We had so much fun creating this set design for an 8-week series I wrote called Star Warriors. In this series, kids will learn about a new Star Warrior from the Bible each week. Each of the Star Warriors had to trust God to help them accomplish amazing missions for him. Star Warriors include Nehemiah, Deborah, Elijah, Elisha, Jael, King Josiah, and Gideon. The cost for this set design was between $50-$100. The only items we purchased were the led strips, a small BB8 inflatable, and two death star inflatables. We borrowed several more large lawn inflatables from a member of our church who loves Star Wars. My inspiration for this set design came from the Star Wars movies.
Let’s get started with what we did with the main stage in our elementary room. We hung a large inflatable death star to the right of our stage from the ceiling. We also had an inflatable BB8 that we borrowed from someone in the church for the stage. We hung another inflatable death star in the back of the room and had a huge 9-ft tall AT-AT back there as well that we borrowed.
Both of the stand-up characters and the lightsabers were created out of cardboard. I get sheets of cardboard for free at Sam’s Club all the time! It’s one of my favorite set design resources. The characters were not free-handed! We are not that artistic! We found pictures online of the characters we wanted to create silhouettes out of, projected the picture on the wall, taped the cardboard sheets to the wall, and traced the characters on the cardboard with a pencil. It took two sheets of cardboard for each character to make them tall enough to be believable. I believe our characters only ended up about 5 ft. tall, but from the stage, they looked great. Once we had the characters traced, we cut them out using an x-acto knife. It’s not the easiest x-acto knife work, but it is doable. Also, if you mess up the cardboard is free so you can start over. When we had the characters all cut out we spray-painted the pieces black (except for the lightsabers) and simply taped them together in the back. We added color to the lightsabers with acrylic paint. Once they were dry we attached them to some wooden stands that we use for EVERYTHING! If you don’t have any stands, you can make a simple cardboard stand for your characters instead, using more free cardboard. The wow-factor that took these characters to the next level was adding led tape to the lightsabers so they would actually light up. You will have to use an entire roll for each character and just tape the excess to the back of the character so it won’t be seen by the audience. We also added a cheap led light to shine on the front of each of the characters to help them pop more from the stage.
The lightsabers were a pretty similar process to the characters only on a smaller scale. We traced the first lightsaber from a picture online, then traced the other three from the first template we created. We used silver, red, green, blue, and purple acrylic paints to paint them. Just a warning, the paint did make the cardboard curve a bit, but they still looked great. We added led tape to them as well and hung them from the bottom of our screen using clear fishing line. You may want to add long sticks to the back of the lightsabers to keep them straighter if the curving bothers you.
Other than the main stage, we used inflatable characters by the entrance to the main kids’ room and in the 1st-2nd-grade breakout room. We purchased Yoda at a garage sale for $5 and found this adorable BB8 pool inflatable for the 1st-2nd-grade room. If you are planning on doing this set design, definitely ask around your church to see if anyone has any decor or lawn inflatables you can borrow. The kids loved taking pictures with the inflatable characters.
The 8 week Star Warriors Curriculum Series is available NOW! Go check it out! Let me know what you think about this set design and our creative use of led tape.