Welcome back to the MOD Scenes podcast. This is Steven. I’m thrilled to be chatting with you today about a non fire rated stage design elements and stage backdrops. So, uh, most of actually all of our products and monsoons are fire rated. Most of them are made out of a fire rated plastics. Um, but today I want to help churches with, if you are considering a, a, if you’re considering a stage design that is not fire rated, I’m going to go ahead and give you a couple of options, but obviously you need to do the best to make certain you are keeping, uh, keeping all rich do you can out of this, out of the, you know, the equation by keeping, you know, flammable materials away from hot lights, keeping open flames off of the stage and out of the auditorium. A really, one of my biggest passion about having fire rated plastics, a fire rated materials in general is the loss of life that’s happened in recent decades because of, uh, because of flammable materials in stage spaces.
So, uh, if you want to learn a little bit more about that, there’s a great article on church stage design ideas.com that talks about why flame flame retardants are important in stages on it. Uh, I’d, I’d, uh, I’d suggest you go there. It’s a great resource for, uh, for, uh, learning about that and it’s actually an article I wrote years ago, uh, that, uh, explore some of the, uh, some of the reasons that a fire rating is so important. So let’s, uh, let’s go and jump into it. So non fire rated, uh, options for stage design. So obviously when you’re creating a stage design for your church, um, a lot of times stage backdrops, like purchasing a stage backdrops maybe out of the budget, um, it may just not be an option for some churches. Uh, and I’ve seen a lot of really great, I’m really great creative ways to create stage backdrops, uh, for a church stage designs, um, outside of, you know, buying something that’s off the shelf.
A really good resource for this is church stage design ideas.com. That website’s one of the best, uh, the best church design symposiums, and it’s probably not the right word, but a conglomerate where everybody puts their stuff, uh, um, I don’t know how to say it best, but essentially they have lots of different designs of lots of different people, lots of different churches with lots of different budgets and stage a experience and backgrounds. Uh, and so there’s some really great, some great things that you can learn from that side. Um, so one of my favorite is, uh, is the pallet woodside. So a lot of people, obviously a lot of people who have done this as you can probably see by their site, there’s tens of thousands of views on the, uh, the pallet wood sets, various Hollywood sets on the, on there. And my time at journey church, I did a really large one that a, uh, like 10, like the two sections that were 21 feet by 14 feet.
Um, and then obviously smaller sections around the stage backdrops. But it’s a really cool visual because what you could do is for next to no money, you can go get pallets for free from a warehouses, from local businesses, from people are just throwing stuff away. Construction sites obviously asked first, but you can cut that wood up and nail it to a, uh, to either the wall directly to a wall, which I’ve seen done. Or in our case, we don’t have a wall there. It’s an open space. So we built a, a, a, a white frame with a. We built a frame, like a two by four frame that had osb screwed onto it and then build onto that. I’m obviously very cheap option. The biggest hurdle with that is the flammability. So obviously would, is a very flammable product and especially dried out would it, it’s used pallets because that stuff’s been cut for years.
It’s been dried out. I mean, occasionally you’ll get some that are wet from a job site, but a lot of times they’d been sitting in a warehouse where it’s dry, there’s dust, there’s dirt on it. Um, so whatever moisture is in them gets sucked out from all that dust and dirt. So they burned very, very hot and very quickly. Um, so whenever we did the stage design over at journey, uh, wheat, when we built it, we sprayed on a, uh, a flame retardant chemical. I’m trying to remember the specific name, I think it was called flame stop. Uh, but it’s a liquid saline, a flame retardant chemical which is made to a, made to be used, sprayed on woods to a, to lessen the likelihood of a fire. I’ve tested on, you know, that on the wood before and it’s definitely stopped it from burning a, I wouldn’t call it a flame retardant or fire retardant in any way, uh, but it’s at least a, a, it’s at least a good a safety net if you are going to go that route.
Um, in addition to that, you can also use a styrofoam. So a lot of people use styrofoam because it’s very cheap. Uh, the other thing is it’s very easy to mold and cut. You can get a hot wire knife and he cut start from into pretty much any shade for, for relatively cheap. Uh, the bigger the cider from you go a little more expensive it is, but for the most part it’s a relatively inexpensive product. Um, but again, it’s a, it’s a petroleum product and without having pirated resin used, whenever they make it, it is very flammable. A little known fact, you can actually make napalm or get on a palm out of, uh, out of a styrofoam and gasoline. So I’m not gonna tell you the steps, but just know that if you can make napalm out of it, it’s probably not the best for choosing on. Um, so let’s see what else we can. Uh, we can chat about. Um, uh, in addition to that, there’s also a cardboard. Cardboard boxes have been used a lot and different stage design aspects. Um, again, very cheap, very easy to build and use. Only problem is the flammability. So you’ve seen a cardboard box, cardboard boxes burn like nobody’s business. So if you have a stack of cardboard boxes and they start burning, the stopping them is going to be a, a
not a pleasant adventure. So I’m. So yeah, uh, in addition to that, um, there are also other ways that you can do stage. Other items you can use it aren’t flame retardant. Um, one in particular I’m thinking of is a acrylic beat. So beaded curtains, those are another option you can use to, to
create a really cool church stage design that’s relatively expensive. Uh, but then again, it does not fire rated as I mentioned. Um, the, uh, uh, let’s see what else? Um, there’s also the, uh, as we’ve mentioned the other, the other podcasts, there’s leds that you can use, which is a great way to utilize that. Um, and in addition to materials, there’s also no steel mesh that’s used for, um, for outdoor stucco that works really well. It’s really reflective. Um, so I, you, we’ve used that in the past, a framed around that and use that for, for uses a, a, a, as a lighting, lighting surface, uh, and that’s worked pretty well. Um, weed cloth is another great option, a, if you put white paint onto weed cloth of black weed cloth, that works really well. Uh, again, not fire rated, but a lot better than like styrofoam or something that’s highly flammable like that.
Um, let’s see, what else? A string. A lot of people have used string, uh, uh, even specifically string like dipped in glue. Uh, both of those are really great elements. The good thing about that is, although it’s flammable, uh, it’s, I don’t want to say it’s safer, but it’s, it’s marginally safer because it’s less likely that your string is going to catch fire unless you’ve dipped it in glue. So I would suggest never dipping the string and glue for that specific reason. Um, so yeah, so that’s a couple of different options for church stage designs using non fire rated materials. Uh, as I suggested, I would always use a fire rated material a solely because if something were to happen, um, you know, I, I would never want to see the church be a place that’s criticized for people dying because of their stage design as one of my good friends, David Macaulay says, he says, uh, um, we want, we want to help people get to God just not through burning down our stage design.
He said something like that, that’s a, that’s a really, really bad, not even like a paraphrase from him, but nonetheless, uh, so when you’re working on your church stage design, obviously keep a fire rating in, uh, in mind. And if you do have, if you do have a church stage design coming up and you’d like some help, we’d love to serve you. We would love to create a great stage backdrops that works wonderfully for you. I would love if you’d reach out to me, uh, my name is steven. You can email me at Stephen at [inaudible] dot com, uh, me and my team of designers and manufacturers would love to make something perfect for you. Uh, thanks again for tuning into mod scenes podcast and we’ll see on the next one.