decorating on a budget

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Every year our church has a Summer Children’s Workshop where we invite our friends and neighbors to learn about God in our everyday lives. I have often enjoyed decorating the building for this event as it requires building large scale decorations on an itty bitty budget – My kind of challenge. Here are two of the pieces I built for the stage area. A 4 ft tall test tube made from foamcore, posterboard and balloons was accompanied by a taller test tube and a beaker of similar design. The mad scientist’s machine was made from a giant flat screen TV box salvaged from the dumpster, PVC pipe donated by our resident plumbing and electrical genius, and some flashing and blinking gizmos purchased from my favorite off the wall online science shop, American Science and Surplus.

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Because my dad was in the Navy, we moved around a lot when I was a kid. I was well schooled in not doing any kind of decorating that might be unattractive to a potential house buyer. (Keep the walls off-white, etc.) When my husband and I bought our first house, the first thing I did was paint the boy’s room sapphire. Later I decided to paint our room sky blue and accent it with pine green. The blue came out a bit deeper than I intended but the overall effect was quite soothing. I also chose to use nickel colored hardware for the window treatments and other decor. I bought this 4 ft. long shelf and the three square metal tiles on clearance at a craft store. I took the traditionally shaped shelf apart, turned it upside down, put it back together and painted it the same color as the walls. I made my own stencils of various leaf shapes and then stencilled the negative shape with green paint onto the metal tiles. I really like how they looked propped up on the shelf.

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