DIY Vehicle Awning/Canopy Project: Canvas and Grommets

After a long delay, my DIY vehicle awning/canopy project is underway. I am going to share this project in a few parts.

This is the next step in my DIY vehicle awning/canopy project. We made the tent poles, now we are going to tackle the canvas (a cheat would be to use a tarp with grommets already in, but I wanted something more permanent, and nicer looking).

Gather the following tools and materials:


  • (1) 6' x 9' (Actually a little smaller) heavy duty canvas ($12 Home Depot)
  • (1) Grommet kit (Had on hand-- they run about $4)
  • Heavy duty Fabric Glue or sewing kit
  • Waterproofing spray (I had CampDry on hand-- runs about $5)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Sharpie
  • Measuring Tape

Here is what to do:


  • Measure and mark eight dots for the grommets (One on each corner and one in the center or midpoint of each side)
  • Fold the extreme ends over about an inch and glue or sew (I didn't bother with the two side holes)
  • Punch the holes with the tool in the grommet kit
  • Hammer in the grommets
  • Spray the "top" with the water proofing
  • Spray the "bottom" if you like as well
  • Allow to dry

That's it. We have our canvas, I have spent another $12, bringing me to $27. Took about 30 minutes..

Now let's do the guylines and rigging . . . 

SOME CHANGES BASED UPON FIRST SETUP AND WIND TEST: 1) Consider reinforcing the area around the grommets-- the high winds I tested in did show wear and tear in the material around the grommet.
2) Consider using a prefabbed tarp to skip this step altogether. 3) The fabric glue seemed ineffective-- the material should be sewn if you want a more finished look (However, it could work without a "finished" seam).

Thank you for visiting the Self Reliance Workshop and come back soon for more . . . follow me on Twitter at SelfRelianceWSLowProfileLifeDvrcdDadFrglDad, and Surfcasting2Day.

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DDFD believes that self reliance and self sufficiency are the roads to individual freedom.  He is dedicated to living a quality life through frugality, personal growth and productivity, and defensive entrepreneurship.  He also enjoys cooking from scratch and fishing.


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