“I can make that,” I hear behind me as I stop to admire a cute little doodad in one of my favorite stores. “Snap a picture of it on your phone,” she says, “we can make that for so much less.”
Every time I shop with my mom, I hear these words, and I love them. She's one of the most creative people I know.
And it’s in honor of my mom and all you other crafty and thrifty people out there that I celebrate National Creative Frugality Week this week. I know, I know, it’s a really long name for a random holiday, and I almost passed it by for that very reason, until I realized how much creative frugality and VBS have in common.
Creative frugality is doing things that are sometimes more difficult or complicated but in the end save money and reduce waste. It’s every option from saving and reusing a tea bag to painting an old library card catalogue and using it as a coffee table (both things have happened in my house recently and yes, both with the influence or direct help of my mom, who's much craftier than I am!).
I love saving money (who doesn't!) so reusing things is great, though I’m not as creative about it as some I know, so I have to rely on others for my fun a lot of the time.
Though they’re busy traveling for various preview events this month, I tracked down a few of my fellow VBS team members to see what some of their favorite ways to be creatively frugal are, either with previously used VBS decorations or things you might have lying around your house in past years and this coming year.
But first, a few favorites of mine from our blog archives.
This little guy was so cute I couldn't resist including his picture again. He was used for Amazing Wonders Aviation with parts from two other years of VBS. Click here to read about how he was made.
Here are some fun everyday items that were suggested in 2011, but could definitely be converted to Colossal Coaster World, or really any other need.
Finally, check out this video of "the cage" where we store a ton of VBS decorations for reuse. The video is packed full of ways we've reused things.
What I learned from our archives- the VBS team is really creatively frugal, and so are our readers!
Now for a few ideas from my team members:
"The possibility of sharing your decoration with a 'sister church' once your VBS is over. To me, that is just wise stewardship.
For Colossal Coaster World, any of the "touristy" types of things [you already have] would work—cameras; ball caps; head boppers; popcorn, snow cone, and cotton candy machines."
"My favorite has been watching the many uses for a carpet roll. I have seen the same roll used for a tree trunk, lamp post, and as a platform for the Big Apple Adventure New Year's ball drop."
"I saw a great "barrier" for Victoria Falls in 2012. Black toilet plungers had cup hooks attached to the handles and white plastic chain linked the "posts" (plungers). These would make a perfect que line."
How about you? What can you creatively reuse from past years’ VBS and other events in the life of your church to make Colossal Coaster World a success? I hope you'll share them with us in the comments! While you're thinking about it, I'm going to go through the freezer and decide which leftovers I'm bringing for lunch tomorrow...in celebration of creative frugality!