Christmas Designs

Chained Christmas

Joshua Hoegh from First Baptist Church in Elgin, IL brings us this paper chain Christmas look.

From Joshua: Our theme for Christmas last year was “White Christmas” – so obviously, my first thought was “snow”. But I can’t feasibly make it literally SNOW on stage every Sunday morning. So after doing some research and stumbling upon the “Advent Paper Chains” design from The Crossing in Columbia, MO, we had our answer – paper chains!

In terms of scale, this was the largest design that we’ve done at First Baptist since I took on the role of Worship Pastor 5 years ago. However, it ended up also being one of the least expensive. The only cost was the paper and staples, which totaled just under $200 – thanks to Office Max running great sales on paper.

This design also proved to require the most work, in that we needed 40,000 paper chain links CUT, WRAPPED and STAPLED into chains. We had well over 20 volunteers take strips of paper home with them every day and return with chains (20 links in length) until we had what we needed.

Installation was time-consuming, but actually quite simple. I decided that I wanted 4 straight rows (that I would then cut to varying lengths for effect & depth), so we hung 4 wires (pulled taut) across the length of the stage. We set up scaffolding that I was able to use to safely reach the height we needed and simply stapled the top loop of each chain around the wire.

All in all, this was an incredibly work-intensive process – but the result exceeded all of our expectations. Creative lighting allowed us to not only bring these chains to life, but also adjust the “feel” of the space for our Thanksgiving Dinner.

And for a little extra fun, I decided to use our center projector to project falling snow onto the center chains. Without the center screen dropped, the effect of the falling snow on the texture of the chains made an incredible and unexpected impact on the entire design! This stage design will definitely go down in the books as a First Baptist favorite.

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Branched Chiseled Mountains