Decorating Crafts at the Great Barrier Reef

This year, VBS crafts will take place in the colorful Great Barrier Reef. You may remember that the Great Barrier Reef was also a location during LifeWay’s Boomerang Express VBS. Check your storage closets to see if there is something stashed away that can be repurposed.

These tips will give you some ideas for creating your own fun environment for craft time.

Tip #1: Use lots of color. From the fish to the coral, the Great Barrier Reef is full of color. Be generous in your application of color as you decorate your craft area.

Tip #2: Make three-dimensional coral out of Styrofoam®. Cut out a basic shape and save your scraps. Then, glue the scraps onto the base shape to create a fun, free-form coral that you can paint any color you like.

Tip #3: Raid your local craft store. Watch the sale flyers. You can find several things at your local craft store to add to your reef environment—reeds, tulle, and clear plastic ornaments—to name a few. Paint the reeds bright colors and stick them into the Styrofoam®. You can also add a little life to your craft room by printing out a few colorful fish from the Decorating Made Easy Clip Art CD-ROM, and attaching them to dowel rods so the fish can “swim” among the coral and reeds. Use tulle to give your room even more of an underwater feel. It’s inexpensive and easy to hang.

Tip #4: Collect clear plastic ornaments. These make awesome bubbles. Simply hang them with fishing line. With Christmas right around the corner, be looking for opportunities to stock up.

Tip #5: Create a treasure trunk. Find an old trunk or suitcase and adhere an Amazing Wonders Aviation logo to the front. You may want to keep the trunk closed, or you can fill it with craft supplies or treats for your kids.

I hope these decorating tips will get you swimming with ideas. Your kids are really going to love creating crafts under the sea while they learn all about our amazing God!

Be sure to check out the Decorating Tips with Melita video for further details about how we created Crafts at the Great Barrier Reef.

Coordinates for the Great Barrier Reef— 18˚ 34’4″S 148˚ 33’19″E


  1. Sue says

    Great, thank you! I don't live near a Hobby Lobby, unfortunately. I love to find my VBS craft supplies in that store, and will definately look for them next time I am in a city with Hobby Lobby in it. =0)

  2. Melissa says

    you can use clear balloons also. I plan on using balloons because I don't live near Hobby Lobby either. I also plan on making some coral reef with chicken wire and newspaper. My best friend has an old chest (that was her dad's) and it's perfect for the treasure chest, already old cracked wood, hinge missing...very nice for the effect! I can't wait to decorate this room!!

  3. Dawn says

    Melissa, how exactly are you going to make the coral reef? You're idea sounds great... and the least expensive so far. :) Just wondering if you had done this before. I'd love to do it in my craft station! :)

  4. Michele says

    Dawn, brown boxes cut out into shapes of corral reef and grasses then painted with acrylic paint worked very well for us this year. I just used the side of the box without any wording. Also, we used three different color balloons and hung them in clusters of 3 around the room. We used silver, light blue, and navy because we had it on hand. We also hung two different color blue plastic table cloths around the room. We used about 20 of them and that was basically the only cost we put into the room decorations. It really made a huge difference. We also found some crepe paper lying around and strung it from the ceiling as the kids walked into the the room. They seemed to really enjoy it. Then we just hung fish from the ceiling. You can either make the fish or find someone who might have some bulletin board fish lying around (that's what we did).

  5. Melissa says

    I am starting to work on my craft room! it's pretty easy. I have a huge room to decorate and I may even have to separate it so the little ones (3yrs-6yrs) don't get easily distracted. I think if I have to separate it I may just build a HUGE coral reef in the middle and hang blue table clothes to make it look like the middle of the ocean. for my coral I am making paper mache out of old newspapers and paper towle rolls. I am using old glue from last year's VBS and will paint the coral bright colors. I am so ready!! our VBS is schedule for the last week in June.

  6. Rhonda Krall says


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