Tag: decorating

Western theme VBC

This year, our church used the “SonWest Roundup” VBC curriculum from GospelLight. The guy who usually paints the VBC backdrops had sprained his wrist, so I got asked to do it. I came up with some ideas early on, but then procrastinated until just a couple weeks before to actually take the time to go and paint.

The illustration style I was going for came from the town graphics in the curriculum, but I wanted to make them less pastel and more earthy, but still fun and quirky. In the weeks leading up, I kept visiting Ace Hardware’s “oops” paint area, but they just had really odd colors. The day before I had planned to go paint, I found awesome shades of light blue, a warm yellow, dark brown, and beige — exactly the shades I was thinking of using!

I started with the sky:


Then, I used painters’ tape to make straight edges for some of the buildings (I freehanded the curves).


Steve brought the boys over to have lunch with me. They brought their painting pajamas to “help” me paint, which meant my productivity went down 90%.


After they left, I was able to get more of the details done:


The next day, I finished up the details. I was really happy with the shadows on the Theater.


The yellow panels that the boys had helped me paint got put up on the side of the stage:


And I painted them more to turn it into a life-size sheriff’s office, complete with foam-board sign up top and foam-board swinging doors.


My initial duct tape and hinges job only lasted one night before falling off, so they had to get screwed on.


Finally, I hit up a thrift store and found smaller-sized baskets, mini crates, and even a mini wine barrel half to put outside the trading post.


One challenge I ran into was that I started running out of painter’s tape, which I was using to help mask the windows — the shapes, “panes,” and trim. I ended up reusing tape over and over again. The original paint was green, and you can see how many layers of paint I have below!


The rest of the team came in and did their magic. Other volunteers created the stagecoach image; signs were hung out; fences and hay bales added; and lots of butcher-paper silhouettes were taped to the walls. Here’s what the final room looked like:


The entryway had a life-sized wine barrel and our chicken-wire mannequin in a rocking chair. (The mannequin shows up in the decorations somewhere every year, and never fails to creep us out when we’re working on decor in the late night.)


The week of VBC was a blast for all the volunteers and kids. The volunteers all dressed up with the western theme – good thing cowboy boots are “in” right now!



The cooking team made fun snacks every day. The first day, they made bagel “wagon wheels.”


A few other places on the campus were decorated, too — specifically, the “bible barn.” I loved that they had succulents and plants brought in for the outside!


The inside had hay bales for seating (I cringed when I looked at the floor and thought about clean-up), play horses corralled in a corner, and a wooden fence as a backdrop.


A good time was had by all!

Turning a church into Disneyland

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while may remember the post I did a few years ago about the big New Year’s Eve event that my church puts on for junior high and high school students. We’ve continued to help out every year, and this year was the first time that I was officially in charge of decorations. With butcher paper, duct tape, push pins, cardboard, and a lot of help, we transformed one of the rooms at our church into Disneyland – or, “Bashland,” as we called it.

I’ve posted a few pictures below, but if you want to read all the details about the prep (with another post about the actual event to come), please head over to my personal blog for the full story!

The foyer, decorated as Main Street:



I painted the castle for the backdrop:


The full stage:




Critter Country with Splash Mountain:


Advetureland (specifically Tiki Room-inspired):


New Orleans Square/Pirates of the Caribbean:


Read more at my personal blog.

House photos: Bathroom and living areas

We cleaned up our living areas enough so that I could take pictures! I took some of our bathroom as well.

Below is our bathroom (also the main bathroom that guests would use). We had dark blue and white towels from our wedding and black candleholders for the toilet and to hang on the wall opposite (with dark blue candles, of course). The blue soap dish is actually a 20-cent piece of china that we found at a yard sale.


Although there is a built-in shower door, we put up a curtain rod with our white shower curtain anyway so that it looked nicer. The shower door was a little bit ugly.


This next picture is of our generously-sized living room. Liz and Rich had a red futon, we had a black Ikea couch, they had a black antique headboard. We decided to go with a black/red/asian theme, helped out with the rice paper lamps that Rich and Liz already had and the many sushi dishes that we both had.. Rich and Liz have wedding pictures on the headboard; our wedding shadow boxes are to the right of the bookshelf (not shown).

Living room

We picked gold and silver accented picture frames to put in the display shelves of the lamp to pick up the gold and silver in the big painting on the wall. In the center, you can see Liz’s seasonal shadow boxes. Right now there is purple foil paper in the back. Two of the boxes have candy corn and the middle has glow-in-the-dark spiders.

Living room

This is the entertainment wall, opposite the window. Steve and I used our coffee table as the entertainment center, which works quite well, actually. The bookshelf is one of the eight folding/stackable bookshelves that I bought a few years ago during a big Bed, Bath, and Beyond sale. I love that they are easy to move and modular!

Living room

On to the family room. There is a large open space between the living room and family room, but enough bits of wall on the sides to separate the rooms into distinct living areas. Against one corner, we have my wingback chair for a little reading area, although Nutmeg has mostly claimed it as a napping area for now.

Family room

The main family room wall is painted chocolate brown (with a dividing line by the kitchen cabinets when it goes to sunny yellow), but the other walls are painted the same rose taupe color as the living room so that it’s not a dark room. The dark brown wall was a perfect accent for one of our paintings and our light-colored maple bookshelves. The rug was purchased used for quite cheap; the color is more maroon/dark purple but we think it still works in the room. It’s not quite cold enough to have fires, but we intend to have plenty this winter!

Puddle and Nutmeg wanted to be part of these photos.

Family room

You can see the dividing line between the brown and yellow paint in this picture below.

This is our small dining table — Liz and Rich’s round table is in the kitchen eating area. It works as a nice place for seasonal decor, a daytime place to eat, a game table, or a projects table (once you clear off the decor). I love living with Liz because she has all kinds of cool decorative objects and table linens — such as the purple table runner and this set of black candle holders that work quite nicely for small pumpkins.

We decided to group all of our books together by topic instead of trying to keep them separate and boxed away “doubles.” One trick we used was to have a combination of both standard vertically-shelved books with sections of horizontally-stacked books. It helps to break up the visual pattern on the shelf and you can also fit a few more books horizontally at times so you get more “book space” overall. The bottom two shelves (you can’t really see them) and the top left shelf hold board games; there is an under-cabinet door by the phone where we keep other games as well.

Family room

We still need to clean up the office and the spare room, and then I can take pictures of those, too!