How to Build an Inner Tube Raft

Everyone at one time or another has sat on an inner tube raft to float around the lake or pond on a hot summer day. An inner tube raft can provide countless hours of fun for the whole family. The benefit of building an inner tube raft is that it is relatively cheap and very easy to do. You can have your kids help you while building an inner tube raft as they can have a lot of fun decorating it in their own style. Building an inner tube raft is simple as long as you follow some basic techniques.


  • 1

    Get some inner tubes:

    You can get a whole bunch of inner tubes from tire shops or the local salvage yard. You will find a variety of different sizes that you can use. The bigger the inner tube, the larger your raft will be. Make sure to bring a couple of inner tubes in case one starts to leak or gets damaged while having fun.

  • 2

    Fill inner tubes:

    Fill the inner tubes with air. You can use a simple air compressor that attaches to the cigarette lighter plug in your car or truck. A foot or hand pump can also work well but will obviously take a little longer to fill the inner tubes.

  • 3

    Check for leaks:

    Once you have inflated the inner tubes, check them thoroughly for any leaks. If you find a small hole in one inner tube, you can either use a simple bicycle tire patch kit or just replace the inner tube with another one.

  • 4

    Make a design:

    Lay all the inflated inner tubes on the ground in any particular pattern or design. You can place then side by side or front and back depending on the size of the raft you want to make. Ask your kids for their input as they might have some good ideas as well.

  • 5

    Bind inner tubes together:

    You can tie or bind the inner tubes together using some simple rope or durable string. Be sure to tie each inner tube securely so that they all stick together. These inner tubes will act as the bottom of your raft.

  • 6

    Place top over inner tubes:

    Now find something to put on top of the inner tubes that you can use to sit on. You can use some wood or thick cardboard. If you don’t have these things then just a simple blanket can also work although you will have to be careful to not fall through the inner tubes.

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