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Looking for a tent-- have been advised to go with a trimline or light dome tent. Any one have any advice? Thought the light dome was a no brainer but it looks like putting up a trimline might be easier in spite of the weight.

Can anyone explain how/where to use tent weights and how much each weight should be?

Some people have suggested tractor weights --and although they are expensive, packing space is an issue in the car and at home. 

Appreciate hearing your advice. I am new to out door shows. 


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Weights and holding down the booth is a perennial problem for artists doing outdoor art fairs. If you put "weights" in the search box up in the corner you'll find enough information to keep you reading all day long. Seriously.

I did a three part series a few years ago that covers many of the options. Here is part one:

Accidents happen, booths get destroyed, art work too. This is important and good for you, Ellen, for addressing this issue early in your career.

Whenever I attend outdoor events I shudder when I see unweighted booths, and I fear there are people out there who never want to see me again because of the unsolicited advice I give them.

Thanks Connie- it had not occurred to me to do a search (should have). I will check out your series. . . . so much to know and learn. . .and do. G-d I am looking forward to getting my tent, weights, lights. . . and get back to focusing that time and energy at my bench!! Hope this starts to get easier. 

Here is another set of weights I have made. I used 4" PVC and filled them with lead. They are 17" tall and weigh 50+ lbs. each. I put in an easy carry handle and also used a drain cleanout cap on top for easy changing the weight. Like my other weights they have eye hooks on the top for a hanging option. I like their size because they are also very compact.

My very first weights I made were 36" long 4" pvc filled with cement. They are much too long and I never use them anymore. I would give them away if someone wants to pick them up..


Tent Weights:

Problems: Heavy, Bulky, Unsightly, Necessary.

I wanted a solution, hence, I made my own.


Melt Lead into smaller segments, drill hole through center. Run long eye bolt through center. Once at show, stack as many as desired onto bolt. using fingers, place nut and washer on bottom of bolt. Hang with cinch straps from top of leg. Then slide black or white fabric bag up and over weights. Possibly secure at bottom with strap.

By making each segment a comfortable weight ( mine aree about 40lbs each) I can handle less weight lifting them but achieve 80 to 120 lbs per leg. I also made some around 28lbs each.

Space is minimal. No sharp edges. For the price point you cannot get more weight in as confined a space.

I can go into more detail if you like. 

***** Important ***** learn your precautions BEFORE melting the lead.

Thanks Larry but I think I would like to find a solution that comes ready to go. I can save money doing it myself but it is time I would rather be working in my studio The old trade off--time vs money. 

Different venues require different amounts of weights. I've seen requirements go all the way up to 50 lbs per leg. I would certainly never go anywhere without 20lbs. I usually go with 30lbs.

I cannot lift anything nearly as heavy as a 50 lbs weight, so I use multiple small weights. I have 20lbs sandbags and I hang a 10lbs gym weight with them. When I need more, I have weights that are made to sit on top of the foot of each tent leg. Those, however, get expensive. And while each one is very light, I need a ton of them. So I would suggest more gym weights.

I was using the poured concrete pvc weights, but want something sleeker. There are a few artists using 2"x 2" rolled steel bars at about 14-15lbs per foot. They weld eyelets to the top and bedline, powdercoat or paint them. That was my plan this season for when I get my trimline.

Thanks Jess- where does one go to get steel bars-- sounds like a potentially inexpensive and sleek look. Seems like the tramline is the best tent out there from what I am hearing.

Well, it's not inexpensive but would pretty much last forever. We are lucky enough to have a metal remnant store nearby so will probably get our pieces there. You can look up a local metal supplier. Rolled steel comes in longer lengths, but can be cut down to your preference. Some artists just go to a metal smith and have them do everything.

If you are going the route of steel bars, you might as well go the route of Lead. Cost could be less, depending on how you acquire the metal. Size would be much less.

Steel = 4.6 ounce per cubic inch

Lead = 6.56 ounce per cubic inch

The difference in weight could be greater depending on the grade of steel you acquire.

Also the issue of oxidation.

Althought the density factors seem close, they are not. When you figure out the size you need, the size of the final weights would be different.


Steel bar - 3" x 3" x 19 3/8" = 50 lbs 2.125 ounce

Lead bar - 3" x 3" x 13 5/8" = 50 lbs 4.42 ounce

I like compact.

Thanks for all the info


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