that the 8ft one would probably be the best size to fit in the space we had in mind. .... and went round to my friend Nic's house to dismantle it and bring home (Thanks so much Nic!)

Bringing it home on the Landy was another good opportunity for hubby to tell me  how useful the truck is!

 We positioned it where it would finally end up get a sense of  how big it was in the space.

  ....and then the boys set to work digging some post holes for the supporting structure that Hubby was going to build. (Given Respite time... one of the things he likes to do is to work with wood and build things! He is very good at it and although it's hard work... he finds that it is his way of relaxing).

 The posts were put in position.....

 ...and cemented in to place.

 The structure consisted of six up rights... the two middle ones on either size being double thickness (as these would support a heavy duty cross bar to hang the teepee from).

 Here the structure has been banded around the top to give it  some rigidity. We then painted it  to protect it from the Great British rain!

 I wanted to get an old carpet (or something like that) to put on top of the trampoline to cover up the mesh and springs but I  wasn't able to find one in the time we had.  Next best thing was some plumbing insulation cut in to lengths and split down the middle so that they could be  popped on over the springs for added protection (cheaper than swimming pool noodles!)

..... temporary spring, arm and leg protection!

I had looked at teepee tents on line and found that they too cost quite a lot of money so I carried  on Google(ing) and on my search I came across a polish military teepee tent... this was basically two ponchos which can be button together to make a teepee.... here is Niamh  wearing one...... with Heni not looking impressed. 

 ...and the back.....

 .....and here it is buttoned together.....  voila.... a tent!

 .....the wood structure and the trampoline were now ready for the tent to be attached....

 We had some rope left over from when the boys made a cross bow for a school project and so we started to weave the rope around the "T"  where the legs attach.

..... working around the trampoline from each of the 6 "T' joints....

..... and did a bit of fancy weaving at the top to make sure that it was totally secure.

We threaded some rope through the islets at the bottom of the tent so that we could tie the tent on to the metal  trampoline frame around the upright "rope pyramid".

.... this is what it looks like....

 Hubby then removed the legs while I was sitting in the tent and I was left swinging suspended in the air.....

 We then tied some pretty bunting to the entrance and put in a fluffy blanket (because everyone loves fluffy blankets???)

..... and the tent was then ready for occupation.....The Hungry boy had first trial!

I had also purchased a 3mx3m  "Marsala red" sail (sourced from the internet again) to attach to the top of the structure for extra shade .... and to match the Pieris Japonica bush/tree!

 The teepee can be quite difficult to get in to at first as it tips up at an angle..... but once you get the balance right's  pretty straight forward and real easy to jump in. We have to make sure that if there is more than one person inside, we have to distribute the weight evenly so that the tent stays balanced.   Since finishing  the project we have added some stabilizer ropes to each side. These hold the tent in place and make it much easier to get Heni in and out.

Having used it now for almost a week (as I write), we can see some tweaks that we can make to it. I think we need to add a few more rope struts to pad the tent out a little more and also get a more permanent solution for protection from the springs that also act as something to lie on (I'm keeping my eye out for that  freebee carpet!) 
We are really pleased with the finished project... It's a great addition to the garden and  looks like its been there forever.  
Heni loves being in her new chill out zone.... she has used it every day!
I am also happy to see that everyone else is taking their turn to use and 
enjoy it  too : )


Got any summer project planned? Big or small....let me know what you have been up to and share some of your ideas....... and maybe post some pictures on Henibean on Facebook  if you get a chance...


  1. Awesome! I must say that you have gone above and beyond "Where there's a will, there's a way!" I love and envy just how creative and so utterly determined you are to provide so many wonderful experiences for Heni!

    1. Thank you Sylvia. It's fun having a project and if Heni can benefit then all the better. It keeps her amused when she is in the garden!

  2. Wow, this is amazing! What a lovely space to just chill out, and what a great tutorial!

    1. I often catch my teenagers in there too when Heni is not in there! Thanks for taking the time to visit today x


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