The biggest project the last few months has been remodeling a Sunday School classroom at our church. The kids spaces haven't been updated in more than a decade, and it is obvious. Recently our new pastor asked my husband and me to take on updating the rooms, one at a time. It's taking longer than any of us want it to, but we are working our way through.
Step 1: We painted.
My husband's cousin used to paint professionally. I told him I wanted orange paint. The last time someone painted in the room they painted lime green and turquoise and they painted right around the bulletin boards, rather than take them down. So he told me to get white base paint. I said okay. I went to a local home improvement store (won't say where) and told them very specifically to give me WHITE BASE PAINT. Didn't happen. The result? It takes 4-5 coats to cover, instead of just two. Yep, so wasn't happy. But the guys were awesome and kept at it. And it turned out far better than I could have hoped.
Step 2: We made the feature wall. You can see that post here. I loved how it turned out. That was all my dear hubby. I told him what I wanted and he made it happen, on a budget!
Step 3: Build a stage.
A friend got some gigantic pallets for dirt cheap off a swap page. She had some extras she sold me. Score! We used two of them to create a sturdy stage for the front of our large group room. My man constructed this and it nestles right into the wall perfectly.
Then we hit Home Depot and found the most awesome employee who gave us two matching pieces of remnant carpet for 40% off! The kids loved seeing the carpet rolling machine in action, almost as much as my man did. We used the carpet to wrap the stage. Again, my man's cousin came and helped us cover that stage like a professional!
Step 4: Coat racks.
The teachers wanted coat racks and I wanted them to match. So we used the same inexpensive fence boards that we'd used for the feature wall to construct coat hooks. Loved how cool they turned out.
Step 5: Replace the bulletin boards and white boards with something more modern.
I detest the look of bulletin boards and white boards. I am probably a little snotty about it. They do serve a distinct function in traditional Sunday School classrooms. But I dislike how how old-school they look. So we decided to come up with something that was easily taken out of the room when it wasn't being used and was dual purposed (one side is the white board and the other side is the bulletin board). We even reused a bulletin board that we were able to cut down to size.
Step 6: Add dimension.
I wanted something to hang from the ceiling to add a little depth in the room, but avoid the look of clutter. We had more than fifty old embroidery hoops in the children's resource room, so I stained them and created these floating orbs by hanging them from fishing line. I love how they turned out.
Step 7: Corrugated metal wainscoting.
This actually happened a little earlier in the process. I can't believe I don't have any pictures of the process. We put put the corrugated metal on the wall to add texture and dimension, but also for a practical purpose. We have a MOPPETS group of 4 and 5 year olds who use the room twice a month and they had these cubbies that were taking up a ton of floor space just for their artwork. We decided to come up with a different solution that could eliminate the cubbies altogether. We now use magnetic clips that stick to the metal. It looks tons cleaner and solves the problem of having a place for their craft projects to dry.
The black frame is 24"x36", a Walmart find. The print is an engineer print I designed using one of the kids remember verses. Super inexpensive to print at Staples. The black shelf that holds classroom supplies (like glue sticks and markers) is from IKEA.
Step 8: Something to break up the big orange wall.
Inspired by the bill board scene in the intro to the show About A Boy, I decided to design some posters to plaster on our wall. I picked six of the upcoming lessons in our program and designed some basic, but colorful posters and then printed a bunch. The posters are 11"x17" so I could print them on the in-house printer.
Step 9: Signage
We needed to identify the room. We call the room The Story Room, because it is where the kids gather together to hear the story each week. So I got some cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby on sale. Then I got a can of the metal spray paint and gave them a good coat. I have become good friends with Command Hooks. We used them everywhere, including putting up these letters. We used the velcro version for these super lite letters.
I love this man, my man. He did 90% of the work and he listened to me change my mind and work out what I wanted as we progressed. He is a good man, and good to me. Wouldn't be doing any of this kind of thing without him for sure!
And here it is, in action, being used. That's the point right? Being used. I sure love these kids. Mine is the one in the pink striped skirt. I adore her extra, of course.
I hope you feel a little inspired to go do some updating in your kids ministry spaces.