How to Build a Booth From PVC Pipes
There are many reasons to make a booth. Home carnivals, for instance, demand ticket and game booths. While wood is a sturdy option, PVC piping is lightweight and equally, if not stronger than the alternative. With a few simple tools and a couple hours, you can make your own booth out of PVC piping.
Making the Walls
Separate the PVC pipe into piles of 6 foot lengths, and 4 foot lengths. Cut two of the 6 foot PVC pipes in half with your saw so that you have four 3 piece pieces of PVC.
Place a 6 foot long piece of PVC pipe on a flat surface, such as the ground or a table. Place a 4 foot long PVC section at a right angle at the bottom edge of the 6 foot piece. Place two of the 3 foot PVC pieces at a right angle to the 4 foot piece. Make sure the two 3 foot pieces line up in a straight line so that they equal a 6 foot length. Place another 4 foot length at a right angle to those pieces. When finished, you want to have a loose rectangular frame built out of PVC pipes.
Apply PVC cement to a 1-inch section of the outside of one end of the 6-foot long PVC pipe and adhere a 90-degree pipe fitting to it. Once in place, put glue onto one of your 4-foot lengths of PVC pipe in the same fashion and slide it into the opposite end of the PVC elbow connector. Allow both joints to dry.
Apply PVC cement to the top edge of the 6-foot long PVC pipe and place another 90-degree elbow over it. Make sure that the elbow points in the exact direction as the first elbow you applied in step 3. This needs to be a rectangular frame, and it will be difficult to accomplish that if the PVC pipes aren't orrientated in the same direction. This is why it's best to do this on a flat surface.
Cement another 4-foot length of pipe into the new opening on the PVC elbow connector. Make sure all pieces are perpendicular to one another.
Cement and place a three-prong elbow joint onto the free ends of both 4-foot PVC pipes. Make sure the open slots of PVC connector are pointed inward (toward the opposite 4-foot PVC pipe). The remaining open connections should be pointed straight upwards from the flat table.
Take the two 3-foot piece of PVC pipes and connect them together with the 3-pronged PVC connector (the one that makes a straight line with an open connection perpendicular to that). Put the 2 PVC pipes in the openings that are opposite one another, making a straight line. Cement them into place.
Cement and slide the newly constructed 6-foot pipe (from last step) into the pipe fittings that are placed on the free ends of the 4-foot long pipes. The connector in the middle should still have an open hole, and you want to make sure this is pointing upwards (the same as the other two open connections). You should have created a rectangular frame with three joints all pointing upward along the same line.
You may also need to cut down the 6-foot (made of the two 3-foot pieces) PVC pipe so that it fits into the joints properly. By adding the 3-point connector in the middle, you may have made that side an additional 1-6 inches in length. Measure the length again and cut off any extra that you need to to make a perfect rectangle. If you do take off a certain amount, make sure to remember which side it was so that when you make the other wall, you can do the same operation and keep everything level.
Repeat steps 2-8, creating another wall frame. The only difference should be that the three joints on the one PVC pipe that pointed upward before, should now point downward instead. Cement and allow all the pieces to dry.
The Front and the Fabric
Cement three 4-foot pieces of PVC pipe into the three open prongs on one of the wall frames, so that they all point upwards. Allow time for them to dry and then place the wall upright. You should have a wall complete, and the front of the booth almost complete.
Cement the second wall onto the front of the booth by placing the open ends of the three 4-foot pieces into the second wall's open connections. You should now have a 3-walled frame for your booth.
Connect the large piece of fabric to a wall. You can do this by stretching the fabric out and adding small holes to the corners and zip-tying the fabric into place by securing them around the pipes. If your booth is temporary, then this might be the best and easiest option. If you'd like a little bit more durability, then apply fabric glue (or even the PVC cement will work as well) to the pipe and lay the fabric over it, pulling it into place and securing it tightly. This will spread the tension on the fabric over a larger amount of surface area so that it's actually more sturdy than the zip-tie method.
Repeat step 3 for the other wall, and then add the smaller, shorter piece of fabric to the bottom half of the front of your booth. This will leave a 3-walled, shrouded booth, with a window in the front for whatever reason you need.
Things You Will Need
- Four 6-foot long, 2-inch thick PVC pipes
- Seven 4-foot long, 2-inch thick PVC pipes
- Four PVC elbows (90 degree pipe fittings)
- Four three-way pipe fittings (a 90 degree elbow piece with another fitting angled perpendicular off of the joint)
- Two three-way pipe fittings (a 90 degree elbow piece with another fitting directly opposite off the first connection--making a straight line)
- PVC cement and applicator
- Two sheets of fabric (6' x 4' each)
- One sheet of fabric (4' x 3')
- Zip-ties or fabric glue
The dimensions in this guide are all variable. If you want a larger booth, just add feet onto each of the PVC pipe lengths. You can also add extra support by connecting the top back, and bottom back corners of your walls together. Simply connect the walls with three-pronged, 90-degree connectors instead of elbow joints. And then add another 4-foot PVC pipe between the top and bottom corners, cementing it into place.
If you plan to use this booth outside, for a carnival, for instance, it may be a good idea to weigh it down with sandbags or stakes. There is a possibility, that with the fabric, it will fly away in a strong wind. Be cautious.