Tent Weight Tutorial

Back in 2009, I did my first outdoor juried art show. Besides being super-excited I finally got in after trying futility for 5 years, I felt a moment of panic. There was so much I had to do! Purchase a 10 x 10 tent, build inventory, come up with a layout for the booth… and oh yeah, I need tent weights.

Tent Weights. Tent Weights so my tent will not blow over and damage my jewelry or for that matter, anyone else’s artwork. So let me emphasize… Having tent weights are super important for any outdoor show.

There are several ways I’ve seen artists use to weigh down tents. I’ve seen cement blocks, gallon-size buckets filled with water or sand or just a simple stake in the ground to keep tents from blowing over. While all are viable ways to weigh down a tent, none of these options are close to the 30-35lb per leg requirement at most art & craft shows. Why so heavy? Storms with with strong winds. Storms that come out of nowhere. Check out these photos from the Columbus Arts Festival in June 2011. This strong storm developed in less than 30 minutes. The better you weigh your tent, the better chance you have.

So back then, I ended up making these streamlined tent weights. They are 4-inch wide, 3ft long PVC pipe filled with concrete. With the eyelet on top, I can use rope to easily hang them. It took me an afternoon to make, with drilling the holes for the handles taking the longest amount of time. Trust me, you want the handles to make these easy to carry. If I was picky, I would have added another end-cap so you wouldn’t see the concrete.

But I was tired and practically melting the July heat. And if you ever lived in St. Louis during the summer, you would understand. All in all, it was about $80 to make the weights and they weigh approximately 35 lbs each.

The weight should be enough to meet the requirements most shows and festivals require. A very good investment if you will be doing outdoor shows for the long run.

Written by Melissa Villadiego of Villa Design

3 thoughts on “Tent Weight Tutorial

  1. annieshirts says:

    Hi there! About to make some weights similar to these for my tent for the upcoming shows this summer. To get 35lbs/pipe, did you use all concrete or a sand/concrete mix? A tutorial that I stumbled upon used a sand/concrete mix but their’s (at 2.5ft long) weighed about 22lbs, they said. Thanks!
    Peterborough, Ontario

  2. Fusion says:

    Hi Annie! I used a concrete/gravel mix. I’m not sure if its the same consistency as the sand mix. If I had to do these again, I would have used 4 ft long PVC piping with wider handles. 🙂

    • annieshirts says:

      Hmm… Well the pipes are already cut at 3ft so we’ll see how it goes! 😉 I’m going with straight concrete… Just have to get around to mixing the concrete and then I’ll be done… Fingers crossed the tent stays on the ground this summer!!

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