Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Make a Giant Waterfall

Last week was Adventure Week, our church's version of Vacation Bible School. This year our theme was On Safari: God Makes a Way. As a part of the planning team, I was in charge of transforming the church campus into scenes from an African safari.  The big impact piece was "Victoria Falls" at the entrance to the sanctuary where the main meeting took place.

I used a combination of ideas I found online, and then added some new elements, to create our giant waterfall display.  Here's how we did it:

You will need:
  • a tall structure to use as a base for the waterfall (we used set walls from a theater production)
  • cardboard to provide shape for the "rocks"
  • brown packing paper (for the surface of the rocks)
  • flat blue paper (butcher paper would work)
  • metallic blue fringe curtain (both straight and curvy)
  • irridescent fringe curtain (both straight and curvy)
  • water pattern gossamer
  • panels of cardboard layered with styrofoam cups hot glued into place
  • live ferns
  • green butcher paper (cut and stapled to resemble palm leaves)
  • wooden boxes to build out the base of the waterfall and to provide "shelves" for the ferns
  • a life size plywood gorilla!
These are the steps:
  1. Erect the wall structure, angling the panels to create dimension, and cover it with blue paper.
  2. Fold and shape cardboard pieces for rocks at the top of the wall and staple into place.
  3. Arrange wooden boxes (or other shelf-like or stair-step like pieces) in groupings around the base of the wall.
  4. Cover cardboard pieces and some of the wooden boxes with crumpled and shaped brown packing paper, staple into place.
  5. Place/hang ferns and paper palm leaves.
  6. Hang metallic fringe in layers over the blue paper. The top layer should be irridescent.
  7. Arrange panels of cups around the base of the wall to create "foam."
  8. Weave water patterned gossamer around cups and any gaps in the paper.
  9. Set up faux palm tree and gorilla.
  10. Bring in the kids!

    We had a great week learning about how God has made a way for his people in Christ!

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