42 tips for decorating during VBS

  1. Share your work with other churches.
  2. Put clear tape on the back of your paper decorations to make pulling the tape off easier.
  3. Access a die cut machine at a public library.
  4. Share materials and decorations within your association.
  5. Enlist people who work and cannot be involved during VBS week to decorate Worship Center, Rotation rooms and hallways.
  6. Encourage director to give out a published list of associational VBS’s in training in order to network for decorations and materials.
  7. Use decorations, such as an “ABC” mobile that can be recycled and used each year.
  8. Huts and buildings can be made from collapsible foam or foam core materials.
  9. Request displays from local grocery stores. Repaint and add themed decorations.
  10. Give Sunday School classes different decoration ideas. Have them create that item for you.
  11. Appoint a decorating team. Let this team create the sanctuary backdrop. Often these individuals can’t help during VBS.
  12. Have decorations available to VBS meetings to give out to directors/teachers that attend the meetings.
  13. Reuse, recut, reshape and recycle from previous years.
  14. Rotate decorations among other churches throughout the summer.
  15. Billboard sign companies usually give away old canvas billboard material. The white on the back can be painted for a backdrop.
  16. Always announce in church, make a list of supplies needed. You’ll be surprised as what can be donated from Grandma’s attic!
  17. Purchase large 100 foot rolls of paper.
  18. Use paint from Lowe’s or Home Depot that has been returned by other customers. It’s MUCH cheaper.
  19. Purchase rolls of contractor’s paper at Lowe’s and Home Depot and use it for lots of different areas.
  20. Use microphone stands for stage and room decorations. Carpet rolls fit nicely over them to be a base for trees or signs.
  21. Host a decorating party at your church. Ask the senior members to feed your team.
  22. Have youth make the decorations on Sunday or Wednesday nights as service projects.
  23. Conduct youth VBS earlier in the year and have them make decorations as their arts and crafts projects.
  24. Take lots of photos at VBS conferences, trainings, other churches, etc.
  25. Coordinate sharing decorations with other churches with your clean-up so the decorating items are picked up right away and help is available for large items.
  26. Use Dollar Store tablecloths and add duck tape borders. Them hang on the wall and add decorations. No holes in the wall!
  27. Use $1/yard fabric from Wal-Mart and other stores.
  28. Use PVC pipe for frames, shower curtain hangers, and spray paint. Great backdrops or room partitions.
  29. Make and effort to pass along the decorations to at least 3-4 other churches. Maybe more!
  30. Enlist men to build sets using big yard signs and reusable frames that can be collapsed for storage.
  31. Initiate Wednesday night decorating parties with pizza dinners. Provide childcare for anyone who can stop by for any time and paint, build, sand, mount, etc. Start 6-8 weeks in advance of VBS week.
  32. Give teachers their own decorating budget and they buy their own supplies and decorate their own rooms.
  33. Have a “Decorating Day” with a meal to follow. Have all supplies for all teachers (i.e.- tape, scissors, markers, paint, paper, etc.) on tables ready for a massive decorating event.
  34. Reuse from year to year.
  35. Check blog spot to see what others are doing and using.
  36. Ask artistic members who help draw/paint backdrops and scenes.
  37. Use church member’s gifts and talents.
  38. We have set designers who offer to crate scenes.
  39. If you’re not creative – stay out of it – and let someone who is. (see comments)
  40. Keep a “To Do List” on a marker board as people come in to work.
  41. Start a sign up list at your associational training to share decorations.
  42. Give each class a tote bag with decorations already in it so they don’t have to add much.

12 thoughts on “42 tips for decorating during VBS

  1. Uh NO!!! to # 39. I can’t believe it was put there. If you want to help decorate and you’re not “creative”, so what! There’s a lot of things to be done and even a non-creative person can come up with the logical mechanics to make the creation “work” .

  2. You are so right Jill!!! I agree that everyone needs to participate in helping/decorating for VBS!!!

  3. I don’t know who wrote this but they should really re-evaluate themselves. “If you’re not creative – stay out of it – and let someone who is” ? Who do you think you are? What makes you so special? I wouldn’t work with you if I had all the creativity in the world!! Very shallow..

  4. Hey Mark – this list is a compilation of suggestions from a group of experienced VBS directors that were at the VBS preview event earlier in the year. It was a suggestion that was written down by one of those directors. In retrospect, I probably should have just deleted it from the list. . . I am totally in agreement with you and Jill – anyone who is willing to help is creative enough to help me decorate!!!

  5. #39.

    I know what its like to work with someone that wants to take over and has less talent then you do. but talent is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve done some painting and had someone come by after and add shading and stuff to make what I did look 3-D and it was great working as a team

    all have their own kind of talent.

  6. I agree! Don’t discourage people from helping. The important thing is that they are “FAT” – faithful, available, and trainable. I do not consider myself talented in decorating at all. However, last year I received compliments on my classroom decorations. We do this for the Lord and for the children – not to win an art contest.

  7. One of the things I’ve need most this year is people strong enough to move tables and chairs!! Don’t have to have talent for that! And what would we do without the people who do the shopping and cooking for the rest of the workers?

  8. How ’bout . . . PRAY??!! I’m really not just giving a “Sunday School” response either. Throughout my years as a Children’s Minister, I’ve never ceased to be amazed at what God does when I come to the point of saying, “I can’t”! He’s always waiting to show me that “He can”!!!

  9. I agree with Jill, I couldn’t believe it was on there. I decorate for our church during VBS almost everytime and some of my best suggestion have come from someone who says they know nothing about decorating. Give them a chance, they will come through, after all it is for the children to enjoy not to win a prize.

  10. Hey! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you may have right here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  11. Lots of great ideas. Don’t forget you can always download free posters and use printing services to make large versions. Often the program you’re using for the VBS event will have posters you can get printed and it really gives the place a professional touch.

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