California Tipi

Hummingbird TipisNews/Blog



Interior Designer



Project Brief:

Kelly Ferm is an interior designer, amongst other high quality professional services, and is undertaking the redesign of a clients house. Kelly contacted us after researching the web for tipi makers, it was a surprise to be contacted by a company in America, home of the tipis, but as it turned out for various good reasons, they chose us to help them with the making of a custom, child’s painted tipi. The brief for the tipi was to make a tipi that is 9FT in height and 7FT in diameter. It is to be a painted tipi and it is to be pitched permanently inside the house.

What an exciting project! So we got started.

Making the Tipi:

Canvas Work
Merle set about drawing a new pattern to scale for this sized tipi and soon began her hours of sewing. As it is to be a painted tipi it has been made in all white canvas. She has added on an internal sleeve on the bottom of the tipi so that a heavy chain can be feed through helping to keep the canvas taught and adding weight to the structure.

Painted designs
What the client wanted was something that would fit with the overall scheme of the redesign, colours etc, but was especially tailored for the lucky little soul who is going to find their early life using it as a little home.


What we have in the design above is the following:

Tipi Skirt – Mountains
Tipi middle – The Buffalo
Tipi Neck – Mesa & rivers with sacred turtle
Tipi Top & Smoke flaps – Night sky with the morning star also depicted as the four directions
Tipi Door – The sacred turtle

Colours are a limited palette of Teal, deep rust, gold and dark blue. Black buffalo

I sent the designs for approval using a print, cut-out and make model of the tipi so that the client could see it in the round.
If you’d like, you may view and print a PDF of this design here: MODEL PDF LINK

Current project status:

Merle has completed the sewing of the little tipi and it is already looking very sweet. It is in for drawing and painting very soon and I will be posting some photos here of the process once underway.