5 Christmas DIY Ideas to Make your Christmas more Magical
Well it’s December and Christmas will be here before you know it. If you are on this site it probably means 2 things. One, you are one of the creatives at your church responsible for making an awesome environment for your Christmas event. And two, there is a high likelihood that you are needing some creative ideas for the aforementioned Christmas environment.
Well today is your lucky day. CrowdControlGames.com presents, “5 Simple DIY ideas to make your Christmas more Magical”.
We started CrowdControlGames to make video games for large crowds. But as we helped out at conferences and events we saw the need for “video playback” tools as well. Two of the tools we now use all of the time are “MaskerAid” & “LayerPlayer”.
MaskerAid http://crowdcontrolgames.com/products/masker-aid is a very simple tool that lets you draw masks on top of your video playback, live on the environment you will be projecting on. So making complex masks are now a snap, and exact! (It also exports a PNG that can be used in ProPresenter.)
LayerPlayer http://crowdcontrolgames.com/products/layerplayer is a 2 layer video playback app that lets you play graphics or alpha video on top of video. Just select your 2 folders and you’re off. A chromeless transparent playback window you can move and resize is super helpful.
Working together these two are a real swiss army knife of video awesomeness.
Here are some ways we think you can make your Christmas seem more Magical!
1. Fresh Pine Projection:
Get some 4×8 sheets of coroplast and cut out several large Christmas trees. We use MaskerAid to create a mask out each tree. Project a pine image onto the trees, then add a nice snowfall effect. It will look magical!
Ask members of your congregation to post Family Christmas photos on Instagram and add your hashtag. Cut out several large snowflakes, and mount them where a) they can not spin, b) your projector can light them up. Get a copy of InstaGrabber (to download the Instagram photos) and a copy of Instaplayer (to easily display the Instagram photos). Use MaskerAid to mask out the snowflakes (yep, its not just for video, it works with any app running on your computer). With a nice clean mask, these beautiful family photos will be scrolling across your snowflakes (add a alpha layer of snow for a nice effect)(Get LayerPlayer if you need an easy alpha layer playback tool)
3. 3D Nativity Scene:
Environmental projection is great, but for a clever twist add a new dimension. Get several 2ftx2ft all white boxes from Uline.com. Arrange them on your stage like white presents. Use MaskerAid to mask out the boxes. Now at a dramatic moment in your event, display a “nativity scene” video on the packages. Because we all know the real gift of Christmas.
If you really want to take it to the next level, cut out coroplast sheep, cows, camels & wisemen. These solid white silhouettes will look cool all by themselves. Once again lets break out MaskerAid to mask out each shape. And now when we add video to these lifeless white cutouts, we will see a more realistic manger scene.
4. Make Some Music:
Over the years we have fallen in love with MakeyMakey. (If you have not seen these go watch this video right now, http://www.makeymakey.com). It is amazing how easy it is to quickly make something so interactive. Wire, fruit, playdo, aluminum foil, you name it, if it conducts the tiniest bit of electricity it will work. Your homemade instruments will simply be “pressing keys on a computer”. Converting keyboard strokes into music is as easy as starting up GarageBand (or a PC equivalent). There is a really cool feature called “musical typing”. This allows you to use your computer keyboard as a musical keyboard. Go crazy! Watching a DIY band performing Christmas songs is silly, engaging and heart warming.
5. Streaming Snow:
OK, this one is just for fun. See our tutorial on making ToiletPaper Launchers. Who knew these homemade toilet paper launchers would make such great DIY snow machines. If you make 5-10 of these, then fire them from the stage into your audience…..it is guaranteed to WOW your crowd. Works best as a grand finale, as the clean up might be distracting.
Between supplies and software each of these ideas should be under $100. We know these ideas may not fit as is in your Christmas environment, but we hope they might lead to just the breakthrough idea you were looking for. If you would like more information please visit us at www.CrowdControlGames.com or drop us a note at CrowdControlGames@gmail.com.
From now until the end of the year www.crowdControlGames.com is offering us a 30% off discount. Just enter the code “TripleWide” at checkout.
A big thanks to Brian and Brad at CrowdControlGames. You definitely need to check out what these guys are doing and get their games today!