Christmas Pageant Backdrop

Hey guys! This week has really pulled me away from Bread & With It. I haven’t been far, just not as proactive as I usually am. For Christmas this year the kids were involved in their school Christmas pageant. It was Colonial times themed. Being the artist in the group, they handed me some butcher paper and asked me to put together a Christmas pageant backdrop. I did… and it was so much fun! This isn’t just my work though. I gathered several of the kids and had them all play a part in this masterpiece. It took quite a bit of time, but it was completely worth it!

So, what do I normally do when I’m making stuff? I take pictures and share it with you! So here is my step by step process of making a Christmas pageant backdrop. You never know when you will be in the same situation I was… so… pay attention, you might learn a thing or two 😉

Step 1:

Christmas backdrop 1

First thing you need to do is determine the dimensions of your backdrop. I was able to get a glimpse of our stage and do some measuring. We decided that two heights tall of the butcher paper would work nicely. A little bit of glue and packaging tape worked beautifully to hold it together. I have a 9.5 foot backdrop stand from my days in portraiture so we went with that for the width. It was a perfect fit for our stage. Emma and I did some shaping and taping to get it just right where only the legs would show. We left a lot of excess on the back and sides just in-case!

Step 2:

Christmas backdrop 2

The next step is to determine what you want as your backdrop. We decided to keep it pretty simple. I am personally a huge fan of “not making things too complicated”! We found something through a very basic Google images search. I printed out the image and drew lines right on top of it to show how the image would be framed. I also drew lines right on top of my print out to divide the image into a grid. This helped me visually place where things were in comparison to big scale. A little bit of math helped me figure out the difference in scale. Once I planned it out on paper, I used a sharpie to begin sketching.

Step 3:

Christmas backdrop 3

Emma and I pulled the back drop down for this next step. We painted in the main hue of each section. For this part we used house paints. We had several left over cans lying around, and it was a cheaper alternative. If you decide to do the same thing, make sure to lay the piece down. We had a few tears during this process that needed patching, because the house paint was so wet and thick the paper would fall apart. Once it dried through, you couldn’t see the packaging tape patches. Laying it down really helped to make sure it didn’t tear.

Step 3:

Christmas backdorp 4

Once the main colors were down we started to add some detail. You want to start with the objects furthest away in the background. In this case it was inside the windows. I built up several layers of color to show light reflecting off the curtains. Using a fan brush I added several tints and shades of yellow in a circular motion to resemble a candle in the window.

Step 4:

Christmas backdrop 6

I then began to build up the windows, rocks in the foundations and shingles on the roof. Some of the younger kids came and painted on the horizontal lines of the siding. I helped them sponge on several tints and shades of green for the wreath and flower boxes too. A little bit of snow here and there really made it come together, I think.

Step 5:

Christmas backdrop 7

My slightly older group of kids came in and painted on the lantern. We finished up some details like the house number. We voted on what the sign by the door would say and 1776 was the winner.  Some of the older kids really helped thin out the horizontal siding lines from the younger group original work, and I painted on a quick door handle. Later after this picture was taken I did some touch ups and called it good, lopsided lines and all.

Step 5:

Christmas backdrop 8

After adding a few nearby fake trees and a pile of birch tree logs it was complete. There were quite a few compliments on the final product. I’m very pleased by the way it turned out. More so then that, I really enjoyed working with all the young artists that helped me pull this Christmas pageant backdrop together. Without the quality time I had with them… this whole thing would mean nothing to me.

Send me a message if you have any questions or need advice on your Christmas pageant backdrop! I love to hear from you guys.

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