This DIY Beetlejuice turnstile makes a great entrance to a Beetlejuice party. Especially if you’re re-creating the waiting room scene as part of your decor like I did for mine.
When I’m using a movie theme for one of my parties, I always use scenes from the show to get some inspiration for the decor.
So when I was planning my Beetlejuice Halloween party, I wanted to my guests to walk through the waiting room to get into the party.
And that meant coming up with a turnstile to really make the entrance stand out.
I wanted it to be functional (in other words, actually turn).
But since it’s not something I will likely be re-using, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it.
And this version made from PVC pipe and electrical boxes definitely fit the bill.
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- 4 – round weatherproof electrical boxes with 1/2-inch holes* – these are used to join the vertical pipe with all of the arms
- 4 – round weatherproof cover with 1/2-inch holes*
- 4 – 1/2-inch x 10-foot PVC pipe* – we’ll cut these to be the vertical pipe and arms of the turnstile
- PVC male adapters – You’ll need
- 1-inch x 2-foot PVC pipe* – this is attached to the base and will hold the bottom pipe of the turnstile so it can turn
- 16 – 1/2″ PVC pipe end caps* – This gives the turnstile arms a finished look and helps to keep the insulation from sliding off the end.
- 5 – 6′ lengths of pipe insulation* – this makes the turnstile arms look thicker and covers all the white. So you need enough to cover all of the 1/2″ PVC pipe.
- 4′ x 3/8″ rebar* – this is used to keep the turnstile standing up straight
- base of a heavy duty backdrop stand* – You’ll need a sturdy base to hold up the turnstile. I already owned a backdrop stand that has a flat base which is quite heavy so people won’t trip over it and it’s not easy to knock over. (It works very well for all kinds of backdrops so worth the investment if you like to host parties. Other types of backdrop stands won’t work for this project). If you don’t have one, you might be able to use a large piece of plywood (painted black) with a pipe connector screwed to the middle of it to hold up the center pipe. (But I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure it will be stable).
- PVC glue – (optional) – If you really want to make sure your turnstile stays together, you can glue the parts at the joins. I didn’t bother with this step because they do fit pretty tightly.
- hack saw, jig saw, miter saw, chop saw, or circular saw – to cut the PVC pipes to the correct length
How to make the DIY turnstile
1 | Put the base together
Insert the 1″ PVC pipe into the pole holder on the stand.
Tighten the screw so the pipe is held firmly in place.
Put aside for now.
2 | Cut the PVC pipe
Use a saw to cut the half-inch PVC pipe into the following lengths:
- 5 – 18″ lengths – These will create the vertical center pole of the turnstile. They really can’t be much longer that this or the turnstile becomes top heavy and unsteady.
- 16 – 16″ lengths – You can increase the length of these up to about 20″ if you have a larger entry way to fill.
3 | Put the joins together
Screw the covers onto the electrical boxes.
Then screw 1 male adapter into each of the side holes (so 4 altogether).
On 3 of electrical boxes, attach a male adapter to the middle hole on both the top and bottom of the box.
On the last electrical box, only attach a male adapter on the bottom (the slightly rounded side with the cover). The flat side of this box will be the top of the turnstile.
3 | Attach the turnstile arms
Lay down the electrical box that only has one middle adapter so that the adapter is facing up.
Push one of the 18″ PVC pipes into the top hole.
Push one 16″ PVC pipe into each of the side holes on the electrical box (4 in total).
If you’re using glue, spread it around the inside of the adapters on the electrical box and the outside of the PVC pipe ends before you put them together. Then hold each joint for a few seconds to let it set.
Then push another of the electrical boxes onto the top of the vertical pipe. Attach the 4 16-inch arms and the 18-inch middle pipe to this box.
Repeat with the third box.
Don’t add the fourth one yet.
4 | Put up the turnstile
Turn the turnstile over, and fit the bottom pipe into the larger pipe that you attached to the backdrop stand earlier.
It should be able to rotate easily. (Do not glue this connection. It needs to move for the turnstile to work).
To keep the turnstile standing up straight, insert a 4-foot long piece of rebar down the middle of the center PVC pipe. You may need to use a hammer because it can be a bit of a tight fit.
If the top still seems wobbly, add another 2-foot piece of rebar on top of the 4-foot piece and it should be sturdy enough.
5 | Finish the assembly
Add the last 18″ vertical PVC pipe and electrical box to the top of the turnstile. Attach the 4 16″ arms to the sides of the top electrical box.
The turnstile should now be about 6½ feet high.
Attach the end caps to the ends of all the turnstile arms so you can’t see the hole in the pipes.
6 | Cover with insulation
Use the scissors to cut 16 pieces of pipe insulation the same length as the arms (about 16″ in my case).
Slide one of these onto each of the turnstile arms.
Then cut 4 pieces of insulation a little less than 18 inches long (about 17 3/4 inches).
Open the side of the insulation sleeve and wrap it around the vertical PVC pipe. You may need to cut a slit in the side with the scissors or a utility knife.
The finished turnstile
Your turnstile is now ready to use.
It should rotate easily in the base pipe without being too wobbly.
I put mine just in front of an arch made with black and white paper lanterns to really create an entrance.
That way people could sort of see through to the party but couldn’t really get the full view until they walked through the turnstile.
On the inside, I added skeletons dressed like some of the characters from the waiting room scene, and it worked pretty well!
Other Beetlejuice decorations you might like
Or see all of our Beetlejuice party ideas.