Friday, 22 June 2012

Column Inches

Greek ColumnsThe Pandora’s Box Production requires very little in the way of ‘set dressing’. There are lots of short scenes and the action leaps from Mount Olympus to Epimetheus’ house to the Market Place and back again. After some discussion “ a couple of Greek Columns at the back, and something ‘plant-like’ towards the front of the stage” was agreed upon. I volunteered my two small [artificial] trees in pots, which have proved very useful in the past.

We thought that maybe a couple of cardboard tubes from the middle of rolls of carpet would be a good starting point to make the columns. So on my way past Red Carpets of Anstey, I went and asked if they had any to spare, explaining why I needed them.

Red Carpets | Home

The chap could not have been more helpful. He said they had fitted carpets at the school in the past, and immediately found me two rolls. Thanks!


They are still in the back of my car, while I work out exactly how I am going to turn the brown cardboard into the elegant columns!

Has anyone else ever made columns like this? any useful tips?

And more importantly, any Health and Safety suggestions for keeping the columns upright? Hermes may be wearing a helmet, but I do not want to risk anyone being injured by falling scenery!


  1. Corrugated paper round the outside and painted? With a couple of different sized flat boxes on the top? If you don't put the flat box "plinth" on the bottom then you can set the hollow tube over the top of whatever you can find that is heavy but fits inside - even if it is only a few bricks to stop them being knocked over. We have a tall round bin that would fit inside one... Would one of those flower buckets fit inside the roll? With bricks inside to weight it down?

  2. Hmm... sounds great! A very heavy base and a deceptively light top is what you need to keep them upright, I guess. Could you carve a column heading out of polystyrene? Or buy (what did I suggest?) some of that polystyrene moulding for ceilings/ceiling roses that you buy in DIY stores? Then something really heavy wedged firmly inside the base...

    Would corrugated cardboard create the right impression for the ribs on the columns?

    Thanks for a fun challenge, Ang. Son 2 is sick today and it's nice to have something else to think about, briefly!

  3. Corrugated cardboard & paint sound like the easiest way to go. Or you could get fancy and use something like caulking to pipe ridges down the tubes, then paint the whole thing when dry. Or possibly lengths of cording, stapled inside the tube at either end? Or, if you're good at painting, make trompe-l'oeil fluting by just painting in the shaded ridges.

    Best stick with Doric columns - Ionic or Corinthian headers would be too laborious. :)

    P.S. I just Googled "How to make a Greek Column" - interesting results!


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