How to make a beach tent

Our D.I.Y. beach tent project combines sheer white fabric and dressed pine for summer fun.

Bunnings magazine, January 2021

Tools and materials:

180-grit abrasive paper with sanding block

25mm spade bit

8mm drill bit

Drill press

Drill with driver bit

Safety equipment (mask, gloves and eye protection)

Sewing pins

Six 8mm lynch pins

Tape measure and pencil

Timber adhesive

Three 1.8m lengths of 25mm Tasmanian oak dowel*

Two 150mm cabin hooks

Two 2000mm x 1350mm lengths of sheer fabric (try Windoware “Harmony” 2500mm x 1400mm sheer rod pocket curtains in White, cut to fit)

Two 3m lengths of 64mm x 19mm dressed pine*

Two 8mm x 40mm pine dowel connectors

Mitre saw or handsaw with mitre box

Sewing machine with thread

Safety note: Our beach tent is made for fun rather than shade protection, so don’t forget to follow the Cancer Council’s advice to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide when the UV is 3 or above! If you want your tent to provide a degree of sun protection, swap the curtaining for shade cloth or fabric that is rated for sun protection. Simply loop over the top and sew in place or secure with cable ties

1. Make the uprights

Measure and cut the pine in half with a mitre saw to make four 1500mm lengths. From the top of each, centre and mark 150mm and 1350mm to make holes using a 25mm spade bit with a drill press.

Tip: Prevent breakout by drilling halfway, then flipping to finish from the back. If you don’t have a drill press, clamp the timber securely and use a drill, holding it at 90° to ensure the shafts of the holes are straight.

Make a beach tent

2. Secure the uprights

On pairs of uprights, centre and mark 300mm from the top to position the parts of the cabin hook at 45°, with the hook plate turned anti-clockwise on the left upright, and the eye plate turned clockwise on the right, using a drill to secure with the supplied screws.

Make a beach tent

3. Construct the rails

Measure and cut the dowel to 1600mm lengths with a mitre saw. Measure and mark 25mm from the ends (to make holes for the lynch pins) using an 8mm bit with a drill press. 

Tip: Set the depth of the press to drill through the dowel and into an offcut, avoiding the plate below.

Make a beach tent

4. Join rails with uprights

On one rail, measure and mark 70mm from the ends to make holes using an 8mm bit with a drill press. Dab adhesive onto two dowel connectors and slot them in. Sand all over the uprights, rails and into the 25mm holes with 180-grit abrasive paper.

Tip: This is the top rail, the remaining rails form the base.

Make a beach tent

5. Sew together the cover

Along one 2000mm side of the fabric, fold a hem of 10mm and iron. Fold again to make a 40mm loop. Iron, then machine or hand sew to secure, leaving the ends open (the base rails are threaded through the loops to hold down the sides). Repeat for the second piece.

Tip: If you don’t sew, you could use iron-on hemming tape.

Make a beach tent

6. Stitch the seam

Position the fabric together, loop sides facing out and at the base. Measure along the top, 120mm down, and pin. Sew along the pin line, then repeat to reinforce the seam. Trim away the excess fabric with scissors, cutting along the outside of the seam closest to the join. Butterfly the seam to iron it open, which will help position the cover along the top rail. 

Make a beach tent

7. Put the tent together

To assemble the frame, position pairs of uprights onto the ends of the top rail, sliding on the left sides first, with the hooks facing outwards. Add lynch pins to the outside holes and stand the frame up, holding it in place with the hooks.

To assemble the cover, thread base rails through the curtain hems, then position the cover over the frame. From the inside of the uprights, push the rails into the base holes, securing with lynch pins through the outside holes.

Dig the feet into the sand for stability, spread the gathers of the cover out evenly and avoid using the tent in a strong breeze.


*Timbers vary by state and territory; contact your local store for further information.

Love the boho look?

Take inspiration from our guide to achieving this relaxed style in your home

Photography credit:  Sam van Kan, Belinda Merrie

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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