Summer is quickly approaching and that means your church will soon be filled with kiddos ready to head back into Bible times for Babylon VBS! But in order for that to happen, we’ve got to make sure it feels like Babylon! To help jump start your decorating, I asked Elisa, our Decorating Diva here at Group, for a few of her favorite cost-saving tips and tricks —
1. Think outside the box (store)! If you’ve read the Decorating Places Instructions and have reviewed the Master Supply List, you know that we call for boxes — and lots of them! So before you make a run to your local store to purchase a load, pause and remember that there are ways to score boxes for free!
- Like everything else in VBS, check with your congregation first. Often times, people have old boxes in their basement that they’ll gladly give away. Just make sure that you ask for them to be broken down before being donated. This will save you so much time and space!
- Other great sources for large boxes are flat screen installation companies, building sights and contractors. Once the product has been delivered, they oftentimes no longer have a need for these boxes. One man’s trash is a VBS Director’s treasure, right? And as an added tip, don’t fret if you feel like you have too many small boxes or too many large boxes. They can always be combined or cut down to make the size that you need.
2. One of my favorite things about Holy Land Adventure VBS is that it takes place in Bible times! By gathering and borrowing household items, you can transform your space at no cost. Ask church members to bring in shade tents, artificial trees, greenery, large flowerpots, pillows, blankets, sheets, baskets, baskets and more baskets.
3. Generally speaking, people are visual learners. Provide pictures to help inspire people with items they can find lying around the house. I like to ask people to label their item before bringing them in so I know who it belongs to. I take this a step further and label each item as it comes in so that I know where to look for the label.
4. You know that one closet in your house that’s filled to the brim with sheets? Empty it out! Sheets are perfect items to bring your Market Place tents to life at no cost to you. And don’t be worried if they aren’t all the same… adding a variety of colors and textures will make it feel even more realistic.
5. BONUS TIP: When it comes to borrowing items, having a drop off and pick up day will make your life so much easier. You won’t constantly be bombarded with plants or baskets as your walking in and out of church, AND you won’t be responsible for hunting people down when it’s all said and done. Also, clearly state what will happen to items that are not picked up – whether that means donating them to a second hand store or selling them at the youth group garage sale.
Need a few more ideas? Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board for inspiration! Also, don’t forget to tag us in your photos on Facebook and Instagram using @GroupVBS. We’d love to see how your space transforms!
Now… Let the borrowing begin!
I love sheets! We have used sheets for fabric to make costumes if they are in good shape. Also, I have started using the HolyLand VBS programs in 2 different churches plus used similar decorating ideas for a Live Nativity in a 3rd church. Each time I have been able to find a hospital or laundry service that was getting rid of old sheets and willing to donate hundreds of them. I have dyed them various colors, and they are wonderful for decorating the marketplace. It does take time, and my washing machine takes on a rainbow decor for a while, but so worthwhile when I have multiple bins filled with colorful fabric to decorate our marketplace for years to come!