Instructions for making a bender tent

Bender tents were often used by the nomadic Roma. They were made from easy to find materials, and were quick and simple to construct.

A bender tent interior

The framework, showing the ridge pole and supports

To make a bender tent, cut a dozen lengths of supple tree branches about ten feet long. The ends of ten of the branches are stuck into the ground in two rows of five, at two-foot intervals as shown


For the ridge pole, take a length of 2x4, about eight feet in length, and drill four sets of double holes at intervals along its length, as shown above.

The tops of the side poles are then pushed into the ridge pole. The other two long poles are placed at one end (what will be the closed end of the bender) and bent over and lodged through the first two side poles


This is your basic framework. Now throw tarps or even old blankets over this framework to cover it. To join the blankets, and to fasten them to the end poles, slits are cut in them and pieces of wood pushed through as shown here.

Bender tent instructions and photos from Gypsy Witchcraft & Magic, by Raymond Buckland, Llewellyn publications