Add an AWESOME Lite Brite Wall to Your Youth Room | UMC YoungPeople
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March 2018

Add an AWESOME Lite Brite Wall to Your Youth Room

By Jeremy Steele

Youth facilities are always a mix of fun and function. Yes, you need a place to discuss the Bible, but who said you couldn’t have throw pillows made from the past youth group t-shirts. Ben Johnson’s incredible team at Berea has taken facility fun to the next level by building a Lite Brite wall that is hours of endless fun. You want one now, right? Ben sent us the instructions. Go ahead and find the name of your construction-minded youth parents ready, because you’re going to want to call them when you’re done reading this one.

Supplies for a 4×8 section:

  • 2 Mylar Blankets
  • 1 4×8 sheet of plywood
  • 2×6 to frame the outside edge of the plywood
  • 2.5” hole drill bit
  • Water bottles (important that they are all the same brand)
  • Food coloring
  • Four 3’ LED fixtures (important that it is narrow so it fits between the drilled holes)
  • Gorilla Glue
  1. Make the plywood holy. Each hole is equally spaced by making 2.5″ hole about 2″ apart which makes the whole board look pretty equal (Check your bottles to make sure this diameter works). This allows you to make each sheet of plywood look consistent. If you are doing multiple boards, then you need measure the boards on center, but if they are doing just one, then they can measure flush.
  2. Frame the entire holy plywood sheet with 2×6 boards. You might need to plane the 2×6 boards about an inch or so to make sure the bottles don’t go too far into the holes but this is probably not necessary for everyone
  3. Cover the entire space behind where the wall was going to be with Mylar blankets for reflection using a staple gun.
  4. Place the light fixtures on the back of the holy plywood sheet with the holes drilled through it using two 3′ fixtures to reach the height of the board at about 1/3 and 2/3 or of the width of the sheet. Be careful to make sure that the fixtures do not extend into the space that the holes use, so the bottles won’t be impeded. Make sure to deal with the cords so that they don’t cross the holes and are long enough to be plugged in after it is installed on the wall.
  5. Attach the holy plywood to the wall, making a clean light box that bottles can be placed into.
  6. Make the battles. Use as much or as little food coloring as you think you want for brightness of colors and then smear a drop or two of gorilla glue around the inside of the cap and screw it tight. This is important for the longevity of the project.
  7. Play with it and make your own adjustments!

You’ll probably need some organization for the bottles. Ben uses some bins to sort them by color. Enjoy!

When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at