How to Make a Homemade Tent for Camping (DIY Camping Tent)

diy tent

I have found five different methods for you on how to make a homemade tent for camping. No matter one’s preferences, you’re bound to find one here that works for you.

Plus, it’s always good to know what you need to makeshift a tent in a pinch. Most of these methods can be made from home and then taken with you, but my final one is for an emergency situation where you need to DIY a tent onsite.

Method 1

To make a camping tent from scratch you’re going to need to start by making an A-frame. Get some whitewood molding or other, similar wood and measure half a foot down on four pieces of 1-inch by 2-inch by 48-inch. Drill a ¾ of an inch hole where the two pieces connect at the tip of the A-shape and insert a wooden dowel through all of the holes to connect the two A-frames.

Get a twin sheet and some elastic loops; it is recommended to sew the loops to the corners of the sheet if possible. Then, place the sheet over the frame and loop the elastic over the ends of each piece of wood to hold it in place.

Method 2

This other type of DIY camping tent is quite different from the rest. You’ll need PVC pipe and connectors, which are lightweight and affordable, to either make a large cube or an A-frame in whatever size suits you best. Cut the pipe smaller, if need be, and once you’re ready simply throw a sheet over it.

What’s great about this one is that it can easily be taken apart and is very easy to transport since it weighs barely anything.

Method 3

This third method to build your own tent is teepee style. You are going to need six dowel rods in your preferred height. At about half a foot from the top, drill holes to thread a string through. Gather all of the string together and arrange the dowel rods so that they stand in a teepee shape. Wrap rope around the top to stabilize the shape.

Measure how far apart your teepee is spread so that you can get fabric of the appropriate size and length. To get accurate measurements, start from the bottom of one of the triangles and then measure up each side where you want the fabric to reach. You can cut triangles out of your desired fabric of the same size, with an extra inch on each side for hemming.

After cutting triangles for each of the five sides, sew them together and hem the bottom. You should also sew a tie across the top to tie everything together at the front. Doing this also helps to sew ties to the inside at the seams so that you can tie the fabric to the poles.

Simply pull the fabric over the frame and tie it in place to complete your DIY teepee tent.

Method 4

This next method of how to build your own tent is a canopy. For this one, you’re going to need a plastic embroidery hoop and two curtain panels that are 44 inches each. Get rid of the inner part of the embroidery hoop and unscrew the outer part so that you can thread the curtain panels facing outward.

Tie a ½-inch ribbon/yarn on each side of the hoop where the curtains meet to hang it. This option is only if you plan to use this tent inside, as you can tie a knot or bow above the embroidery hoop to hang it from the ceiling with a screw hook.

You could also use a PEX pipe instead of an embroidery hoop, as PEX pipe is more flexible and perhaps more easily attainable as it can be found in any hardware store. Aside from the curtain panel, ½ an inch of tubing and a 1 ½-inch coupling is needed to connect it. Cut off around 14 inches from the bottom of the curtain and sew or use fabric glue to create a sleeve if it doesn’t already have one.

Next, connect the unhemmed side of the curtain to the fabric by sewing it or using fabric glue, just make sure to leave the sleeve on the top of the curtain open so that you can thread the pipe and attach it with the coupling. Thread string through the sleeve next, gather the fabric and tie the string in a bow or knot. You can then attach this to the ceiling as well.

To use this tent while camping, you would need to find a branch that is high enough so that you can tie the string to that.

Method 5

This final method requires some materials that are brought with you from home and some that can be found naturally at a campsite. All you need is a tarp, strong poles and/or sticks, and ropes. This is the most affordable way to make a tent as it requires very few items.

The first step is to create some small holes in the tarp that will be used to attach the tarp to sticks that will be used instead of posts.

Those holes should be made at the corners of the tarp and they need to be small enough to fit around posts. Some rope will also be needed to secure this DIY tent at each of the corners.

Make sure that you find some plain level ground so that you can properly install a center post to hold up the tarp in the middle.

Secure the tent by stretching out the corners of the tarp so that each corner is diagonal from the other. Push a stick through the corner holes into the ground for more stability, and your tent should begin to take a pyramid shape. 

Use a stone or a hammer to drive the corner holes of the tarp into the ground. In case of cold conditions, all tarp holes need to be aligned properly so that you can stay warm inside.

Lastly, you need to tie some knots to secure the tarp corners to the sticks. Putting heavy rocks at each corner also helps make the tent more secure and stable. What’s great about this tent is that tarp is waterproof, so you will be safe regardless of the weather.

Make sure that your campfire is at least two feet away from your tent to prevent any accidents and that the tent is stretched well across each end to the center so that it doesn’t cave in on you while you’re sleeping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you make your own tent?

Yes, you can. As long as you’re happy camping in your own DIY tent, all you need is a some supplies. For my favorite method, all you need is some wood, a drill, measuring tape, a wooden dowel, elastic loops, and some fabric or a sheet. It’s recommended to only use this kind of tent in good weather conditions.

How do you make a simple tent?

Create two A-frame shapes with wood (each piece measured at 1-inch x 2-inch x 48-inch), and drill a ¾ of an inch hole where both of the two pieces connect at the tip of the A-shape to fit a wooden dowel through. Next, you need a twin sheet and elastic loops. You should sew those loops onto the corners of the sheet so that you can loop them over the wood and hold the fabric in place securely.

What do you need to make a tent?

One type of DIY tent needs some wood, a drill, measuring tape, a wooden dowel, elastic loops, and some fabric or a sheet. This is to make two A-frames with four pieces and to connect them with a wooden dowel and then fasten the sheet draped over it with the elastic loops. This is the most simple and effective way to build your own tent.

What can I use instead of a tent?

The best alternative instead of a tent would have to be a hammock, though these tend to be best for 1 person, so using with for a family may be more challenging.

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