Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Newest PVC Stage

Our team has always used a stage made of PVC for budget reasons.  I've reconfigured it a few times over the years.  The one we have now is the one I like the best so far.  Someone asked me to share it with them so I thought I would post it here in case anyone else was interested.

First of all there are 3 parts to the finished stage and one person could put it together alone, but two make it easier. There are two poles that go across the middle horizontally to hold everything together. And there is the actual stage part that folds up like an accordion.

Here it is from the side folded up.

Here it is unfolded and the two long pieces placed horizontally in the back.  One at the top and one lower.  This second bar really adds to the stability of the whole stage and keeps puppeteers from moving the back curtain as they go in and out.

Here is how we add the curtains.
Our curtains are in 4 parts.  The front, 2 wings and the back middle.  They are all doubled because the fabric was still a little see-through.

Here are our hinges. Tada!  Tie wraps!

And that's it.
This stage is a little over 12 feet wide and about 6 feet tall in the back.  The front is just over 4 feet and the panels are about 30 inches wide.  I think the wings are wider than 30 inches.

It took 26 -90 degree elbows and 8 T-connectors.  I use 1" PVC.
 Hope this helps!

**********UPDATED TO ADD MEASUREMENTS*************
All measurements are approximate.  I like to use as much of the pole as possible without waste, but sometimes it just doesn't work out.  I keep all little bits for other projects.

Uprights on the lower level are approximately 50" tall.  You'll need 14 of these.
Horizontal bars on the lower level are approximately 28". You'll need 14 of these.

Uprights on the upper level are approximately 20-21" tall.  You'll need to make the full height 6' or more.

The horizontal bars across the back can be approximately  7' long. You'll use 2 of those.

We don't use the system on the upper portion anymore so I can't be sure how long that was.

This should give you an estimate as to how many pvc pipes you will need to purchase.  The real cost is in the joints, but you can buy a bulk package at Home Depot or Lowe's and save a little money.  We've had this stage for years so the investment was not that much.


  1. Thank you so very much for sharing this. I am going to attempt to build this at my church very soon. I just had one question: Do you know the exact length of the different pipes? With the info and pics you gave I tried to use my best estimate, but I don't really have the money or time to make any mistakes based on my guessing. I am so thankful to God that I stumbled upon this site.

  2. I will do some measuring and let you know. I just sort of figured it out as I went. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Interesante aporte, oye porque en vez de cintas de amarre no utilizas algún tornillo pasante y lo aprietas con una tuerca de mariposa o alguna "T NUT" embutida en el tubo? Un Tornillo de 2 1/4 servirá o alguna bisagra desmontable te darían mejor estabilidad inclusive en espacios abiertos al aire libre. Y si quieres ir por lo seguro usa Mc Gyver´s Tape jajajajaj es la mejor. Saludos de un titiritero desde Venezuela.

  4. Would like to make this puppet stage for my kids church could I get the measurements please

    1. Mike, I will get these asap. Should be by Saturday. 9/17

  5. Hello Mike. I updated the post to reflect the measurements. Thanks for asking!

  6. You did not count the upper wing so you need 2 more 28" = total 16 not 14. And you need 2) 2 1/2 inches for tee connection on upper wings and 2) 17 inches above that to compleat the side wing to the 7 footer. Thank for the pattern! We used 13 sticks of 10 pipe to have enough material for this stage.

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