Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Insulated Styrofoam | VBS Stage Backdrop {Part 2}

The stage project for VBS has been quite a wonderful learning experience. Stage design isn't something I've done before, so this was a series of firsts for me. I am thankful my husband is an engineer with a good eye for esthetics. Also thankful that he cares about details as much as I do. I also had the help of a talented man who I used to work with more than a decade ago when I worked at Warm Beach Camp on their seasonal program, The Lights of Christmas. He is a craftsman and my husband absolutely loves working with him. Eric and I hope to be like him and his wife when we retire. They are both extremely generous with their time and gifts. He helped Eric on this project and his wife helped me on tons of sewing projects. (By helped I mean I said, "Sue, do could you make this?" and she simply did.) Wonderful people.

The first step was to take my skeleton sketch and overlay the 4'x8' panels, so I could find out exactly how many panels I would need. I was able to get two pieces on each of two different panels, enabling us to do the set using just seven panels.

Eric cleaned out the garage. Anyone who knows my husband knows this was a big part of the project! He set up saw horses to work on the sheets. We needed them up at a comfortable height. You can't lean on the panels or the weight leaves marks on the panels.

We used a highlighter and a square to map out where we would need to cut. The highlighter covers easily with paint, but is still easy enough to see for cutting.

We were careful to label the panels on the end, so that we would know their positions. Then we used the styrofoam cutter that I talked about here. The thing to remember is slow and steady wins the race when using this cutter.

And here is my cute man, who was my hero in this project.

We stacked them for transport to assemble on site.

The night before stage assembly my husband cut boards and used a foam adhesive to attach the braces boards to the back of the panels. These boards is what the braces would be screwed into. That had to cure overnight. He weighted the down with cinder blocks, because it's what we already had.

The black lines you see is gaffers tape. We used two inch gaffers tape at the seams. It covers with black tape well. It's typically used on stages. A little pricey, but very useful.

These show the braces behind the stage. The tallest panel was 16' tall. The stage would be up for a full two weeks, so it needed to be secure and couldn't be simply leaned against the back wall. Plus, our church has a lot of stuff on the stage that we needed hidden from view behind the panels.

By this time we were blessed with another friend who came to help with the painting. He brought the supplies to roll the flat black paint and with the three of them working it went really quickly.

In a separate post I will include the photos of the completed stage. Windows are added in the city skyline, as well as some comic style star-bursts with the action words from the VBS program curriculum.

I was so pleased with the end result!


This post is a follow up to this post: Insulated Styrofoam | VBS Stage Backdrop {Part 1}

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