Jason Dyba and Robyn Collins from Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN brings us this circusy/country fair stage design from their 2012 VBS.
They started by finding a central, strong point in their building to hang fabric from. For them, it was their lighting bar. They used a roll of string to estimate the length of fabric they would need from 14 different spots in the room to the center point. That helped them purchase the right amount of fabric.
They decided 14 different swags of fabric (alternating red and white) would be sufficient for the room and suitable for their budget. After ordering and receiving four 110-yd rolls of fabric (two red, two white), they used household scissors to cut down the individual segments. Because both ends of their swags were beyond view of the audience, they didn’t bother to get nice, clean cuts.
Once all the fabric was cut, they took one end of each swag and bunched up the fabric. Then they zip-tied this portion (about a foot from end of the fabric) along with a regular-sized carabiner looped through the zip-tie. This would later allow them to simply grab the carabiner and attach the entire swag to their center point.
Once all 14 swags were ready, they attached all 14 carabiners to one extra large spring snap. Using their lift, they then raised that single extra large spring snap to the ceiling and attached it to the lighting bar.
Now, with eight of the swags they had the luxury of simple stapling the other ends to their balcony. They picked one swag toward the center to determine the amount of “dip” that they liked and adjusted all the others to match that one as they went.
Using a saw, they cut down a few sticks of 1×4 lumber into 4-ft sticks. Then they stapled each of the other six swags to one of these 4-ft sticks. Using a power drill, they drilled a hole into both ends of the 4-ft sticks and one in the center. With the bundling twine, they cut two long pieces of string for each swag that would allow them to hang them from the ceiling at a height equal to the balcony. Using the drilled holes on each end, they tied the twine to the sticks and attached them to ceiling.
Due to the weight of the fabric, these six swags were all pulling away from the walls and messing up the uniform look. So they did the following:
- cut down a few smaller lengths of twine
- tied the twine through the middle drilled hole of each 4-ft stick
- close to each swag, they drilled a drywall sinker into the wall
- placed an eyebolt into each sinker
- tied the other end of the twine to the eyebolt, pulling all 6 swags to an equal distance from the wall
They rented a simple backdrop for the stage. Then they took about 200 feet of large bulb Christmas lights and hung them in simple swags above the band.
What they bought:
- 220 yards Poly Silk, NFR (Color: Bright Red; Width: 60 inches)
- 220 yards Poly Silk, NFR (Color: Ivory; Width: 60 inches)
- 14 regular-sized carabiners / spring snaps (cheapest they could find)
- 1 extra large grab spring snap
- Four 8-foot pieces of 1×4 wood
- a bag of 100 12″ zip ties
- a couple rolls of bundling twine
- a handful of eyebolts and drywall sinkers (for the eyebolts)
- about 200′ feet of sphere-bulb string light
Vendors they used:
- RoseBrand.com (for the fabric; search “poly silk colors NFR”)
- Grosh.com (for the backdrop; search “tent”)
- World Market (for the string lights; search “clear 30-bulb”)
- Home Depot (for everything else)