Photo Courtesy of Aaron Zahnd
Easter is always a great time to gain momentum in ministry.  This year we set out to do just that. 

In my opinion, SPACE SPEAKS.  How we use our space can speak louder to some people than the words spoken from the pulpit. This Easter we worked up an idea for a "set" change on the platform of our main sanctuary at Word of Life Church.  The response from the congregation on Easter Sunday was overwhelmingly positive! 

This year's Easter set was what I call "The Plank Wall", but what the originator of the set that inspired us calls it "Mountain and Stars."  The original idea comes from the Central Production Team at Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria, AZ and we found it at

This set was very affordable (if you already have the lighting) and took us 3 days to build using pallets, plywood, studs, saws, nailing guns, and lamps. Here is the process with which we built our version of Mountain and Stars: 

STEP 1 Plan. 
Measure out the dimensions for the wall. Our wall was about 10' tall at the center and 55' wide.  Calculate how many pallets will be needed based on pallet plank dimensions and taking into account overlap. We came to the conclusion that a total of 150 pallets were needed for our wall. 
STEP 2 Find Pallets. 
Call local businesses and network among friends/church members to find the needed pallets. A congregation member and friend of mine was able to get 150 pallets donated from his company to us.  (REMEMBER gratitude goes a long way with people. We sent a thank you card with pictures of our finished set and a gift card to the manager that approved the donation. )

STEP 3 Cut Pallets.
Recruit awesome volunteers and find a circular saw and a reciprocating saw with a long metal blade.
The most efficient way to dissemble the pallets and gain the planks you need is to cut along each side with a circular saw perpendicular with the 2x4 supports. This gets ride of the two outside supports and leaves one support in the middle. The cleanest way to remove the plank boards from the remaining support is to cut the nails of each plank with a reciprocating saw. If you try to us a flat bar it will take way too long and most of your boards will break and crack. 

STEP 5 Sub-Wall.
The wall we built slopes down on each end and curves slightly toward the front.  We framed the wall in with 2x4's and then covered the entire wall with plywood. This gave us a surface to attach the planks at any point. 

STEP 6 Cover Wall. 
Attach the planks to the wall with 1 3/4" angled finish nails using a pneumatic nail gun. This worked great. The goal is to be random with both the color of wood planks and the way that the planks overlap. To achieve texture depth is needed. We started with a few random planks vertically and then worked off those with our horizontal planks. 


STEP 7 Light Wall.
The magic of this wall is the lighting. we used 11 LED strip lights to light the wall. This gives life to wall with amazing texture!  Just for Easter, we added a gobo that reads "He is Risen".


STEP 8 Lamps.
A cool addition to the wall is antique lamps. After shopping around at a few used furniture stores and local antique marts, we acquired 7 different and unique lamps. Then we removed the shades, spray painted the lamps black, and added some carbon filament antique light bulbs from Halco lighting.

STEP 10 Hanging Lights.
Halco lights sells a six inch globe antique light that is clear with carbon filament. We attached simple light sockets to lamp cord and hung the lights at various heights for the finishing touch of this stage set. 

Brad McCraw
4/28/2013 03:26:31 am

Great job guys! Stage looks awesome.

2/11/2014 02:52:43 am

Love, Love Love!!! Great Job!!! Question, how many inches long are the light strips you used?

2/11/2014 03:19:55 am

Thanks! I must give credit for the idea to Brad at Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria, AZ.

They are approximately 40" long.

3/21/2014 06:07:09 am

This is absolutely beautiful! I have been asked to help with a similar project to yours. However I am working around stairs. I was wondering if you would be willing to send a picture of your support wall (from behind)? Thank you so much for your time. Again amazing work!!!


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