Stage Designs

Throwback: This Ain’t No Starbucks

Laura Blechle from South Telegraph Christian Church in St. Louis, MO brings us this coffee shop-vibed stage design. (originally posted December 2011)

They grabbed some inspiration from Pining Away, building walls 1” x 6” x 10’ from cedar decking boards. They attached the boards to the framework from the back and stood them by running wires up to the ceiling.

Then they added faux barrel lights using fabric covered sono-tube. The lights did not actually have bulbs inside them. Instead, they were painted a soft creamy color inside to give the illusion that they were lit. They varied in size from 12” to 36” diameter and were cut to heights of 17” – 20”.

They suspended them using rope inside a length of conduit.

The strands of beads came from

Broken Pillars Contained Dots

22 responses to “Throwback: This Ain’t No Starbucks”

  1. Joe says:

    This is great! I like the whole thing but especially like the barrel shade idea. I have some questions. Where did you get your fabric? How did you attach it? What was your estimated costs? Thank you and keep up the good work!

  2. We bought the fabric at a local Hancock Fabrics. To attach it to the sonotube, I had to first remove the outside waxy layer because of it’s non-porous nature. I then used a mix of one part water to 3 parts Elmer’s Glue and applied it to the outside of the tube with a foam roller. I laid the fabric on top and held it with binder clips until the glue was dry.
    We got the sono-tube from a local concrete supplier, where they only sold the tubes in 12foot lengths. Each tube was approx $80-100, but they were able to cut it into my requested lengths – so each shade was at a cost of about $15. plus the cost of the fabric. Our total cost for these faux lights was approx $400.

  3. MYRNA says:

    What are the “dangling” things on the brown shades?

  4. Gary Tucker says:

    Love this look so much that we are going to use it for our new stage design! Did you stain or poly urethane the boards?

  5. Gary,
    This is a very good question. We wanted to make sure that the boards had that beautiful cedar look, so I took a sample board to the hardware store and actually tried different products. I went with the brand Flood, product CWF-UV5-Cedar Tone. So, yes, it did have color and was not just a clear poly. All the boards were stained prior to being framed into walls. Good Luck.

  6. tiffany ivey says:

    Great Set!!
    What was the estimated cost for all of the materials used to make the wooden slat panels and pendants? Thanks!

  7. Tiffany Ivey says:

    Thank you!

  8. Tiffany Ivey says:

    What are the black pieces in the lights and how did you attach the rope/conduit to it?

    • Those are black 2×4’s with a hole drilled in the center. We ran a rope down the conduit, through the hole in the 2×4 and then tied an overhand knot in the rope.

  9. Jammie says:

    how exactly did you attach the boards to the studs?

  10. Laura Blechle says:

    The hard way! We didn’t want any screw or nail head pattern to be visible, so we attached the cedar to the studs from the back. This required pre-drilling holes to counter-sink the screws deep in the stud, allowing enough thread to bite into the cedar without piercing through the surface. There are easier ways, but we got a nice clean look with no visible nail holes in the cedar.

  11. Gary Tucker says:

    Hi Laura!

    I just wanted to say thank you for submitting this design! We finally made this happen for our platform! It totally transformed the sanctuary and the congregation absolutely loves it! I can’t say thank you enough for giving us an idea that we could run with! You can check out our pics at:

  12. Lori Bucher says:

    I just wanted to THANK YOU for sharing your creativity and providing detailed instruction! We just got ours hung and they look awesome. I’m wish I could post a picture, but I don’t know how – lol!

    Just wanted to say thanks!


  13. Jennifer Wichman says:

    Wondering if the shades could be hung without using conduit? Thinking of hanging them with sisal rope and making sure they aren’t by the HVAC vents. Do you think that would work?

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