On a budget but need to decorate a large area? Instead of re-creating your larger props from the ground up each year, build once...and refurbish/re-use them over and over again. Think long-term...instead of using cardboard, search for a sturdy material (free if possible) that will last and can be assembled and disassembled again and again. Assemble your props so that they can be put up and taken down (quickly and easily) each year. I had an amazing gentleman who would build anything that I wanted for VBS. He would say "You draw it out and paint it and I will build it." If I took him a design and asked "Can you build this?" he would have it done in a snap! We had a great working relationship...I could ask him to cut something out and he would say "Would you like it cut this way or that way" and I would say "You're the expert...do it whichever way is best." He would bring his entire workshop (it seemed) and just leave it there until we were finished building the props. He was such a blessing! If you have a volunteer like him...learn to appreciate them...listen to their advice, compliment and thank them often! Soooo, I digress...back to props! One day, he brought in a huge stack of thick 4X4 plastic realtor signs that he had picked up from a friend of his. He said that he could get as many as we wanted...FREE! They were the right price...sturdy...and much lighter than wood. He built frames (wood) for the props and used the sheets of plastic instead of plywood...and they turned out amazing! Each section of a building was created with a frame that simply screwed into the next piece...making assemble so easy. When VBS was over, we just removed the screws and stacked the sections up into a pile...ready to re-paint into something new for the next event. Think long term when building your larger props...can they be built and re-used for something else? Can they be assembled and disassembled easily? Of course not all props will be re-used...or can even be re-purposed but a building of any kind can easily be re-painted and a few special touches added to make it look like a brand new prop (for any church event) Get creative! Be on the lookout for materials that you can pick up free or cheap. If you see new construction going on, talk with the builder about any scrap wood they may have, check with lumber yards for their scrap wood (they cut wood to size for customers and often they have a scrap pile). Below are a few examples of buildings that we refurbished to get you inspireed! Have a blessed day! Praying for you always!