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In looking over the craft ideas, they seem pretty pricey. I need crafts for 150 elementary kids and 100 preschoolers and I need to do it on a budget. Any ideas for additional or substitute crafts?

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In our church, we ask our congregation to donate all the supplies we need for crafts and snack.  Then we can spend the money in our budget on things that weren't donated or last minute things.

We are going to do the drums, but I'm asking people in our church to donate plastic ice cream pails (not the larger buckets).  Not sure what I'll do for drum sticks yet.  Will ask for Duck Tape. 

We will be doing the Shrinky Dinks.

We always do a picture craft.  The kids get their picture taken the first night of VBS (by a volunteer).  We print them off at church and try to find some way to make a frame for it.

The mirror ball craft we will do but probably get smaller balls and you could use tin foil which would be pretty cheap.

One of the things we've done to cut down on crafts is by finding service projects for our 4th-6th graders to do.  They only do the picture craft and every night they are doing a service project either for the church or a ministry in our area.  Last year, we tied fleece blankets (the fleece was donated) for a pregnancy center, made sandwiches for a homeless ministry, decorated placemats, bags and birthday cards for Meals on Wheels, and packed hygiene kits for our county health department (they provided everything). 

This year, we're going to wash all the toys in the church nurseries as part of our service projects.  The older kids absolutely LOVE doing them. 

Hopefully some of these ideas have been helpful.  I wish you success in finding alternative ideas. 

Mary Lou

I bought 5-gallon nursery pots (10-packs $18.98) from Home Depot.  I got 15 packs for $284.70 and shipping was free.  I know they will not be as sturdy as the buckets, but I have to buy for 150 elementary kids and could not afford the bigger, sturdier buckets.  I figure they won't last long, but if they last the 5 days of VBS, I will be happy.  I also ordered 12 inch x 7/16 inch dowel rods (6 pack $1.99) from Joann's.  I figured since the drums were lighter, the rods should be too.  Drumsticks can get pricey for tons of kids. 

Still in the pre-planning stages for all the other crafts.  Will post more ideas as I get them. 

Hi! We had our first planning meeting last night and are off and running. We took the suggestion in the planning guide and asked a local bakery/grocery chain to donate empty frosting buckets for the next couple of months. They are marked as 15# buckets and are sturdy enough for drumming. We were told we would have to clean them but that is a small price to pay if it keeps more money available for other materials. Thanks for the dowel suggestion Lucie, I will pass it along to another member charged with shopping for drumsticks!

I got a phone call from a church that contacted the bakery in their local Wal*Mart. They offered their frosting buckets for $1 each and the money went to the Children's Miracle Network. Not as nice as free but another option out there.

Mark / Go Fish Customer Service

I have ordered our VBS material but haven't received it yet so I'm not sure if this is premature but I plan to ask my local Mcdonalds for their pickle buckets. I'm estimating that they are 3-4 gallon size.

We are also wanting to do the mirror balls, but my craft leader has priced them and they are fairly pricey for what we like to spend.  Any ideas for alternatives to making the mirror balls or a totally alternative craft?

 

Jennifer, Maybe you could buy Styrofoam balls smaller than what they suggest and cut tinfoil into pieces and let them glue the tinfoil on the balls.  We might end up doing that depending on what we find when we shop.

We are using beach balls painted silver and adding mirror fabric. They look terrific and much cheaper!!

I was thinking of light switch covers.. Paint them, glue leftover foam pieces and jewels that are in craft room already or even use stickers... I have not priced them but great reminder item for takehome..

I'm going to have the younger kids paint suncatchers using glitter glue - they look like disco balls and are necklaces.  Only $6.25 for 24 of them, and the glitter glue is in tubes from Dollar Tree, 10 for $1.

www.orientaltrading.com

www.dollartree.com

Oriental Trading also has these metallic foam self-adhesive squares for the disco balls, 1224 for $4.25.

www.orientaltrading.com

You can use those little metallic star stickers.  They're really cheap at Wal-Mart in the office supply area.
 
Lorie Payne said:

I was thinking of light switch covers.. Paint them, glue leftover foam pieces and jewels that are in craft room already or even use stickers... I have not priced them but great reminder item for takehome..

Where did you buy the mirror fabric? 



Dana Sartin said:

We are using beach balls painted silver and adding mirror fabric. They look terrific and much cheaper!!

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