‘Tis the season to be jolly… and to save with holiday sales! So as the prices go down, keep your head up for great deals on the following items to stretch your VBS budget.


Boxes/cardboard – We say it every year, and we’ll keep saying it! Boxes and cardboard are the backbone to VBS decorating! Any gift you purchase or boxes you have shipped to your house, save them!

Gold fabric and ‘regal’ fabric or curtains – You’ll be creating a throne during two days of Bible Discovery. You’ll be looking for fabrics in golds, purples, blues, reds, and whites.

Tree stands – Hold onto your Christmas tree stands! These are great for holding up large cacti and other desert foliage. You can also use wood or PCP pipes for a DIY stand.

Rugs and blankets – If you’ve been doing VBS with us for one year or 15 years, you know we love rugs and blankets for our crews to sit on! This gives our kiddos a ‘home’ to sit during each station of VBS, and allows them to learn and grow together as a VBS family.

Greenery – Craft stores will generally have great sales on greenery, vines and plants! Check out your local stores to see what you can store and save for summer.

Outdoor costumes – Binoculars?  Hiking backpacks? Boots? Khaki pants? Keep any eye out for any fun costumes you and your crew could wear to make Monumental really come to life for the kids!

Jerusalem Marketplace

Boxes – All the Christmas gifts you get, Amazon boxes, and presents mailed to you… keep those boxes! These will be used for the well, stone walls, wood crates, wall separators and more!

Christmas tree stand – If you have Christmas trees in your church for décor during the holiday season, or know a few folks that could spare a stand during the summer, save them! This makes it so much easier to hold the palm trees! You can also use wood blocks or PCP pips and create your own stands.

Carpet tubes – Check with your local home stores and carpeting manufacturers to help you build the palm trees! They often offer deals during the holidays, and will have carpet tubes they’ll just throw in the recycling… One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

Cardboard – Just like those boxes, keep any and all cardboard! This can be used to make the tops of your palm trees and as backing for signs.

Fabric – We used striped fabric, but you could use anything that’s stripped or a solid color to build your awnings or to jazz up any marketplace tent! Find a good deal, and get lots of it!

Packing tape – This is always helpful to wrap boxes, build palm trees, keep fabric in it’s place, and last minute touch-up needs! Christmas time generally has sales for bundles, so keep an eye out, and stock up!

Burlap – You’ll be building grain sacks for VBS, and we have a fun way to do it! So save any burlap you find, and get ready for a fun DIY project!

Greenery – Christmas time often leads to sales of greenery, fake plants and trees. Visit your local craft stores to see what deals they’re running. You’ll want to fill your Marketplace with trees, vines and plants to make Jerusalem come to life.

Bible-times costumes – With Halloween quickly approaching, keep an eye out for any Bible-times costumes you could use to set the scene at Jerusalem… And yes, this includes beards and wigs!


Cardboard and boxes – If you’ve read what’s needed for our other programs, you’ve probably caught on that we’re BIG FANS of cardboard and boxes. They are so easy to find and keep the spending low. For HayDay, these are perfect for making the hay bales you see throughout…And with a name like HayDay, we need lots of hay bales!

Packing tape – You guessed it! You’ll be making lots of boxes for hay bales, and that means you need lots of tape! Take advantage of holiday sales and stock up on packing tape.

White paper – You know those large rolls of white paper? Stock up! You’ll use this to create the fences and fence posts in an easy and cost-effective way.

Kiddy pool – With summer over and Christmas sales gearing up for warmer weather, keep an eye out for kiddy pools! They can be new or used, weathered, and even cracked. You’ll use this to create the top of the silo.

Blankets – We love blankets to keep our crews organized during each station! Don’t be afraid to coordinate or mix and match – whatever you can find on sale or a great price.