Susan Jensen from Saratoga Abundant Life Church in Saratoga Springs, NY brings us this Christmas design.
For the winter stage design at Saratoga Abundant Life Church, Susan Jensen wanted to create a White Christmas under a Starry Night Sky that would look great for Christmas and could still be enjoyed through out the winter season. The Senior Pastor (Sue’s husband) gave her a budget of $500 to work with.
The church’s back stage wall had too many irregulars so Sue looked for a star curtain to hang, but found they were priced out of this world. So the design team got to work creating their own, using black drape fabric and hundreds of white Christmas lights they poked through punched-out holes in the fabric.
Artificial Christmas trees of various sizes were donated by people in the congregation, which the team strung with more lights and finished with globs of fiberfill to simulate the snow. Fiber blanketing laid over bubble wrap was added to create a snow cover under the trees, which were up-lit with 12 LED lights.
Materials, techniques and tools that worked well for this project: Commando fabric, found on Amazon Marketplace was a reasonably priced opaque stage drape fabric that had a felt/suede-like finish (non sheen) on the front-facing side, and a lining on the back. It blocks 99.9% of light and was topically treated with flame retardant. Eight fabric panels were cut, edges surged, marked with chalk for star placement and ¼” holes were punched out using an electric drill fixed with a bit made from a piece of brake line tubing sharpened on one end. After each vertical panel had its stars added, the curtains were hung from framing on the ceiling. Then another long line of zig-zagging lights were added horizontally, pushed from the back through additional random holes that had been left open. This second course of stars was connected to a separate circuit so the lighting team could dim circuits differently to create the illusion of distant stars and brighter stars in a night sky. About 2/3 of the lights remained unused and hidden on the back of the fabric. The strings were secured with gaffers tape on the back.
During the weeks leading up to Christmas, a Bethlehem star (a tree topper hung upside down from the stage ceiling) compliments the night sky, and can be easily removed after the holiday season. The project took about 10 volunteers to complete over a 5-day period. The cost of all the materials was just under $500.