I have been in the slow process of repurposing our worship space at Faith Pres where I lead for a year and a half. “Faith Hall” is a multi-purpose room we use for church events, dinners, community gatherings, and our contemporary worship service. The room was a blank slate when I walked in 18 months ago, and with my wife Kolby’s help, and a few of the men from church, we’ve added acoustic panels on the back wall, a black curtain on the stage wall, and then decorated the room for different seasons.
With Easter coming up, I wanted to do two things: 1) block out as much of the natural light as possible to give us control of the lighting in the room and keep people from being blinded by the sun on Sunday mornings, and 2) create an eye catching stage prop that pointed to the resurrection.
We have two circle windows about 32″ in diameter that are directly in front of the congregation on Sunday mornings. We also have windows over a door on one side of the stage and one in the back of the room that both go outside. To block out the light, we bought two pieces of 72″x36″ coroplast and cut them to the size of the windows. We then covered them with fabric that is a near match to the wall color. We quickly realized that the coroplast was not going to block as much light as we hoped, so we stapled some cardboard to the backs. Then we used velcro to attach these to the windows.
As you can see, we were able to get the room significantly darker. The gaps around the window are fairly small, and no one is getting blinded by the morning sun anymore.
Next, I wanted to create an eye catching stage prop to lean against the organ at the front of our stage. We had a few pallets laying around that I pried boards from. I laid the pallet boards out flat and nailed them to two 5′ pieces of 1″x4″- one near the top and one near the bottom. Then, I stained the wood for contrast. After it dried, I propped it up against our carport wall.
I designed an image in Photoshop using fonts I found online and borrowed a projector from a friend to project the image onto the backdrop. I waited until it was dark so I could see the image well and used chalk to trace it. Then I used some semi gloss white paint we had around the house to paint. I kept the projector on while I painted, just in case my chalk lines weren’t clear enough. I could never have done this freehand, but the projector made it very simple. I think it took me under two hours to trace and paint.
When the paint had dried, I took the backdrop over to the church and propped it against the organ. I hung a strand of lights at the top, and used a small 10 W uplight to light up the text. I set several of these uplights around the stage and set them all to fade smoothly between colors. The final effect was really nice. Between the backdrop, light strand, and the window coverings, I think we spent maybe $100, and it made a big difference in the space for worship Easter Sunday morning.
Here’s a picture of the final product with the stage spotlights on and the house lights off.