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How to Make a Folding Music Stand From Cardboard

Updated April 17, 2017

Music stands are an essential practice tool for any musician, from percussionist to woodwind player. A stand holds sheet music in place for the musician to read as he or she performs. In 2011, music stands cost from £5 to more than £195, but a folding, cardboard stand can be made simply at home. This is not a project meant for children, since you will need to cut cardboard using a utility knife or other sharp blade.

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  1. Fold a 3-inch flap on each side of the 5-by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard, leaving you with two 3-inch panels and one 7 1/2-inch panel for the base of your music stand. While wearing your safety goggles, carefully score the cardboard folds using the utility knife, but do not cut all the way through. This will create a better fold. When you stand it on its narrow edge, the cardboard will have a large panel in the middle and two smaller panels that fan out slightly to each side, holding the stand upright.

  2. Cut the 3-inch panels at an angle to hold your music. Draw an "L" on one of the 3-inch panels. This will cradle your sheet music in the corner of the "L," so base the angle of the "L" on your height and what angle you want to to look at your music. The long side should be about 3 inches long, and the short side should angle up slightly based on your preference.

  3. Cut out the "L" shape, and use the scrap as a template to copy the shape on the other side of the base.

  4. Cut a 1-inch slit in the centre of the biggest panel of the base, on the bottom.

  5. Cut a 1-inch slit in short side of the 2-by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard, about 1 inch from one of its edges.

  6. Place the 2-by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard under the base, using the slits to connect the pieces. The skinny piece sticks out behind the stand and provides extra support.

  7. Bend about 2 inches of the bottom of the largest, uncut cardboard piece. Place the piece with the small folded section resting in the two "Ls" of the base, folding in the base's outside flaps to hold it securely. Place sheet music in the stand.

  8. Tip

    You can spray paint the music stand any colour. Cut the bottom support piece to a shorter length, based on the size of space you have.


    Use caution while using the utility knife to avoid injury.

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Things You'll Need

  • 5-by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard
  • 2- by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard
  • 13 1/2-by-13 1/2-inch piece of cardboard
  • Utility knife or razor blade
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Safety goggles

About the Author

Alane Michaelson began writing professionally in 2002. Her work has appeared in Michigan publications such as the "Detroit Free Press" and the "Flint Journal." Michaelson graduated from Oakland University in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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