Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weighting it Down

Your show tent that is! When doing an outdoor show with a tent weights are pretty much a necessity. Unless you want your tent to become airborne - possibly ruining your work, other people's work and risking injury to yourself and others, weight your tent!

There are a lot of options out there for weighting the legs of your tent. Some people purchase tent weight bags or make their own with sand. Others haul empty water cooler bottles that they fill with water. Since I wasn't sure that water would be available I rejected that method. Other people use weight disks from barbell sets, actual barbells and cinder blocks. I wanted something that would go with the look of the tent and was something I could make myself. A quick Google search brought up a fantastic tent weight tutorial on the Etsy Metal Blog.

I won't try to copy the tutorial here, please visit the links if you'd like to try to make your own. I just thought I'd show a few of my steps and my optional/additional handle method.

Here is my PVC in capping process, with the 8 inch eye bolt through the drilled cap. This end will be on the bottom when the concrete is poured. Nuts and a washer are threaded on the eye bolt for extra strength when embedded in concrete.

Here I have shoveled the Quikrete concrete mix into the tubes and I am waiting for it to set more before I cap the open end.

Here is a finished weight with my optional handle. The Etsy Metal Blog tutorial mentions an option where the handles are screwed on. I really liked the look, but the hardware store didn't have sturdy enough handles (everything is stamped/formed sheet anymore...where is the solid metal?!?). I opted instead to use two large hose clamps and a length of knotted rope.

The tent up, and weighted! The weights are approximately 35 pounds/ 16.5 kilos each.

Considering I bought the tent on a Thursday, started shopping for all the weight supplies at 9:00 am Friday, and had the tent up by 10:00 am Saturday I was pretty pleased with the results. Thank you Etsy Metal Blog!


  1. Looks great! And the scenery is fantastic too! I've been wanting to make those weights for my tent. Right now I'm using sandbags that strap to the tent legs. They're really easy to use, but I'm not sure they're heavy enough to hold things in place in strong winds. Thanks for the link!

  2. That is the type of weights we use, but I only had them wrapped around the base of the tent when 45 mph gusts knocked ours over (luckily we and our craft were not inside). May the rest of our summer season be calm.

  3. Thanks Rebekah! Glad to be of help.

    Wayne, in a storm nothing can really be guaranteed... just glad you and your beautiful work were all okay.