Tag: events

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!

New Year’s Eve and Parody Posters

After my unplanned blogging break over the holidays, I have somewhat-dated post ideas coming out of my ears. So I’ll start with something a little more recent — What I Did For New Year’s Eve.

My church has a New Year’s Eve party for junior-high and high-schoolers involving fun activities all over the church campus (dodgeball tournament, video games, inflatable sumo wrestling suits, arts/crafts, etc.) and culminating in a lip-sync contest performed by different groups of students and staff/volunteers. Steve and I have volunteered the past four years, including this past weekend, along with 40-50 other adult volunteers, by helping to supervise the different activities, serve food, and clean up. The past couple years, we’ve also helped before the event with the decor.

This year, the theme for the main room was “The Price is Right.” Local businesses donate lots of different door prizes which are raffled off, but this year we made use of the game show format to allow kids to win prizes as well. In the three days leading up to the New Year, a few of us got together and put together a low-budget but fantastic-looking set for the main room, including a functional big Plinko board.

Photo of set - front stage

We pretended that the main room would be like a live taping of The Price is Right, so set up the foyer to be the entrance to “NBC FBC Studios.” I designed a mashup logo of our church logo and the NBC logo and helped to make a sign that hung outside the door.

FBC Studios sign

The foyer featured parody posters of TV shows created by yours truly. I did some poster and font research on Saturday and put together some high-res “base” posters, sans photos. Another volunteer took photos of the pastors, staff, and some youth worker volunteers on Sunday afternoon. I then had a few hours to stitch together the photos and posters and make it all look relatively decent so that we could get them printed for the next day.

Foyer with parody posters

I think I’ll do a series of posts describing some of the specific Photoshop steps I took to make the posters, so for now, I’ll just show you the end result compared to the original TV show poster:

Ugly Betty poster Ugly Shelly poster

Grey’s Anatomy poster Joe's Anatomy poster

Lost poster Lost? poster

Scrubs poster Scrubs poster

Heroes poster Heroes poster

The Office poster The Office parody poster

You can view more photos of the setup and first part of the event (before my camera battery died) on flickr.

Before the parody poster series commences, expect to see posts ranging from a food reference sheet to homemade Christmas presents in the next few days!