Glamping (glamorous camping), is on the rise. There are glampsites, luxury camping resorts, and glamping experiences popping up all over the place. And it’s no surprise, really. You get all the best bits of camping — closeness to nature, open spaces, fresh air — without sacrificing the comfort, luxury and relaxation of a regular vacation.
But with the rising popularity of glamping holidays comes a predictably steep price tag that no longer makes sleeping under canvas a cheap getaway.
For you campers out there who’d love just a bit of camping luxury without having to pay an arm and a leg for it, there is another way: DIY glamping! Get creative, put a little bit of effort in and you can easily (and cheaply) turn your regular camping setup into glamping heaven.
So, grab those floral wellies and that floppy sun hat, pour yourself a glass of wine, and let’s get a little bit glampy!
Make your tent more luxurious
If you’re really serious about DIY glamping then you may want to consider investing in an oh-so-gorgeous bell tent. Yes, they don’t come cheap. But a good one should last you the rest of your days. Camp in it at least once a year and it’s paid for itself in no time!
But, most of you probably already have perfectly good family tents. So let’s get busy and make the best out of them.
Getting the right light inside your tent can transform the ambiance. We call it ‘girl-lighting’ in our house: cold main lights off, warm table lights on. If your camping pitch has power then girl-light the heck out of your tent! I’m talking fairy lights, rope lighting and table lamps. Opt for rechargeable lanterns and lights if there’s no power.
02Hang some bunting
It may be kitsch, and a little bit noughties, but glamping just ain’t glamping without bunting of some kind. Line your guy ropes with it, or hang it over the entrance of your tent. It will soften the utilitarian look of your tent and transform you back to another era instantly.
Add some underfoot luxury by laying down a blanket or rug in your tent. It will help enforce the no-camp-shoes-in-tent rule, and create an instantly homely and cosy feel about the space.
Though highly practical, plastic boxes filled with camping gear don’t help to make your tent that glamping haven you might hope for. A large picnic basket hanging around the house, however, doubles very nicely as storage for your camp cooking gear. It’s also the sort of thing you can pick up cheaply at a thrift store. Alternatively, line your plastic boxes with patterned wrapping paper. DIY glamping at its best!
Make your bed, the cosy way
Turning fitful, sleepless nights at camp into deep and cosy snoozes is a real luxury that you can’t put a price on. Make your bed as comfortable as possible and you’ve just about nailed glamping right there!
Your mattress is the key to a good sleep. If you have an air mattress then make it even cosier by adding a mattress topper or duvet on top of it. And if it’s cold then put a blanket underneath the mattress for a bit of extra insulation.
06Duvet cover / camping quilt
Forget about sleeping bags. This is DIY glamping! Instead, bring along your duvet from home. Be sure to have a duvet cover that is bright and fresh to fit with the rest of your glamping decor. Or if you fancy splashing out, then a cosy camping quilt is a more practical and hardy option that you can take outside, too.
Cushions are a totally aesthetic accessory, but a sure-fire way to make your glamping bed feel as luxurious as possible. Go on. Bring a couple of cushions from home and enjoy their perfectly puffy uselessness!
Dress up your camping dinner table
It wouldn’t be a luxury holiday without a posh meal or two. And although you may have to skip on bringing along your own waiting staff, a little bit of forward planning can turn a messy camping table into alfresco dining to die for.
It doesn’t matter how battered and old your table is if you cover it up. And because you’ll be filling your table with delicious food and decorating it, the cloth doesn’t even need to be fancy. An old sheet or table cloth from the thrift store will do just fine.
09Jars for wine glasses
Lidded jam jars make excellent, spill-free wine glasses. Now that’s practical glamping if I ever I saw it, and they look gorgeous too! Get saving up your jars now.
10Jars of flowers
Use those awkward shaped jars you saved, or the ones you lost the lids to, and fill them with flowers. Be careful not to pick any protected plants, and don’t go pulling up everything in sight. If in doubt, you can always fill the jars with pretty grasses and greenery from the trees.
11Tin can lanterns
Clean out your empty tins of beans, carefully pierce them with holes in a pattern of your choice, drop in a tealight and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a lantern. Girl-lighting wins again!
12Napkins weighted with stones
If you have some cloth napkins you can bring, then all the better. But paper towels will do just fine tucked neatly under pretty stones that you can clean up and use as a weight. Place a tiny bouquet of grasses or daisies underneath the stones to add some rustic chic to your glamping dinner table.
13A campfire meal
Nothing completes a glamping dining experience more perfectly than a delicious campfire cooked meal. There’s a lot that can go wrong with campfire cooking, so keep it simple by using a dutch oven, or trying out this easy grilled pepper and halloumi stew.
Create a chillout area
One of the best parts of glamping is having all that extra time to just chill out and relax. This is go-slow camping, remember! Create an space away from your dining and cooking area to kick back and unwind in. Somewhere to read a book, gaze at the campfire, strum a guitar, tell a story or take a snooze.
Create a cosy, den-like feel by hanging up a tarp for rain protection, or a sarong or old sheet for some breezy shade. Hang up a wind chime to really set the mood for snoozy summer afternoons.
If you have camping chairs then cover them with throws, blankets and cushions. But if you’re after a more laid-back atmosphere then lay down a blanket on the floor underneath your shelter, and cover it with cushions and beanbags for advanced lounging!
A hardshell suitcase makes for a superb coffee (or cocktail!) table. Or use it for an evening of board games and cards. It also doubles nicely as overnight storage for all the soft furnishings you don’t want to leave outside.
Yep, it’s all about ambient lighting! Once the sun has set, turn your chill out area into a fairytale grotto with lanterns, outdoor fairy lights, and candles in jars or tin cans — surround your area with warm lighting, lay back and enjoy!
A little bit of effort really goes a long way, and some DIY glamping tricks can make your camping trip feel much more like the relaxing getaway you’re in need of. Get creative, plan head and enjoy getting glampy!
For more ideas on how to make your campsite more glamorous, check out these gorgeous glamping accessories.