Special Event Design

The Civil Wars

Austin McElwain from Hobe Sound Bible Church in Hobe Sound, FL brings us this set design from their Christmas drama.

The producer wanted a Civil War scene for a drama about “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day;” but they also needed a tomb for a later scene. So they built the entire set on casters so it could be rotated for the scene change. The cannon is made out of two old wagon wheels and scrap wood found in someone’s back yard. The Barrel is PVC pipe painted black. The cannon balls were styrofoam balls from Wal-Mart painted black. The tent was made out of a white sheet with patches penciled on.

The tree was an old artificial Christmas tree and the trunk was made out of styrofoam. The bark look was made by melting the styrofoam using a soldering iron. The campfire was made with a Bob-led fire lamp and with smoke from fog machine piped through it. The tomb was also made entirely out of styrofoam melted with a soldering iron. A door cut in the set inside the tent allowed Jesus to come out of the tomb during that scene.

The final cost for the entire set including paint, plywood, styrofoam, PVC, and all other supplies was $1,155.

Christmas Caves Ornaments

One response to “The Civil Wars”

  1. Judy Martin says:

    Wow, that’s a wonderful tomb with “stone” to be rolled away. Can you tell me more about how you made it? We’re trying to do a tomb scene with very little cash. It’s to be a backdrop for children’s pictures. They’ll be in costume. Thank you.

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