How to Make Your Own Canvas Tent

How to Make Your Own Canvas Tent
For serious outdoor enthusiasts and regular campers, building your own canvas tent means doing something you love. It isn't as difficult as it seems, and it can be done with easy-to-find materials.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 17¾ yards of lightweight tight weave canvas
  • A grommet kit
  • Scissors
  • 4-inch zipper, two 3-inch zippers
  • Sewing machine, industrial thread
Step 1
Measure and cut the canvas. Make sure you have plenty of space in which to work, in order to spread things out. Take a 17¾-yard roll of canvas (preferably the lightweight tight weave material) and cut out five pieces that are 4 1/2 feet by 7 feet, 1¼ inches. With the remaining canvas, cut three triangles. Two will have a base of 3 feet, 1¼" inches, with the sides at 4 feet, 5/8 inches high and 5 feet, 5/8 inches long. The third piece will have a base of 6 feet, 1¼ inches with sides at 4 feet, 5/8 inches high and 5 feet, 5/8 inches long. The additional 5/8 of an inch on each piece is to allow for the sewing of the seams.
Step 2
Sew two of the remaining rectangular pieces together, overlapping them to give you one piece 6 feet, 1/4-inch wide by 7 feet, 1/4-inch long. This is the floor, so make sure to add plenty of overlap to keep the water out when the weather turns bad.

Sew the remaining three rectangles together to form a large panel that is 10 feet, 1 1/4 inches wide by 7 feet, 1 1/4 inches long, making sure to hem the edges to keep the canvas from unraveling. This will act as the sides of the tent.
Step 3
Continue sewing. Sew the floor and the sides together with a 5/8-inch seam. With a 5/8-inch seam, sew the larger triangle piece to the side and floor pieces on one side. This creates the back wall. Don't sew all the way to the top because you'll need room for the tent pole.

Take the two remaining triangles and sew a 4-inch zipper to it so that it joins the two pieces and closes at the bottom. Sew two 3-inch zippers to each side of the bottom so the three zippers meet in the middle when closed.

Sew this finished piece to the remaining side piece using a 5/8-inch seam, but leave room at the top for the tent pole to pass through. Sew the two 3-inch zippers to the floor piece to create a finished wall.
Step 4
Take a grommet kit and install a single grommet on the bottom of each side corner, one in the center, at the top of the rear wall, and another at the top of the entry.

Now that you've built your own canvas tent, you can put it together using poles in the manner a normal tent would be erected.

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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