Archive for November, 2015

Nativity Backdrop

Nativity_Kit

Christmas Nativity Scene Design-a-Room Pack

I wanted to put up a large Nativity scene in the foyer of our children’s building at First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa.

I found a backdrop scene at Oriental Trading called Christmas Nativity Scene Design-a-Room Pack for $39.98.

LINK: orientaltrading.com/web/browse/processProductsCatalog?sku=70/57450

Note: this backdrop scene is made of the common Oriental Trading cheap plastic.

After receiving the kit, I couldn’t find any helpful information on how to assemble this kit. So this is what I decided to do. I hope it helps you.

Cost

Nativity Kit = $39.98

Foam Boards = $43.92 (4 x $10.98)

1/2″ white Mounting Tape = $79.60 (20 x $3.98)

1″ clear Mounting Tape = $9.96 (2 x $4.98)

Total: $173.46


Additional items I purchased from Lowes

4'x8' insulation foam board from Lowes

4’x8′ insulation foam board from Lowes

Four 4’x8′ 1/2″ foam boards (lowes.com/pd_15355-46086-389697_1z0vill__?productId=3365568&pl=1&Ntt=insulation+board#img)

mounting tape from Lowes

mounting tape from Lowes

20 packs of 1/2″ and 1″ Scotch Double-sided Mounting Tape (I love this stuff!) (lowes.com/pd_488024-98-410/DC/SF___?productId=50053419&pl=1&Ntt=mounting+tape)

I used some old lumber I had lying around from other projects to build a wooden frame to prop the panels on so I didn’t have to purchase any lumber for my frame.

 

 

 


First I opened and laid out the 30’x4′ backdrops to get an idea of how they would fit together.

NOTE: The lower section (city scape) was shorter and not the full 30′

I slid the four foam boards underneath to measure where the cuts would be.

 

 

trimmed excess from backdrop

I trimmed the excess from the backdrops leaving about 12″-18″ on each end, just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

long strip of mountain tape

taped backdrop to foam board using mounting tape

Using the 1/2″ Mounting Tape, I put a 4′ strip down the edge of the board making sure to press the tape down well.

I used one 4′ strip for each side. 1 piece for the upper section and 1 piece from the lower section.

 

 

 

IMG_7357

There may be a better way to do it, but I attached my tape on one side of the backdrop. Then I stretched and trimmed the other side.

After I trimmed the plastic, I placed a 4′ strip of 1/2″ tape on the opposite side and attached the backdrop.

One of my favorite things about this Mounting Tape is that I was able to de-attach and re-attach the backdrop several times without ripping the plastic. If you’ve used anything from Oriental Trading made from this plastic, you know how HUGE this is!

I cut and attached the lower section (city scape) on each board first then came back to do the upper section (sky). I overlapped the upper section over the lower section by 1/8″ or 1/4″.

 

IMG_7360

Frame:

I wanted the backdrop to be completely free-standing.

I had some old lumber lying around that I used as frames. I didn’t have to build it because I was making use of some old pieces that were already put together.

 

 

 

 

propped wooden frame support

 

I let the frame lean just slightly and screwed in 4 additional pieces of lumber to prop up the frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

used command strops to attach foam board to wooden frame

I used command strips to attach the foam board to the wooden frame. These seemed to work fine. My backup plan was to use some of the Mounting Tape.

 

Also, I duct taped the seams of each board in effort to keep them together (see pic above).

 

 

 

 

 

 

tied frame down with sand buckets to keep from tipping forward

 

Then finally, to keep the frame from tipping forward, I used some small rope to tie it to a bucket of sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nativity_Kit

Attaching the Characters:

The characters come on 2 sheets (per pack) in random orientation. The will need to be cut out.

Using scissors, I (and some ladies helping me) cut out each of the characters. We cut them relatively close to the edge, but I was not very concerned to get them unnoticeably close.

I cut thin strips of the 1″ clear Mounting Tape, as many as needed, to attach the characters to the backdrop.

 

This is what I ended up with. While not perfect, but I am happy with the final product.

Grace & Hope Are the Family’s Safety Net

I recently heard this quote on ABC’s Last Man Standing. The episode is entitled “The Dad Hat” and originally aired on 11.5.2015.

The tough balance for any parent is providing a harness to keep our kids safe without taking away the victory of the climb.

~ Tim Allen, #LastManStanding

Anyone who has been a parent for any length of time will quickly relate to the truth in this statement. Most parents constantly engage in this internal battle between the desires for their child to succeed and to protect them from harm and failure.

I think of one of my nieces who is into indoor rock climbing. I don’t know a great deal about rock climbing, but one thing I’ve been told is that entry level rock climbing makes use of belay ropes for safety and support. These belay ropes allow a person to embrace the thrill of climbing to new heights but with the peace of mind that someone is holding the rope to keep you from falling. As long as you trust the person holding the rope, risk of danger is relatively small.

As parents this is what we want to do for our kids. We want our kids to try new things, climb, and succeed while we provide a safety net from failure that could cause them pain. I recently heard my wife say to one of our children:

There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those that fail & try harder and those that fail & quit.

(Of course there is, also, that third kind of person who is too afraid of failure to try at all.)

We cannot protect our kids from failure without shielding them from the invigorating joy of victory and ultimately preventing them from becoming the people they can and should be. Instead, we need to inspire our kids to work hard and not fear failure. How do we provide a safety net for our kids? I imagine that there are various ways this can be done in specific circumstances, but the primary way families should do this is by ensuring a safe place for their kids. This safe place means that we detach a child’s value from his performance. Each child must know, beyond any doubt, that he can try something new, and whether he succeeds or not, his family loves and will encourage him. We do our children great harm if we allow them to think that we believe they are failures. Even if the world turns on them, children need to know that failing does not make someone a failure, but quitting does. The old attage is true:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

The Bible has much to say about avoiding idleness in the pursuit of hard work (Proverbs 14:23, Proverbs 18:9, Proverbs 21:25, and more), and we are often encouraged to do so under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit. We are, also, charged with different priorities than others; we are commanded to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and to “set our minds on things above.” (Colossians 3:2). We have these divine commands because God knows that the pursuit of His Kingdom provides hope, and that hope is the key to providing the right kind of safety net for our kids: grace. Ultimately, this hope is found in the grace of Jesus. In fact, the Bible makes this connection in Romans 5

Since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.. (vv 1-5)

Be the Parent:

Be the parent who encourages and challenges your child to new heights. Let him climb. Teach him early that his value is not tied to success or to failure. As a parent, guard your own heart from attaching your child’s value (and your own for that matter) to his performance. Be the parent that models courage by holding the belay rope while your child is young but allowing him to try new things all while maintaining an atmosphere of grace and hope in your home. Preventing your child from experiencing failure will likely lead to fear of trying. Be the parent who inspires hard work, perseverance, and courage instead of laziness, apathy, and fear.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill*

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy*

* Final quotes taken from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/12/30/30-powerful-quotes-on-failure/

 

 

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