Christmas Designs

Big Ol’ Trees

Travis Carpenter from Northview Church in Carmel, IN brings us these huge, real trees adorning their 2011 Christmas stage.

They grabbed these real trees from a spot on their property where they were going to be cut down for construction.

The trees were between 20ft and 30ft tall, and were all hoisted up with cranks secured in the ceiling. Once standing, they were braced from the bottom. The lines used to hoist it up were kept in place as a safety to keep them securely in place.

Each tree was painted white in their shop, and then very tightly wrapped with around 100 strands of white Christmas lights. In all, they used around 400 strands of Christmas lights. Each tree was plugged into their dimmer system so they could control them during the service.

They opened the service with a special song and two MDG Ice Fog Compack low lying fog machines. Then they ended the service with Silent Night, and four DMX controllable snow machines in their catwalks.

The Umbrella Gap Bend Until You Break

33 responses to “Big Ol’ Trees”

  1. Sam says:

    I’m speechless and I don’t know what to say except for WOW! Thank you for sharing your design! I love it and may use the idea of the trees on our stage this Christmas season!

  2. Cole says:

    Wow, amazing. I love the falling snow! Great job!

  3. Vaughn says:

    Awesome set. I love how you also brought the theme into your lobby. May try to implement into our Christmas set for 2013.

  4. Susan says:

    Love this! Would be an awesome set for our Christmas Eve service as well as to have up for our Christmas production. Is it too late to get some trees cut and prepared for this year or would the trees need time to dry out before they were painted?

    • We actually didn’t cut the trees down til about 2 weeks prior to Christmas. They sat outside (in the rain) for a couple days before we moved them inside one by one where they were painted in our scenery shop. Somehow, they were actually dry when we painted them.

      Short answer: Yes, you should have plenty of time to pull of this look still! Email me some photos if you do! I’d love to see it!

  5. Ryland says:

    Curious what snow machines you used. I’ve used the “little blizzards” before that use the liquid but that snow looks really nice.

  6. Ryland says:

    Ya they are pretty loud but the snow looks nice, thanks for answering. I wouldn’t dare use them unless it was a loud music number. Unless you put them in the ceiling or boxed them in somehow to soundproof….

  7. Beautiful! Love this look. The trees are a perfect fit for the season, and could be tweaked to fit the fall/Thanksgiving time, as well.

    • Terrie says:

      That is a wonderful idea. My question, though, is how you can light what looks like 4 trees with 400 strands. I haven’t been able to find any strands that you can connect more the 6 in line together. So how do you run 100 strands per tree without all sorts of extensions cords? Thanks so much.. Absolutely love the look. tb

  8. Phil says:

    What kind of trees are those? We live in California where trees abound but don’t always lose their leaves. Oh the joys of a warm climate. We have a small building but love the concept.

    • Phil, sorry for not responding, I must have missed your comment last time.

      I’m not sure what kind of trees they were, and even our groundskeeper that cut that down for me can’t remember exactly what they were. Sorry!

  9. The design of this stage is simply breathtaking. The designers at Northview Church did a really great job. The massive video screen behind them doesn’t hurt either!

  10. Vaughn says:

    What did you use to project on the screen?

    • The screen is a permanent fixture on the back of our stage. In total, there are 4 Christie Roadster S+16k projectors behind the screen. The system was designed to be run with all four (the extra two for the extra brightness), but we found it looks fine with only two, so we leave the other two off most of the time.

  11. Josh Welch says:

    Awesome!!!! Were the trees painted a flat or glossy white?

  12. Elijah says:

    Looks awesome travi :) we are looking to do kinda the same thing in the village this year with the trees.

  13. Craig says:

    We love this look. Our question is how did you you guys rig the trees to stand?

    • We hoisted them up and secured them to our ceiling. The majority of the weight of the tree was resting on the stage. We used steel aircraft cable that was secured to the ceiling for added support, and to keep them upright.

  14. Greyson says:

    Where did you get a hold of that background on the first slide? Is it a motion background? We were hoping to use that same one for our Christmas Eve service this year if you all can point us to where we can purchase/download it. Thanks!

  15. Dan Roesch says:

    Hey, Just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your creativity with the body. We used your design for our Christmas Eve Services and everyone loved it! Just wanted you to know you are blessing lots of people out in Nebraska! Here are some pics


  16. leyvaine says:

    how did you configure the lighting of the trees with your current lighting system

  17. fabricio Ronca says:

    Great stage, very very nice! the effect of lightining with the trees and the sky , congratulations.

  18. Becki Gibson says:

    Did you put down white floor cover/carpet too? Love this idea but we have dark carpeting on our stage. Thanks!

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