8 Basic Stage Design Tips


When I first started designing for the stage at our church back in 2010, it was so new to me. (I am laughing here thinking this is all still new to me, lol.)

I remember being so eager to get in there and design for our pastor’s sermon series. I remember how fun it was figuring out how to decorate a stage, how to hang things from the ceiling, how to create things on a budget. From there, I had the privilege of designing for women, teen, and marriage events as well.

Do I still design? Of course! Every single day that I have the opportunity to design something, it makes me SOOOoooo happy!

What about you? Do you like to design or create things with your hands? Are you the GO-TO person when someone needs a backdrop, a photo booth, a staging area to promote the event that’s coming up? Or maybe your that eager beaver like I was and you want to dive right into learning stage design?

If you answered “YES” to any of those questions, then you’re in the RIGHT place. I don’t know everything. IN FACT, I would say I am still EXTREMELY wet behind the ears!

What I have LEARNED and GROWN from, I want to share those experiences with you. To give you some pointers when it comes to staging any event, whether it’s a birthday party or a grand ball. Anyone can learn something from these 8 basic stage design tips and apply them to any event you are having.

So here they are…

8 Basic Stage Design Tips

  1. Know your AUDIENCE. This is SO important! You need to know who you are staging to. Who is your target Audience? What are they coming for?
  2. Know your SPACE. Your space will determine what you have to work with. You need to know if you have a stage. If not, what area is the speaking box located? (Note: A speaking box is just an imaginary box around the speaker.) How tall are the ceilings? How wide is the stage? Does your space have a hallway, a foyer, a porch? Knowing your space will help with your budget and the planning phases.
  3. Know your BUDGET!!! Notice this one has several explanation marks. I admit, this is one I struggle with ALL…THE… TIME. What can I say, I love to shop, LOL! (Shhh…don’t tell my husband. Oh wait! He already knows…hehehe) Staying within your budget can make or break you especially if you are using someone else’s money and not your own. There have been many many times where I have paid for something with my own money just because I did not want to use the other person’s funds. (Most of the time, the money I spent was for my church which became a tithe or an offering. Please hear me,  I do not promote you spending your own money for someone else’s event!!! Be discerning!) 
  4. Know the Rules or Regulations. Unless it is your own house, most places have rules or regulations to follow. You will want to know where the fire exits are, know if you can hang things from the ceiling, know if you can tape, staple, nail, glue in the facility, know the maximum amount of people the facility can safely house if you’re having a sit down dinner, etc. Do they supply tables and chairs or do you have to bring your own? Do they supply table clothes and such if you will be setting tables for the event? Knowing the rules or regulations beforehand will save you a lot of headache down the road.
  5. Know your THEME. Whether you have come up with the theme yourself, or whether the theme has been provided to you by the host of the event, you need to know your theme. The theme sets the mood of the event. Without a theme, there is no direction.
  6. PLAN and DesignThis is where the FUN comes in! The planning and designing part of the project is where the theme of the event comes to life. If you are like me, you will have already started on this, like yesterday, only because your bursting with WAY to much excitement not to, RIGHT?!”)  During the planning phase, you will want to make a TO-DO List on a schedule list. This will help you to plan your time accordingly, especially if you have a family of your own with small children. I have personally had moments where I did not pay attention to the time and found my daughter asleep on the chair because it was SO late. Yep, #momfail! You may have moments like that too, but planning ahead of time is key to balancing home life and design life. So plan, plan, and plan! Of course, the design part is essential too. 😉
  7. DELEGATE or Procrastinate. I confess, I have been, more times than not, a one-man show which means I have procrastinated from time to time and some things did not get done. PLEASE, DON”T DO THAT! I plead with you! Ask for help. I promise, you will not be sorry. Gather a team of people who can help you get all tasks done before the big day. Believe me, it will help keep your sanity in check.
  8. TEAR DOWN. You’re exhausted. I know. Unfortunately, your job is not quite finished. It’s time to take everything down and put it away until next time. I will tell you that this part of the design phase is a breeze and brings a since of pride knowing that you have finished and finished well. So give everyone a high-five and enjoy that “I can breathe now” moment.

I hope these pointers have been helpful or in some way useful to you in whatever life event you are staging. Design and design well, my friend.

Your EVERYDAY Creator

Creating Beautiful Things for Beautiful Spaces

~Amy Olson





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