Stage Designs

Flock of Cups

Emily Perry from Johnston Evangelical Free Church in Johnston, Iowa brings us this cool art installation with water cooler cups and string.
Emily was inspired by an Anthropology window design with string and honey bear jars. She knew she wanted white string, and she wanted something shaped like a triangle hanging from the string. Somehow those paper cups that come with water coolers popped into her head, and she found that she could order them in bulk from Amazon. So that’s what she went with. White mason string, paper cone cups, and nuts to give them some weight.

Her next hurdle was figuring out how to install it on the stage. After some discussion with some folks, she decided to use some plywood and drill a ton of holes into it, and then use cinder blocks as weights at the base. So they ordered all of their supplies and got the prep work started.

They cut 700, 40 ft. strings. They found the easiest way to do this was to set up 5, 8 ft tables and then just roll the string down the table. They weren’t all the same length, but they knew they’d be cutting them again anyways, so that wasn’t a big deal.

Once that was done and they had their plywood all drilled and painted, it was time to start threading the string through the boards. The total time this took was around 12 hours to do two of them.

So they starting stringing. Randy, her helper, pulled individual strings out for her, and then she took them and threaded them onto a yarn needle and strung them through the board. The second board was a lot easier because they learned a few things with the first board.

Once they were all threaded, they were ready to hang them up. Emily climbed up into the lift with the board in hand and went up to the ceiling to install the boards. She ended up using zip ties to secure them to the beams that they were resting on.

Now they were ready to tie 700 cups to the strings. They snipped off the ends of the cups, and threaded the string through the hole, and then threaded a nut on and tied the string around the nut. It took almost an entire week to complete that part.

700 strings and 700 cups later, they had a sweet stage design! Check out her blog post on it here.

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3 responses to “Flock of Cups”

  1. Kathy says:

    Very creative and beautiful design. Looks useful for many seasons.

  2. Deb says:

    Love this design! Brings elegance and beauty into the sanctuary.

  3. jeannie says:

    Amazing! Congratulations on a beautiful installation.

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