How to Make a Puppet Stage Step by Step

Handsaw or jigsaw, Tubing cutter or hacksaw, Drill, 11/4 -inch Forester bit, 5/16-inch drill bit, 1/8-inch drill bit, Screw gun or Phillips-head, Framing square, Clamps, staple gun, 5/16- inch staples, Scissors, Pencil, Safety glasses, Clothes iron.


– Two 10-foot lengths of lx6

РTwo 6·foot lengths of

– 1/4-inch copper refrigeration tubing

– 11 feet of colorful cloth (width no less than 42 inches) for the curtains

– 11 feet of colorful cloth for the ruffle

– 15 feet of colorful ribbon for seaming the ruffle

– 24 curtain loops with clips Materials for building the Lemonade Stand bottom.


One pound 1 1/4 -inch drywall


Four l-inch #12 sheet metal screws

Carpenters Wood glue Fabric glue

-Setting the Stage:

1. If you’ve built the Lemonade Stand, you already have most of what you need for this project. If you haven’t built the Lemonade Stand, You’ll need to build the three bottom panels and cut the flagstaffs to size. Don’t make the shelves, though – they’ll only get in the puppeteers’ way!

-Constructing the Curtain-Top Frame:

2. Stack the two lx6 boards with their ends even. Cut two pieces 59 inches long; these will Become the long sides of the curtain-top frame. Cut another pair 34 inches long; these pieces will become the short sides of the frame. Finally, cut two 23-inch lengths; these will become the filler pieces.

3. Place the 34-inch side pieces to your left and right on your work surface. Set the 59inch front and back pieces perpendicular to the 34-inch side pieces, with their ends resting on top of the ends of the 34-inch pieces, to form a rectangle. Set the 23-inch filler pieces on top of the 34-inch end pieces, between the ends of the 59-inch front and back pieces. You should now have a rectangle in one plane on the top. Square up the pieces using a framing square along the outer edges.

4. Carefully lift up the filler pieces and put carpenter’s glue along their bottom surfaces.

Replace them and recheck the alignment with a framing square.

Drive four 114-inch screws through each filler piece into the end piece below to fasten the two pieces together.

5. Lift up one of the long sides and put glue on the top surfaces of the two ends beneath it.

Replace the piece. Holding the long side in place, drive three 1/4-inch screws through each end, into the side piece below Avoid driving a screw in the extreme outside corner of each corner; you’ll be drilling holes for the curtain rods there later.

6. Repeat step 5 with the other long side.

7. Check the alignment one last time and try to get the frame as close to square as you can.

(Perfection is not required.)


8. When the glue is dry, turn the frame over. At each corner, square a line 3-% inches in from each outside edge, so that you have two lines that intersect. Use an awl to punch each intersection point.

9. Put the 1 1/4-inch Forester bit in the drill chuck set the spur of the bit in one of the small holes you punched with the awl.

Drill a hole all the way through the long side and the end piece beneath it. Repeat at the other three corners.

10. Turn the curtain top frame upside down on your work surfaces, with the filler pieces facing down and the short sides to your left and right. Square lines across the nearer long side 28 inches in (from either end. On one of these lines, mark a point 1 inch in from the near edge of the frame.

On the other line, mark a point 2 inches in from the near edge of the frame.

11. Reach across to the long side away from you and square a line 1 inch in from each edge at one of the far comers. Mark the point where the two lines intersect. Do the same on the other far corner. If there is a screw in the way at these cross-hairs, rake it out now.

12. Put the 51i6-inch bi t in the drill chuck. Drill a hole all the way through the frame at each of the four points you’ve marked.

These smaller holes are [or the curtain-rod ends. Making the Awning Ruffle

13. Cut your ruffle cloth into three 12-inch-widc s tulips. (Each one will measure 11 f ‘ct by 12 inches.) Fold each piece in half lengthwise and run a hot iron along the folds. You should now have three 11-feet by 6-inch lengths of cloth.

14. Turn the curtain-top frame so that the filler pieces face up and one of the long s ides hangs about 2 inches off the front of your wad, surface. Clamp the frame in place. Then find the center of the front edge of the frame and make a small pencil mark there.

15. Find the midpoint of one of the pieces of ruffle cloth. At the midpoint, staple the unfolded edge of the cloth to the center of the front edge of the frame, keeping the edge of the cloth flush with the top edge of the frame. Take a look: The unfolded edge of cloth should be stapled to the wood and the folded edge should hang down.

16. Grab hold of the top edge of the cloth a few inches to the left of the midpoint. Bring that top edge back against the midpoint staple, making a loop of cloth that points out toward you.

Keeping the top edge in position, flatten the loop to the left and staple its end to the edge of the frame. The new staple should be Just about an inch away from the midpoint staple. You’ve just made one pleat.

17. To make the next one, grab the cloth a few inches to the left of the pleat, pull the top edge back to the staple you just placed, fold the loop of cloth down to the left, and staple it flush to the top edge of the frame working to the left, create a series of flat, folded pleats across the top of your theater, like those at the tops of old-fashioned curtains.

Try to make your folds even, stapling every inch or so. (Pleating may be easier task with two people working together, one to fold and hold the cloth and the other to staple.)

18. When you reach the end of the cloth, staple the end to the frame, get another length of fabric, and keep going. Overlap the new fabric over the “ruffle” of the old fabric by an inch or so.

When you get to the corner of your frame, turn and reclamp the frame on the work surface and turn the corner with your fabric.

19. Continue pleating until you reach the end of the shot side. There, cut the fabric about 1/2 inch longer than you need and fold this extra underneath before you put the last staple in just before the corner.

20. Go back to the middle of the front and repeat the pleating and stapling process, working to the right, until you have completed the ruffle all the way across the front and the other short side.

21. Glue a long piece of ribbon along the top of the ruffle to hide the staples, starting at the end of one short side, moving across the front, and finishing on the other short side. Cut off the excess ribbon when you are finished.

Gluing, smoothing, and holding the ribbon in place may require a few extra sets of hands. The result will be a beautiful finished ruffle.

Crafting Curtains

22. Cut the curtain fabric in half. Each piece should be 5 1/2 feet long (but longer is okay).

23. Lay one of the pieces of fabric flat on your work surface.

On one of the long sides, fold over 1 inch of the edge, iron it down, and staple it in place.

Repeat this process on both short sides. Then bring the other piece of fabric to your work surface and iron and staple the same three folds.

24. Now you’re ready to fold, iron, and staple the remaining long sides. Figure out how much you’ll have to fold over to make the final width of each cloth 36 inches. If your fold is more than 2 inches, use two or even three rows of staples to hold it down.

Or you can trim off some of the extra cloth to make your fold less than 2 inches.

25. Clip the curtain loops to one of the long sides of each piece, starting at a corner and

placing a clip every 6 inches or so.

Shaping the Curtain Rods

26. Uncoil the two lengths of copper tubing, bending them until they are basically straight.

To bend (or straighten) the tubing, grasp it with both hands, with your thumbs pointing toward each other and about an inch apart. Gently push in with your thumbs until you feel the tubing move. Shift your hands along the tubing and press down again with your thumbs, bending the tubing just a little in each place along its length to avoid creating kinks.

27. When the copper tubing is straightened, lay the two lengths side by side and mark them together at 5:;4, 3n~, 361/2, 60 Y2, 65 1, 4, and 66:;4 inches from one end.

28. Grab a length of tubing in both hands, with the end you measured from in your right hand. About 11/2 inches from the end, begin bending the tubing Bend a little, move your hands farther down, and bend a little more. When you reach the first layout mark on the tubing, stop bending and check your progress.

Your goal is to make the tubing turn 90 degrees evenly between the end of the tube and the first layout mark. Adjust your curve by bending more (or unbending if necessary), spreading your efforts along the whole length of bent tubing. (Perfection is not required, and you will be able to make adjustments later.)

29. Grip the tube at the second mark (31 3/4 inches from the end), with the bent end on your right and pointing up. Begin making a second bend along a horizontal plane, trying to complete a 90-degree turn by the time you reach the third layout mark. You should end up with a left-hand bend.

30. ·Hold the tubing with the unworked end on your left, the second bend pointing downward, and the first bend pointing toward you. Position your thumbs at the fourth layout mark and begin bending along a horizontal plane, trying to complete a 90-degree turn as you reach the fifth layout mark. Use a tubing cutter or a hacksaw to cut the piece at the la t mark.

31. The second curtain rod will be a mirror image of the first.

Repeat step 26 to make the first bend. To make the second bend, hold the tubing with its curved end to the left of your hands and pointing up, and move your hands to the right as you bend.

For the final bend, hold the rod so that the second bend is to the left of your hands and points downward, and move your hands to the right as you bend.

Cut the piece at the final layout mark.

32. Place the curtain frame upside down with the 5/16 -inch holes in the corners closest to you. Hold the completed curtain rods up to the curtain frame to check their alignment, remembering that they overlap at the center of the frame. Insert the ends a short way into the 5/16, -inch h o le until the rods support themselves. The rods should curve around the outside of the larger holes (so that on opening night the curtain can follow the same path around the pole that wilt run through the holes) If your rods are out of alignment, bend them into position now.

33. Remove the curtain rods one at a time and slip the curtains onto them. Insert the ends of the rod back into the 3/16 -inch holes. Work the ends of the rods down into the holes until they reach all the way through the frame to the work surface.

34. Set the frame on edge with its top surface facing you. Drive the: till sheet-metal screws into the tubing until the screw head contacts the wood frame. This is an unorthodox use of screws and copper tubing, but with some extra force, the threads should bite into the copper and flare it night against the sides of the drilled hole.