How to make weights for your tent for less than $30

Finished.jpg (500×887)

These are the finished product!

Component #1

Component #2

Component #4

Last year I posted these instructions, thought they might be of interest to some of our newer members, or some who missed it the first time.

 Here's what I used:

  1. 1 10" piece of 4" schedule 40 PVC, cut into 4 equal pieces
  2. 2 80# bags of Sackrete.
  3. 8 test caps, 4 with 3/8" holes in top
  4. 4 eyebolts, 3/8" diameter, 8" long, with nuts (add washers if you wish)

After you cut the pipe into 4 pieces, put the test caps in one end and place them with that end down on a level surface. Fill each pipe half full of the dry Sacrete and add one cup of water. You can stir this with an old broom handle if you wish, I did, but am not sure it mattered.

After a quick stir, add more dry Sacrete till the level is about 6 inches from the top of the pipe. Add one more cup of water and wait for the level to fall. Add water and Sacrete alternatively in small amounts till the level of mix is up to the top of the pipe.


Insert the test caps, with the eyebolts and nuts, through the holes, into the wet mix and push the caps down tight. Then push the eyebolts down into the wet cement, stopping a half inch or so from the cap.


Next morning, you are finished, your weights are more efficient if they hang an inch or two off of the floor. The PVC is paintable, spray paints for plastic are at any home center

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  • These posts have been very helpful! 

    I would like for my weights to be at least 50lbs each.  5" pvc is sold in 10' length and I was going to get 1 tube cut into 4 pieces, 30" long, however, I asked someone at a show this past weekend (woo-hoo!)who made them 30" x 5"d with hardware, and they said they were barely 40lbs.  I was going to purchase that easy redi-mix cement, but I recently heard about high density cement that weighs more than redi-mix.  Have any of you art fair insiders tried the high density cement?  Does anyone know the difference in weight?

    Is 40lbs about average for the redi-mix filled 30" x 5"d pvc tube with steel handle and large eye bold? 

    Does anyone have the same size filled with high density cement? 

    If so, how much do they weight?

    Some mentioned buckshot...I'm guessing that would cost more than cement, but maybe it's worth it for the solution.  Can anyone "weigh in" with the size and weight of their buckshot & cement combo weights? 

    Otherwise, using redi-mix, how long does the 5" pvc tubing need to be for 50lb weights?

    I appreciate any input...thanks!!

    • Hi Cynthia -- weighting a tent is probably one of the top ten issues discussed here. If you have nothing to do the rest of today you can search for "weights" in the search box up above and have a lot of fun. Some years ago I did lots of research and did a 3 part series on weights. Here is #3:

      Or search under "holding down the booth"

  • Since first making my pvc weights years ago I have made 2 different options. First is filling the pvc with lead buckshot to get a 50 lb weight that is 17 inches tall.

    I also bought 4 dumbbells from Walmart that are just as heavy and available in all different sizes in 5lb increments. Real easy to carry and are only about 12" tall. I paid around $160 for all four of the dumbells.. Cost more than the pvc/cement weights...but I was more interested in convenience, size and ease of portability.1062766085?profile=RESIZE_710x1492526745?profile=RESIZE_710x

    • I like the buckshot idea!  I have been successfully using black sandbags that weigh 40 lbs each, but I am trying to make my display more sleek in appearance and the PVC tubes look nice!  Using shorter tubing will be more convenient to schlep around for sure, and will take up less space!  Thanks!! 

      • I also like your post from a few years ago about using rubber pads or something like that for extra grip on the bottom (of the PVC type).

        Thanks again!

  • Great Instructions and wonderful additional tips from others on the forum!

    My important question is: How much do these weigh? ...or more specifically...

    When using cement along with 4" PVC, what is the weight per foot?

    Most of my shows require 40 lbs per corner, but a couple of them require 50 lbs per corner, so I want to be sure they will pass the 50 lb test (without having to re-make them!).

    Anyone care to "weigh in" on the answer? 

    • I've never had anyone come around to weigh my weights. I think mine finished out at 45 pounds. Five gallon water buckets mid point on 3 walls adds more, plus merchandis on walls. "You want to put a scale under each leg?  Go ahead and lift it if you can" would be my reply. 

      Also, I filled mine with scrap concrete pieces to cut down on cost of new material. Just have to mix it a little slushier to fill up pipe. Handles make them easier to handle and strap to tent legs. I use leather straps.


      • That looks nice! 

        I've been using The black EZ Up sandbags and they weigh 40 lbs each, but I want to upgrade my look. 

        Yes...sometimes they have weight requirements at the shows and will actually weigh them!

        I used to participate in the Dillon Farmers' and Artists' Market and they had the local fire department come around and weigh them, because the micro-bursts of wind would kick in around noon, and would send tents flying.  

        I am going to participate in the Gold Coast Art Show in Chicago right on Lake Michigan, and they are requiring 50 lb weights and said they will be checking...sounds like a good idea anyway.  They don't call it "The Windy City" for nothin', right?

        I like the reminder for the center weight, and I think it would be great to find a flat round base like you have for the legs of your tent and insert it into the cement PVC combo to give it more stability in the center, then maybe make it pretty like a maypole...oh no, look how complicated I am getting! Lol!

        I'm also trying to pull together my pre-season funds for a stronger tent for my 2 and 3 day Art Shows.   

        Thanks so much for your reply and help!


      • Duck tape used before I made the leather straps.


  • So, you're mixing the concrete/water right in the pipe itself?!  I've never seen it done this way, and it seems so much easier!  Hm.  I was already planning on making some of these, but have seen it being mixed in a big bucket, etc.  Doing it your way seems to be much more logical.  My concern would be that I'd mess up the proportion of concrete/water and just have a sludgy non-hardening mess. 

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