Monday, February 13, 2012


I wrote this some time back for another website (, and am reposting today. Hence the "odd" reference to summer heat!
Ah, summer. Picnics, farmers’ markets, concerts in the park, camping, and festivals abound, and all the world wants to be outside.

Of course, with temperatures in the 80’s, 90’s, and even 100’s, we’re also looking for shade, and canopies are becoming very popular ways to take your shade with you. They’re getting better all the time, too, with pop-up types springing up in a matter of minutes, and collapsing into a bundle smaller than a kitchen stool.

The downside? If the wind comes up, a canopy can behave like a parachute with wanderlust, and go tumbling willy-nilly away from your set-up.

The solution, of course, is to weight it down. One way is to fill empty milk jugs with water, tying from two to four to each canopy leg, but jugs can be hard to lug, and I’m one of those people who find it all too easy to trip even on something as obvious as  Big Jugs O’ Water In The Corner.

As someone who does art/craft shows, I also wanted something that looked professional, without spending a bundle. My son and daughter-in-law had the solution.

You’ll need:

  •  Four 4’ lengths of 3” diameter PVC pipe
  •  8 end caps that fit your pipe
  •  PVC primer and glue (It will be in the plumbing supplies area at the hardware store.)
  •  Sand
  •  Optional: 4 short lengths of chain with S-hooks on each end, and 4 sturdy eye bolts
Start by gluing an end cap to one end of each of the four pipes. You need to use the primer first, and then the glue, according to the instructions on the cans. Protect your work surface! My dear husband spilled some on our linoleum, and the purple stains don’t look like they’ll ever come out! (No worries for me—I’ve already painted polka dots on my floor; this is an excuse to do more!)

Let the glue dry thoroughly, and then fill each of the pipes with sand, then glue the other end caps to the open ends of the pipes. 

You now have four good weights that are ready to use by just standing them next to the canopy legs and bungee-cording in place.

Or you can finish up with just one more step: Drill a guide hole in one end cap of each weight that’s just a bit smaller than your eye bolts’ diameter. Screw the eye bolt in securely. Now you can use those short lengths of chain to hang the weights from each corner.

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