Christmas Designs

Glowing Angels and Trees

Alex Shepler from Kochenderfer Church in Lebanon, PA brings us this simple and elegant stage design for Christmas.

They wanted something that was simple, yet elegant, for last year’s Christmas stage design. Alex’s plans began with simple Christmas trees, but blew up into this huge display.

They began by covering all of the stage ceiling lights with different shades of blue Gels to give it a more wintry look. They originally wanted an LED star drop as a background, but that was way out of their budget. They went to their local Dollar store and bought sheets of foam board and cut them into stars, sprayed them with adhesive, and doused them in glitter. Then they punched sets of 20 White lights on each point and corner to give them some light. They just used a simple dark colored, non-grounded extension cord to hang them.

Next, they lined the entire back wall with different sized Christmas trees (all of which were donated by congregation members) keeping the larger trees toward the middle, smaller toward the ends. Following that, they put two 8x2x1 foot risers on each side. These risers held one 9 foot tree and one 7.5 foot tree each. The reason behind this was to have the trees that were closer to the front of the stage not only seem closer, but appear to be taller. Many of the trees that were donated were pre-lit with white incandescent lights, which was a huge help. The ones that weren’t pre-lit, they lit with simple sets of 100 from their local WalMart. Upon lighting them all up, they realized that it was really bright and was going to take away from their pastor’s messages on Sunday mornings. The colors they chose were blue and white, so to counter the brightness of the white lights, they also stranded every tree with blue incandescent lights from WalMart so that when the pastor was speaking, the entire stage had a blueish glow to it. This helped to take the focus off the stage and to the pastor.

They wanted everything to be controlled via DMX, so they used two Elation 4-Channel Dimmer Packs to do that. They used one channel on each side of the stage for white lights, blue lights, stars, and angels.

The angels were simple and cheap to make. They used upside down tomato cages as the body, then strung lights around the cage, and put a white gown from their costume closet on them. The heads were made out of fabric and PolyFil. They took a ball of the PolyFil and wrapped the skin colored fabric around it. The wings were made out of old wire hangers, bent into the shape of a wing, and then covered with white tissue paper. And the halos were simply a gold ribbon wrapped around white lights. Once they had everything set, they moved to details such as putting snow around the bases of trees, putting some snow on the trees, and placing their effect lighting.

They don’t own any intelligent lighting or anything of the sorts, so they rented it all from Sound Advantage, Inc. in Annville, PA. They used 5 Pilot 150 Moving Heads, as well as 6 Martin CX-2’s. As an added bonus, for their Christmas Eve Service, they rented an Antari S-200 Silent Snow Machine from Stray Lights in Lititz, PA which was used to add a snow effect to the choir’s performance as well as the ending of the service.

Overall everything was a huge success. All together, they spent under $1,000. The most expensive items were all of the lights for the trees and angels, and the tomato cages for the angels.










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