How to Build a Small Stage

This article will show you how to build a small yet cheap stage using only your hands and a trusty hammer, and some wood, and a plan.


  1. 1
    Make a plan. Remember that planning your stage out is probably the best idea when starting out. You can't do anything without having a plan to help you make sure everything in order. You can have one out of these 3 options:
    • Diorama
    • Blueprints
    • Cad design
  2. 2
    Get a builder's permit. If people are going to be standing on it you need to get your design approved and get a builders permit. Building this platform without it can cause some serious damage to your performers or crew members.
  3. 3
    Add beams and supports.(this article uses measurements but feel free to use your own.) You are building this outside you are going to dig at least 11 holes vertically and 13 horizontally.
    • Always map out a location and any metal framing before building, when you find the location you need to build the frame to help support the beams when you add concrete into the ground. In total you will have 143 holes for a 11 by 13 stage in which you need to place a beam to support the weight and then add a quick drying cement in to keep the beam secure to the ground and won't move when performers are on it.
  4. 4
    Add extra supports. From the beams you are going to go up by at least 24 inches (61.0 cm) and will add measured 2x4s to the frame for extra support. Remember if your lumber is not long enough to cover one side of the frame use small pieces and connect the beams one beam at a time. 4 nails in each corner where the piece of the wood connects to the beam.
  5. 5
    Add one more frame. Another 12 inches (30.5 cm) that will be closer to the main stage shall do for now. Refer to step 4.
  6. 6
    Don't forget inner framing. Be sure to section the inside. Have 13 rows vertically and 11 horizontally. Why is this step needed? It is to be sure that the stage will be steady just in rough conditions.for every row make a v with spare pieces of wood or with metal and connect the sections carefully. this will help keep the rows from collapsing from excess weight.
  7. 7
    Find excess wood for the platform. You know how supermarkets have forklifts that lifts up huge quantities of food the pieces of wood under it are called pallets. They throw those away after stocking the shelves you can ask the manager for the pallets or they will be in the back of the store in the trash.
    • Collect them or you can ask friends or family who recently renovated for excess material. If all those fail go to a habitat for humanities center they will have wood scraps on sale.
  8. 8
    Build the stage. Just begin laying the wood across the beams and be sure to leave enough room for you to get in and out. You should do the first layer with a 1 inch (2.5 cm) gap in between the main frame until it is all covered.
  9. 9
    Add thin metal or thin slab of concrete. This will help make the wood support stronger and will be able to keep the main support and lower layer protected from when your heavy falls or slips. It really depends on how much weight is going to be on the stage itself. Its better safe than sorry.
  10. 10
    Add the final layer to the stage. Using wood and a trusty power drill you will need to drill into the concrete or metal with a nail. Put the wood closer together no gaps should be on the last layer of the stage.
  11. 11
    Paint the stage, for weather resistant seal and wear and tear. Using a base coat will make colors pop out more but the color must be white or grey. Then the next one should be the color that you want the stage to look like you can use any color for this one. Afterwords use a weather resistant clear coat to gloss the stage and make it water and storm proof.
  12. 12
    Hide the frame. Use excess wood to hide the framework of the wood. paint it any color but remember if you want people to take interest in your stage use colors that complements the stage color.
  13. 13
    Add curtains and lighting. With the lighting, its good to have an electrician help you a lot of beautiful stages have been set a flame with faulty do it yourself wiring. Then finish off with curtains and add a staircase so your performers can get up on stage and off.


  • If you are doing a stage for your daughter or son's room, measuring is required.
  • Don't dig in your house.
  • No faulty wiring should be visible, be sure to have fire extinguisher around just in case.

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Categories: Merge | Woodworking