Their theme was a Road Trip. They were looking for anything you might see on a road trip (road signs, construction cones, license plates, tires). Thanks to another children’s pastor in the area and several families in the church loaning them some really great items, they were able to accomplish this set design for only $10.
In the pictures, you can see some signs on the floor and wall. They taped them all over the kid’s room to the floor and walls (clear packing tape covering the signs on the floor, gaff tape for the signs on the wall). You can get a 6-pack of clear packing tape from Sam’s Club for under $20. They were road signs with Christian sayings on them, made out of paper similar to card stock. Those signs are the only thing they paid for in the entire set, and they can be purchased from Oriental Trading.
The traffic cones you see in both pictures were loaned to them. They decided to repurpose some small par-can lights they bought and placed them inside the cones to light them.
They got the speed limit sign and other road signs from a friend, but if you don’t happen to know anyone who just has road signs lying around, there are other ways to get your hands on some. Aside from the obvious “check Craigslist” response, look around for construction in your city. Usually on construction cones or on the back of portable road signs, you will see the owner’s initials or company name. It doesn’t hurt to call them up and see if they will let you borrow or rent some. The last time they did a set that required road signs, they contacted a local company (Dallas Lite and Barricade) and they let them borrow several full-size signs for free.
The traffic light on stage left was one they found on Craigslist for $125. They replaced the bulbs that were already in the traffic light with 25W utility light bulbs to make it easier on the kids’ eyes.
They used their environmental projection to put pictures of what it would look like on the side of the road if we were on a real road trip on either side of their “car”. On the left wall they used some caution tape they had on hand to wrap around the edges of the banners. If you don’t have caution tape on hand you can easily buy a huge roll of it on Amazon. On the right wall they simply attached a few license plates that they borrowed from people in the church.
They decided to create a “construction area” in the back right corner of the room. They set up the stanchions around it to discourage the kids from playing inside the area. The road signs were all borrowed, as well as the tires. They created the little “road” using white spike tape and red painters tape, but you could use pretty much anything you have that won’t leave a residue on the floor (painters tape, gaff tape, spike tape). Helpful hint: never use duct tape or gorilla tape on the floor or walls.
Last, but certainly not least, they had their “road” they created down the center aisle. This was probably the most time consuming thing they did for this set. They started by using some black kraft rolled paper that they already had left over from another event. They bought the 48 inch x 200 ft roll at Mardel and it lasted them for many events. They rolled it out and taped around the edges with black gaff tape. They decided to cover the whole road with gaff tape since it would get walked on so much. The only reason for having the paper on the floor was for easier removal. This took a lot of gaff tape. You could do it much cheaper by using clear packing tape, but it was what they had on hand. They used some glow in the dark tape to make the edges pop (but you could use any light colored tape for this). They cut the white strips out of card stock and taped them to the road with clear packing tape.