How to Build a Frame for Stage Curtains

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Create a real theater atmosphere with a DIY stage curtain frame.
Create a real theater atmosphere with a DIY stage curtain frame. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether you're on Broadway or in a community children's center, the curtain is a key element in executing a professional stage performance. The curtain acts as a neutral backdrop, preventing audience members from viewing scene changes that would otherwise distract from the setting. It also allows for dramatic entrances, exits and encores. If your performance calls for a retractable curtain but you have limited space, you can build a simple, portable stage curtain frame with pulleys in time for curtain call.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 - 10-foot PVC pipes
  • 2 - 8-foot PVC pipes
  • 4 - 3-foot PVC pipes
  • 2 - 90 degree PVC elbows
  • 2 - PVC "T" connectors
  • 4 - PVC "Y" connectors
  • 4 - End caps
  • 2 - LEGO spinning wheel rims
  • 2 - 5-by-8 foot curtains
  • Drill
  • 2 screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 35 feet of rope
  • Duct tape

Pull the 10-foot PVC pipe through the top hem of both curtains. Connect one 90-degree PVC elbow to each end of the pipe. Slide one PVC "Y" connector onto each of the two 8-foot PVC pipes, with the angled Y-shape facing downward about 2 feet from the ends. Insert each of the two 8-foot PVC pipes with "Y" connectors into the elbows on the 10-foot pipe, to complete the frame segment.

PVC pipes are available in all sizes at most home improvement retail stores.
PVC pipes are available in all sizes at most home improvement retail stores. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Take two 3-foot PVC pipes, and slide one "T" connector over each of them to make the "feet" -- or base -- of the frame. Place a "Y" connector over the opposite end of each "foot" with the Y-shaped opening facing inward, toward the "T"connector. Place one end cap on each end of both feet. Inset the two remaining 3-foot PVC pipes into the open ends of the "Y" connectors on each foot.

Ensure that your elbows properly fit the PVC pipes.
Ensure that your elbows properly fit the PVC pipes. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Insert each of the two exposed ends of the frame pipes into the open ends of the "T" connectors on the feet pipes. Adjust the "T" connectors on the feet so that they are even on both sides of the curtain frame. Adjust the "Y" connectors on the curtain frame and insert the exposed ends of the pipe protruding from the feet into the open ends of the "Y" connectors.

"T" and "Y" connectors resemble the actual letters.
"T" and "Y" connectors resemble the actual letters. (Image: Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Drill a small hole through the top-right corner of the frame, just below the elbow. On the same side, drill another hole through the back of the "Y" connector extending toward the foot of the frame. Place a small screw through the center of each LEGO wheel rim, and screw them into the holes to make your pulleys.

Ensure that your drill bit is the same size as your screws.
Ensure that your drill bit is the same size as your screws. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Attach one end of the rope, using a piece of duct tape, to the inside edge of one curtain -- inside the top hem. Wind the rope around the pulley and through the hem, until it meets with the inside edge of the opposite curtain. Cut any excess rope, and use another piece of duct tape to secure the loose end of the rope inside the edge of the curtain hem.

The pulleys allow you to discretely open and close the stage curtain.
The pulleys allow you to discretely open and close the stage curtain. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the height and width of your frame, by using longer or shorter PVC pipes.

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