Mark Edmondson from Capo Beach Church in Dana Point, CA brings us these awesome homemade lanterns.
From Mark: I wanted to go with a more traditional Christmas theme this year and create a really mystical and inviting space. We are a block from the beach and usually not below 70* year round so the idea of making it super wintry and snowy seemed fun.
The designed used over 35 trees, all artificial. To keep cost down and also help with the design we only use four sizes of trees.
We built wooden boxes as bases and secured the trees to the boxes. Each at different heights so that we could made 12 foot trees look like 16’ trees, etc. Then covered the entire bottom part in fake snow. The up and down of the set with all the fake snow under it really made it look like a snowy mountain side.
Next week took clumps Of fake snow and scattered them on the trees as realistic as possible. This part takes a lot of doing over and over again and taking a step back to see where to add or remove to look real. Next we sprinkled powdered snow on and then finished with spray in snow to give a nice dusted look to each tree.
We wanted to use lanterns and led candles to give a warm and rustic feeling to the set we scattered about 80 lanterns around the stage and hanging above. We needed a few giant lanterns to hang to help with the scale of the set so we designed and built our own from wood. Then painted them with metallic colors to look rustic. To make a large candle to scale inside them we just painted a cheap Walmart plastic Ornament cylinder with frosted glass spray paint and put a small candle in it and it made it look huge.
The rest was just lighting and special effects to really bring the set to life.
Here is a video of our Christmas Eve opener to give an idea of how it looked. Yes, we had drummers up in the trees lol.
This set cost us around 8,000 dollars. If you add in the lighting rentals, etc it was about 12,000. But our scale was very large. We covered a 96’ wide wall. So if this was scaled down or you already own a bunch of trees and you don’t need all the lighting it can be done at any church for a couple thousand or less!