Re-purposed artificial trees, some cereal boxes and fence posts, and a few thousand twinkling lights


Two years ago I was sitting in the “Garage” at church (the “edgier” venue at Northern Hills) and suddenly envisioned a very cool silhouette, “crystally” bright Bethlehem scene with a giant star hanging from the middle of the 30-some-feet-high ceiling.  Didn’t have the time nor $$ to do anything with it, but filed it away into my thinking.  Couldn’t work it out last year, either, but this year, Scott, the Worship Arts pastor asked me to decorate both venues, The Garage and The Celebration Center.


Last week we decorated the Celebration Center.  We put out a call for old, artificial trees in the church bulletin to be recycled.  I got some there and picked up a few via Craigslist.  With 8 old trees in hand, we cut the branches off and created, on wooden fence-post 1 x 6s, 3 large wreath forms and wired on the tree branches.  The middle wreath is actually over 7 feet in diameter.  The two flanking wreaths are 5 1/2 feet.  There are about 4000 lights on the three wreaths combined.

Three red damask tablecloths sewn together for a combined size of 5 feet x 25 1/2 feet were draped over the wreaths.

The rest of the tree beanches were wired to create 50 feet of “garland” across the front of the stage.  We wrapped it with over-sized 24″ wide sparkly red floral wrap and lit it up.  Next, we placed foil-wrapped and beribboned cereal and pop-tart boxes into the garland as “gift ornaments.”

The 9-foot pre-lit tree was lit some more (seriously, people: lights are key!) and a giant bow placed at the top, swirling down the branches in a carefree manner, tucked in here and there amongst giant glittery ornaments.

One of my “helpers” loaned me a beautiful 2-ft Nativity set to display at the baptistry opening, which is stone-lined and just looked “Bethlehem” to me and voila!  Done.  Simple.  To the point.  Well-there will be a couple of new touches this next Sunday….

Think large bank or mall-sized stuff.  Simple lines, giant ornaments, basic Christmas shapes, twinkling lights-everything way over-sized, but not looking over-sized because they are in such a large room.  They just fit.

And it turned out nice.  It turned out festive and maybe even a bit elegant, but if nothing else: green!  Everything was recycled! 

Now all the women’s teas and homeschool kids programs and packed-out Christmas Eve services will have a beautiful backdrop.

On to The Garage!  Just wait!!…Jeanie

MY DEEPEST THANKS TO: my long-suffering, and very talented husband, Dave; Stormie, Rocky & Jovan, Tredessa, Laura Frye, Pearl and Bryan-the amazings!; my nephew Zach; the patient and helpful maintenance staff (Mike, Sebastian and Charles) and all the people who donated their old trees for the celebration!

pictured-Dave got a few shots Sunday…I’ll be adding more!  Click on thumbnails for bigger image.  Obviously, btw, the sermon series changes this week!  Ha!

9 thoughts on “Re-purposed artificial trees, some cereal boxes and fence posts, and a few thousand twinkling lights

  1. It was absolutely stunning. I totally agree with Stef. It took my breath away. I knew, as I was admiring that wreath, and all of the packages tucked neatly into the greenery along the stage, so perfectly wrapped, that it was your handiwork. I spent the afternoon looking for a trio of wreaths that would fit, in a smaller rendition, on my family room wall.

    I also had a great time (in a few quiet moments) trying to determine what those boxes might have held previously… cereal, granola bars… am I close?

  2. Wow, Jeanie- you did an AWESOME job! So beautiful, I like the way you thought to drape the red fabric through the wreaths- the overall look is just breathtaking. Can’t wait to see the Garage on Sunday! Oh and guess what? it’s such a small world. Yesterday, I had to go to an Excel 2007 training for my work because I was having a hard time re-adjusting from Excel 2003 and I saw Dave’s certification on the wall! I didn’t even know he worked at New Horizons. I called Rocky and Jovan and couldn’t believe it was the same Dave. Such a small world! Hope you’re having a wonderful week…:)

  3. Sebastian was giving me the play-by-play of what you and Dave have been up to. I can’t wait to see it in person as I KNOW the pictures don’t do it justice. He told me it looked awesome!! Boy are we blessed to have your vision in our church family!!!

  4. You made some respectable points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and located most individuals will associate with together with your website.

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