Christmas Designs

Throwback: Swags of Lights

Jake Wandel from The Crossing in Columbia, MO brings us these advent catenaries. (Originally posted February 2014)

This design was again inspired by Pinterest. They originally planned to use large manilla rope but soon realized the cost was too much so they improvised by twisting erosion control netting and burlap to create thick, rope-like strands that were then draped at various heights to form catenary curves.

Jake tried to find the arc length of each catenary to calculate as best he could the amount of fabric he would need, but soon realized that he would need a much greater understanding of calculus to solve that problem. So he draped a couple of 50′ XLRs linked together and zip tied each increment so that he could lay out the XLRs in a straight line and measure it on the floor. Jake’s measurements turned out to be pretty accurate.

Then they complimented the brown, natural color with some neutral scrim draped more elegantly to fill in the gaps and add a lighter texture.

Inside the twisted burlap they wrapped LED light bulbs in pre-manufactured light strings. Buying the 100+ LED lights were definitely more expensive, but a non-negotiable requirement for their low operating temperature.

In order to get them to dim, they had to call ETC and adjust some settings on their dimmer rack. The adjusted settings did NOT affect the other fixtures in any way. Check out The Crossing’s Pinterest page for more design inspiration or previous designs.




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