It’s that time of year again! There are some great VBS programs on the market, as always. If you’re doing Shake It Up Cafe VBS from Cokesbury, check out some of these ideas for decorating:
- Cokesbury Decorating Page suggests using kitchen items such as pots, pans, rolling pins, spatulas, cafe tables, and chalkboards with “Today’s Special” (the main Bible point) on them. You can hit dollar stores and garage sales for many of these things. Be sure to “like” Cokesbury on facebook for more decorating tips to come!
- If your sanctuary has chairs that can move, you might want to position them to give them a restaurant feel. You could have four or five circled around an imaginary table or a real table with a checkered table cloth.
- Cookbooks galore! Set up piles of cookbooks on the stage, on spare table, on the coat racks, and anywhere else they can be prominently seen, but aren’t in the way. You can usually score great deals on cookbooks at rummage sales or annual book sales. Check your local library. I know the one in Erie has a cookbook sale in May and you can usually get some pretty good deals. Or ask about getting the leftover books after the sale is over for a discount!
- Be sure to have some chefs in authentic hats walking around.
- It looks like many of the days focus on a festival, so you might want to go with a party approach. Helium balloons always brighten up a room and can last several days if no one touches them. You can score some decorative pennants (100 feet for $7.99) at Oriental Trading to jazz the room up.
- Speaking of Oriental Trading, there are lots of other items worth taking a look at including:
Children’s Aprons ($15/dozen)
Waist Apron ($15/dozen)
- Be sure to take a look at some of the other party sites and search for keywords such as “kitchen”, “cafe”, “chef” and “cooking”. Some that I’ve used include Party Cheap, Discount School Supply (this is great for your craft stuff), and Shindigz. Whatever site you visit, be sure to stop by Retail Me Not for discount codes (free shipping anyone?)
- Set up some cakes and cupcakes for display. If you don’t want the real thing laying around, you can go for fake food or make your own with paper towel rolls (cupcakes), hat boxes (cakes), or other boxes (cakes). If you want to go elaborate, get different sizes of boxes (save them from ordering your supplies online!) and make a fancy wedding-like cake for display. Check out some cool playdough cupcakes here. Here’s a cake box template if you want to make individual pieces. You could try to replicate something like this with a shoe box for display:
- Google images or check Flickr for pictures of cafes or restaurants. See if anything inspires you. Awnings would be fun, but a bit much perhaps.
- Check out videos from test churches and try asking other churches what they did for decorating. Better yet, find someone in your area that is also doing Shake it up and pool resources!
- Remember, it’s not the decorations that count. Sure it’s fun to add some touches here and there, but it’s the activities, learning, and relationships that will really stick with the kids. Add some fun restaurant like signs, scour some sales for some little extras and then get concentrating on the important stuff: learning about God!
If you’ve got a great decorating idea, be sure to share it below in the comments!