VBS Decorating on a Budget

VBS Decorating

It’s safe to say, we’ve probably all spent hours trawling Pinterest being inspired by the incredible decorations shared by fellow VBS directors and volunteers. We are constantly in awe of some of the creativity on display – some of the VBS décor is so detailed it looks like a stage production!

But, what if your budget just doesn’t stretch far enough? What, if like many other churches across the country, you have to pull together a VBS program with very little funding? Fear not! We’re here with some top tips to help you do more, with less.

Choose a Centerpiece

Pick one decoration that will be your statement piece and make it a real feature. Something that will make kids and parents alike say, “Wow!” when they enter! If your theme is Roar, perhaps it is safari Jeep cut-out. Yee-Haw is your theme? No problem! What about a cart with hay? By focusing on one key decoration, it will help you maintain your budget without sacrificing the impact factor. Looking for some decoration inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Boards by clicking here.


This one probably goes without saying, but as a VBS volunteer with limited funds, DIY is your best friend! There are so many resources you can utilize out there on the internet – our go-to resources are YouTube videos and Pinterest DIY infographics. On these channels, you can find detailed step-by-step instructions on just about anything! We’ve created some of our own DIY videos to help get you started – click here to view.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! 

Does your church have decorations leftover from VBS programs of years gone by? Use them! Even if the items are from a completely different theme, often they can be repurposed to fit your current theme. When decorating on a budget, it’s all about pulling from as many resources as possible and reusing just about anything you can get your hands on. Use your imagination and you’ll see potential everywhere!

Keep It Simple 

Don’t overcomplicate things. We know how easy it is to get distracted by paper plates with lions on them, or balloons with cowboy hats on them, but these items can be more expensive. You’ll often find it is much cheaper to buy these VBS staples in a plain color without a pattern or theme. In the long run, saving on these VBS essentials helps you direct the budget in other areas!

Stock Up on Staples

If your church has storage space, slowly stock up on items that you’ll use again and again. Many decoration elements fit into all sorts of themes, such as rivers, mountains, trees, etc. Did you discover fabric that looks like water? Buy yards of it. Find a great deal on re-useable evergreen trees after Christmas? Stock up for you next camping or mountain VBS theme!

Collect Boxes

The decorating potential of boxes is ENDLESS… and they are free! In preparation for your VBS program, start collecting as many boxes as possible – and ask your volunteers and church congregation to donate them wherever they can. Same goes for paper bags! These are the kind of items that can be shaped and formed to just about anything you can put your mind to. Boxes can make stalls, houses, as well as become the foundation of key installations like waterfalls! Paper bags on the other hand make great filler and can create texture. Paint the bags blue and create a watering hole, or scrunch them up and stick them to boxes to create rocks. Like we said… the possibilities are endless!

Borrow Items 

Don’t be afraid to put the call out for help. Ask friends, family, and members of the congregation to donate any items they can to complete your VBS theme. A good way to go about this is to write down a list of the items you need and publicize it on any platforms available to you. Your church’s Facebook page, your personal Facebook page, the church newsletter, and bulletin boards are all incredible resources to tap into.

Visit Yard Sales

Who doesn’t love a good yard sale? And what better excuse to spend your weekend’s trawling through yard sales than for VBS decorations. Items found in yard sales are often very effective and sometimes you can find some real gems. It may take some hours and a little legwork from you and your team – but it’s so worth it!

Find more VBS resources and information by clicking here!

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