The Garage Shop Ministry

Specializing in VBS & Woodworking for People of Faith!

The Woodworking of Vacation Bible School

There is nothing very remarkable about VBS woodworking, except that each project has to be replicated over 100 times! This is the trick. How to make a craft project on a budget that will not require a years worth of time in the shop!

To be sure, some of the projects below took way more time than I was expecting, like the marshmallow shooting crossbows for our Frozen VBS, and the kids really loved them so it was well worth the effort.

VBS woodworking is some of the most gratifying woodworking I do.

To earn more about Vacation Bible School, I invite you to visit one of my other sites: vbs online.

Welcome to Hogwarts — 2004

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1280 chessmen…but wait, there's more! The chess pieces start out as old fashion clothes pins. On this smaller set we created the bases by slicing up 1" dowels, beveling the top and drilling them out. It was a painful learning.
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Each camper received a hand turned wand.
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Star Wars — 2005

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This is a two-part craft. The flying arks! The picture to the right has the wing slid on.
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Yoda Walking stick made from 8/4 Ash. Can you say baseball bat!
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Milling the Yada Walking stick blanks to shape.
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Doing multiples is the task of VBS woodworking!
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Sky High — 2006

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Sky High is a Disney movie about heros. Not many of kids ever heard of it. And yet, I created my favorite VBS craft of all time that year, these spinning tops. Pull the string and away it goes!
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Simple boxes with sides pre-fabed in the shop from ½" Baltic Birch and ¼" hardboard. Campers then glued popsicle sticks to close the front and back. Two pieces of ribbon are glued on to form a hinge.
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Narnia — 2007

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Each child decorated their personal sword and shield and prepared to battle the ice queen (which never happened, BTW, much to the great disappointment of the boys!)
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Hook — 2008

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Simple sling made with elastic, lowered the FPS dramatically. Oh, and we also created marble bags for this VBS, complete with a set a marbles for each camper. The boys figured out they had ammo rather quickly! :)
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Kids loved this one. The back has a a rubber band and wood bead, pull it back and is shoots ping-pong balls!
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Nemo — 2010

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When we did a Nemo VBS we wanted the sense of swimming, but that is hard to do with out water. These flying Whirly Gigs was as close as I can get it. The handles were easy, and the wings took a few minute at the bandsaw and drum sander. I thnk I did about 100 of these.
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Toys — 2011

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It was hard to make a Buzz Lightyear ray gun so we settled for a rubber band shooter. Kids loved em!
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Each child received a set of blocks so they could spell their name and plus two more decorated books ends. The blocks are 1 ¾" square. I must have cut up 600 or 700 of these!
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Hogwarts II — 2012

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How about 3264 chessmen! Same clothes pins as before, just LOTS more.
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This 12'x8' tall frame was turned in to the Hogwarts Express!
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Muppets — 2013

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This was our first multiple day craft project. Front first, then sides, then curtain and putting to together.
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Monsters — 2014

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We called them Monster Walkers. They are a kind of mini stilts and the kids loved them!
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For more about the making of the Monster Walkers, please go to my companion website

Frozen — 2015

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Our marshmallow shooting crossbows were the HIT of the Frozen VBS and they were also the most the consuming craft I have ever created. A step by step of the process can be found on the companion site below.
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Marble mazes allow campers to create their own maze path with rubber bands. The amazing thing for me in this craft was most campers had never hammered a nail before! They loved it.
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Simple wooden sword
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Wood base was made for the “ice candles” so campers had something to decorate during craft time. Candle is made from a milk carton filled with ice cubes and melted wax poured in—Ice Candles!
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For more about the making of the Crossbows, please go to my companion website

The Kids Academy

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TKA is a follow on to the summer VBS program, but meets on Wednesday afternoons during the school year. One of their woodwoking projects was this recipe box.
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Parts ready to be assembled by TKA students!
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A box full of Triptychs for one of the Lent 2013 The Kids Academy. Now to create forty something more for the women's retreat this winter! :)
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