How To Build a Circus Tent

How To Build a Circus TentWho needs to pay money to see a circus when you can build one in your own backyard? More and more people are opting to have birthday parties, anniversaries or community get-togethers under a homemade big top. Does homemade mean that it will be cheap-looking and unsafe? Not necessarily -- not if you have the right tools, knowledge and a whole lot of patience.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • 3 pieces of 10 x 14 tarp in 3 different colors
  • 500 feet of rope
  • 5 8-foot-long stakes
  • 2 20-foot-long poles
Step 1
Do the math. Before you can even think about doing anything else, whip out your measuring tape and do some measurements. Measure the ground in the area where you plan to put the tent. This doesn't just include the flat surface of the ground -- you also need to do some geometry. Measure the correct angles to include the slope of the actual tent, making sure everything is parallel.
Step 2
Hammer the support stakes into the ground. This will involve a good amount of brute force, and safety glasses are recommended. Be sure no children are around as well. Pre-measure the locations where you'll place the stakes before hammering begins.
Step 3
Lay out at least three pieces of tarpaulin or other waterproof material. Measure these pieces and fit them together with rope at regular intervals. Once the stakes are in the ground and the pieces of tarp are tied together, tie the large "big top" to the stakes. Once you've tied the pieces down to the stakes, hoist the center of the tent up using two much longer stakes or poles. These will weigh quite a bit, so make sure to have plenty of help.
Step 4
Be sure the tent is safe enough for people to be under. Check that all of the ropes are tied securely, the stakes are planted firmly in the ground, the pieces of tarp are lashed together tightly and the center supports are anchored securely at their tops and bottoms. If inclement weather is on the way, be sure that your stakes are in ground that can't be washed away should heavy rain or flash flooding occur.

Article Written By Kelsey Childress

Kelsey Childress runs a freelance creative business called Awen Creative that specializes in SEO Web content, social media marketing and blogging. She has been writing for online and in-print publications for over six years, and has a bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.

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