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How to begin a Black Light Ministry Part 2: All Things Black

You need lots of black items! You will need  black long sleeve shirts  and  black pants  for each member that will be in the show. Hint: for clothing shop yard sales and thrift shops. We just buy black clothing when we see it and eventually it will fit someone. Black Long Sleeve Shirts Black Pants Everyone will need their own pair of   black socks ,  black gloves  and a  black hood . In the past I purchased some of these hoods during Halloween season, but recently I have only found them online.  I have also made our own hoods on the sewing machine. Black Socks Black Hoods Black Gloves For staging you will need lot of  black sheets or fabric, black foam core, and/or insulation foam painted black.  Flat latex paint with a flat sponge roller works great. In the photo you can see our stage set up and we use sheets of insulation foam painted black to create the background. You need  black curtains and staging , I made my own bu

How to Begin a Black Light Ministry Part 1: Building Your Team

I've been leading a black light performance team for over 10 years now. If you want to know more about black light theatre, read my post here . A black light ministry is lot of fun and makes a huge impact on the audience as well as the team.  I'm writing this series so that you too can enjoy the fun, creativity and blessings that emerge from a ministry like this. Here is what you need to get started. First you need PEOPLE. You will need to recruit people to be on the black light team. In our case, this is a ministry so I require that the members be Christians. This is more than putting on a show, it's part of being a discipleship team and you can't be a disciple until you are a Christian.  (If you'd like to know more about becoming a Christian you may contact me through my contact button or leave a comment. I would love to talk and pray with you.) Our team consists of students who are in 6th grade or above. You can go younger i

How to Begin a Black Light Ministry Introduction: What is a Black Light Show?

So, why black light? First of all, using black light is just cool. It's so vibrant and colorful.  But mostly there are things you can do in black light that you can't get away with in regular lighting situations.  Black light can be magic! If you want to start a black light ministry you need to understand the principles of black light theatre. Black light is UV lighting that reflects white and fluorescent colored items like paint, fabric, poster board and paper. The principle of a black light show is to have everything blacked out so that only the colors of the puppets, props or clothing show. You can create anything your imagination dreams up for a black light show! Generally the colors that glow best are white (not all whites glow), neon pink, neon orange, neon green and neon yellow.  Occasionally you can find some neon blue and purple but they don't show as bright as the other colors.  Since you have a limited color palette you must be cr

Cow and Pig Puppets

I made these guys for a song we did with a fall/farm theme.  I love how they turned out. 

Organizing Idea for Large Foam Panels, Props and Scenery

We needed a way to keep our 4 x 8 foam panels and some staging organized. We use them for our black light shows. Before, we had them leaning against the wall which was okay, but getting something from the back made it very difficult. There is a man in our church we call Mr. David who can make anything and he often makes it from junk.  I told him about our problem and he used some items he had in his shop to make a holder for me. It's basically a giant file organizer. Installing the pipe dividers into the pallet  He used a pallet, some 1/2 inch pipe and a drill to make holes in the pallet for the pipe to fit into.  Nothing is permanently attached so we can move it or rearrange it any time. Foam Organizer all loaded Here is is with our 4x8 foam panels and our  accordion fold pvc stage  neatly sorted and tucked out of the way. 

New Puppet: Giddy

I made a new puppet over the weekend.  She is going to be used in some skits for Wednesday night kids' lessons at church.  We use a pre-written skit from a company called High Voltage Kids and this unit calls for a girl named Giddy.  Giddy is a little country girl who wants a pony. Here she is: I used this shape as a base and adapted it as I went.  I wanted to try something different and I like the elongated mouth shape.  I think she turned out very cute.  She is the first puppet I ever made for myself and I can't wait to use her next week! I will use this pattern shape again, but with more modifications.  I didn't sew her mouth, it's glued. I prefer to sew, but when I'm working with a new design I sometimes get ahead of myself and forget a step.  It may sound silly, but it happens.  Just like I never remember to take pictures of the process. One day I will plan the photos and actually remember to take some. The best part about this puppet is that I only

Puppet Making Tip: Hot Glue Gun Accessory

 As a puppet maker and crafter I use the hot glue gun often. You would think I would learn not to burn myself and to keep that cup of cold water nearby but I still forget after all these years.  And no matter how hard you try, sometimes you still burn yourself on the glue that gushes out and sometimes just the heat coming through the fabric can be very painful. I found these Thermal Thimbles on clearance at Walmart and immediately saw the potential! They are originally for ironing but they are PERFECT for working with the hot glue gun.  I've tried them already and they work great.  The glue doesn't stick to them, it peels right off. I wish I'd known about these years ago! I purchased mine on clearance but they aren't very expensive at regular price and they are worth every penny.  I am grateful for them each time I work with the hot glue gun.  They allow me to pinch and put pressure in tight space that in the past I would have used a chop stick or simil