How To Build A Platform Stage
My daughter has been taking singing lessons for the last year, she loves it but has been practicing less and less as time goes on. As I work on my DIY projects I am realizing more and more that practice will make anyone improve, so I decided I would build a platform stage giving her a special place to practice.
Also providing a constant reminder in her room that she is giving up precious space for this stage and she just needs to practice one or two songs everyday to improve. I was confident I had all the materials necessary to build a DIY platform stage or a platform anything, bed, pet bed, deck, etc. and so it began!
To determine the size of the platform stage, we picked a spot in her room and measured the length and width, plus determined a good height off the floor. To avoid a lot of wasted wood I chose to make each side less than 4 feet so that I could utilize the 1x8x8′ boards I already had. I also had a ton of 2×4’s from my ceiling project. We decided on a width of 36″ length of 44″ with a height of 7.5″
3 2x4x8′ structural base of stage
2 1x8x8′ for stage base appearance boards
2 1x3x8′ for perimeter trim
I used one box of Laminate flooring for stage floor, flooring options are endless so pick what works best for you and your budget. Here is the Home Depot link to my specific flooring.
Building the base
Cut the 2x4x8′ into 8 pieces each 7.5″ long, I eventually affix the 1×8″ boards lengthwise so want them to be the same height.
To create a sturdy right angled joint, I laid one piece of the 2×4 down against a straight ledge on my work bench and set the other block next to it to form the 90 degree angle and used two 3″ Spax screws to connect them. These will act as the corners of the stage base. Then I cut one 2x4x8′ into 2 pieces of 39 1/2″ so that when I attach to the corner blocks and the appearance board I will have my desired length of 44″. I cut another 2x4x8 into 3 pieces 31 1/2″ long which I attached widthwise.
Screw the two 39 1/2″ boards to each of the two corner blocks, you can use a clamp to keep them together and tight while driving in the long 3″ screws. Then take the 31 1/2″ boards and lay widthwise resting on top of the two longer “length” side with screws, this gives you a really strong corner joint. I added a third “width” board in the middle to make the center of the stage really strong since the idea is she will be bouncing around on this, I don’t want her to fall through…
Next I cut the 1×8″x8′ to the original lengths desired, two @44″ two @36″appearance boards. I didn’t bother to miter the corners but you can if you want it to have a really polished look. I used clamps to hold the 1×8″ board to the 2×4 frame to keep the board from moving while I used my 16 gauge nail gun to drive in 2″ finishing nails.
I picked up a piece of particle board from Loading Dock South for next to nothing. Someone had purchased part of a sheet but left what they didn’t need. Be sure to check scrap bins where you shop, you would be surprised how often that happens. I had to “piece” them together since the dimensions of the stage were bigger than my particle board but I planned to add some type of flooring so it was no problem. Attach it with pneumatic nail gun. Since particle board is a little on the lightweight, thin side, you could also use OSB or a nice sanded plywood and be pretty much done with your platform.
For the perimeter of the stage I wanted it to give it a platform look so I cut a 1×3″x8′ into two pieces with outside mitered cuts, longer length of the two was approximately 45 1/2″ and the other 37 1/2″ then make the same two cuts on your other 1x3x8′. I attached with a nail gun to the 1×8 appearance boards. Depending on the “flooring” you use, you may be able to skip this part.
Thanks to an astute reader, I didn’t realize I had not shared a picture of how I added a few extra 2×4’s to the underside once I put the particle board in place. I feared if my daughter and friends all tried to be on the stage at once it may not hold up. I simply added a few and it is perfectly sturdy. Thanks Rachel!!
Now to add some sort of “flooring” to the stage, I take another look around at what I have on hand and find one box of laminate flooring I bought last September when we gave up on staining the rest of the basement concrete floors.
Adding laminate flooring if you never have is not as easy as you might think so be sure to do some research.
I checked the company’s website and went to the Home Depot’s DIY video’s. Some people use this product on their walls, so I compared those recommendations with my project. What I gathered was that I could secure it using Liquid Nails, even though this isn’t the recommended way, since the stage is so small it won’t have the tension a normal floor would have to keep the boards in place. Another recommendation was to cut the boards to length with a circular saw or table saw. All of which is fairly basic stuff, or so I thought…
What I learned after throwing a few boards across the room was that I needed to remove at least one side of my 1×3 perimeter trim, #operatorerror, hate that. By attaching it first I was unable to slide the long edge side of the flooring into the pseudo grooved side of the board next to it. Again, totally unlike myself I was trying to strong arm these boards into place just putting them perpendicular on the previous board and pushing into the groove and pulling down, that DID NOT WORK, it took much more finesses than that. So please, please read the instructions that come with your flooring, it could be totally different.
Once I gathered my senses and restarted from the beginning correctly, reminding myself to work Smarter not Harder and used clamps to hold the first board in place while the Liquid Nails dried. Slowly but surely I added each piece into place, not so hard after all. I cut a few of the boards at different widths to emulate real hardwoods but be sure the smaller piece isn’t smaller than 16″ and the final piece required a long straight cut with the circular saw to fit into it’s final resting spot, I added Liquid Nails and clamps to the final board as well.
I finished the project by adding the 1×3 trim back on with finishing nails and filled gaps between the perimeter trim and flooring with black silicone caulk.
Platform Stage Complete!
My daughter loves her new stage and her friends love it too. They are on it constantly, singing, modeling clothes, etc. Anything you can think of, they find a way to incorporate that stage.
So glad you stopped by to check out my project, feel free to browse my site for other projects ideas.