How to Build a Portable Curtain Stand With PVC

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PVC pipe makes a good curtain stand for photography.
PVC pipe makes a good curtain stand for photography. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

When taking portraits of friends and family, creating a proper background is crucial to the success of the pictures. Many professional photographers use curtain backdrops to control what is seen behind the subjects of the picture. You can build a simple stand for a curtain backdrop out of PVC pipe and a few joint pieces. Once you have finished building it, the stand can be broken down and reassembled in minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Vise
  • 2-inch PVC pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • PVC glue
  • 4-way PVC joints (2)
  • PVC elbow joints (4)

Clamp 2-inch PVC pipe in a vise and cut four 10-foot sections with a hacksaw. Cut four additional 1-foot sections.

Apply PVC glue into the opposite flanges on a 4-way PVC joint, then insert 1-inch pipe sections. Repeat this process with the other two 1-foot pipes and another 4-way joint. Allow the glue to dry.

Insert an elbow joint onto each end of one 10-foot section of pipe, then insert additional 10-foot pipes into the other flanges of those elbow joints to create a large "U" shape.

Insert the final 10-foot pipe into the side flanges of the 4-way joints. The pipe will lay perpendicular to the 1-foot pipes, forming a long "H" shape with the final flanges pointing up.

Insert the ends of the "U" shape into the upward-facing flanges on the "H." The result is a square frame that is held vertically by the 1-foot supports on the bottom.

Glue an elbow joint to the ends of each 1-foot pipe, facing downward, to act as feet for the stand. Allow the glue to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attach a curtain to the stand either with traditional curtain rings at the top, or by tying ropes through grommets in the curtain around the perimeter.
  • You can also make a 10-by-20-foot stand or a 20-by-20-foot stand if desired. Switch to 3-inch PVC pipe and joints in these cases for extra strength.
  • Only glue the "feet" pieces together. The rest of the stand must be able to break down.

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