Stage Designs

Picketing Christmas

Jonathan Carone from Two Rivers Church in Lenoir City, TN brings us this simple wintery picket fence.

They wanted something a bit atypical for Christmas this year. They opted for a winter park theme instead of a Christmas theme.

They went with real trees, a bench, and a lamp post.

They cut the trees down from their Kids Director’s property (hopefully with permission). They bought 40 feet of fencing, Christmas lights, the lamp post, and a few buckets from Lowe’s. In one day they were able to completely clear the stage of their old set design and install the new one.

To keep the fence up, they took some of the wood from their previous set design and built small diagonal braces on the back. For the trees, they set them in 5-gallon buckets and filled them each with a 50-pound bag of sand. That wasn’t enough to stabilize the bucket for some of them so they went out behind the church and found some broken up asphalt and concrete from their current building project and dropped them in the buckets.

To get the lights on the trees, they wrapped close to 2000 Christmas lights around the branches. The limbs behind the fence happened on accident. They were the limbs they cut off the trees once they were in place. One of their team members randomly had the idea to put them behind the fence and it worked great.

(They’ll be selling the fence and lamp post after the series is over.)

4 Bags of Sand – $13.12
6′ Extension Cords – $10.02
4 Five-gallon Buckets – $11.12
8 boxes of GE 150 count Proline Mini Strings – $151.76
5 sections of 42″ x 96″ Goth Top Pkt Pnl – $129.85
Single Head Post Light – $99.98
8 Boxes of Gemini Light Clear 100 – $63.92

Total cost: $497.77
Total cost after bacon cheeseburgers and milkshakes: $522.18

The M Project Hiding in the Darkness

5 responses to “Picketing Christmas”

  1. Jonathan Carone says:

    Quick update: since sending this in to CSDI, we’ve had two different people ask us about buying the fence and the trees for upcoming weddings and receptions. We’ll be able to make back about 50% of the money we spent on this set.

  2. Patrick Fore says:

    Man, I wish there was projection on the cyc screen or something else to frame it out. I feel like there is something missing. It’s not stretched properly either. We use 20ft pipes (vertical) and use clips to stretch it side to side.

  3. Marj says:

    We have used real hardwoods several times. For stands I used the bottom half from large plastic (empty) containers from kitty litter, quick crete and some leftover 1 inch pieces of PVC pipe. Mixed the crete and poured into the “form” and added the PVC pipe. (Some I put 1 pipe and some two) When dry cut off the plastic and painted the stand brown.

    When using I sometimes have to wedge a piece of wood or a pencil in with the tree to firm things up. I also covered the pipes with hunks of bark and some light weight wire. Makes the trees look like they are growing out of a stump.

    I have used them with snow around them (to soften the look of the edges and also with brown shredded paper or Easter grass.

    They have worked very well.

    Now I need some stage ideas for our weird stage. It has steps to enter stage left front and a ramp that enters middle back. hummmm
    Used for both contemporary and traditional services.

    Any ideas appreciated.

  4. Kyle says:

    Jonathan, GREAT SET!! What kind of material is the MAIN LARGE back screen and where did you purchase at? How did you mount this?


    • Hey Kyle. Sorry for just seeing this. The back curtain has been there since the church was built a few years before I came onto staff. I’m not sure how they mounted it or where they got it. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

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