Journey Off The Map VBS: Monkeying Around with Decorations


A week ago, I was totally immersed in all of my Journey Off the Map VBS week stuff. I had 36 8 year old kiddos who came into our VBS room from 9:15-12:00pm. My leaders and I had a great time while they learned how God can be their guide.

Now that the week is over, I wanted to take time today and share with you how I decorated the walls outside the classroom. As I was trying to rack my brain on how I wanted to decorate the hall walls, I looked through and scanned as many ideas as I could find and noticed that someone had pinned gorillas as a decorating idea for Journey Off The Map. When I saw it,


There was my idea for the halls in my VBS area…

I would have monkeys swinging off of vines holding signs!

Ok soooo…

knowing that Dan MY Man could look at some pics of monkeys and draw them out for me, I got him to work

FAST….because honestly, I only had like 2 days to get these taped up and we needed to quit MONKEYING AROUND so we could get the job done!

Dan found a picture of a set of monkeys that really reminded me of the monkeys from the game: Barrel of Monkeys. Those were perfect! So he started drawing them out on black poster board and piecing them together. I wanted them to be like silhouettes so that’s why I chose black. Now I like to use poster board because I want that heavier grade, but black butcher paper works just as well.

IMG_7180[1]So…would you like to make a few of these cute monkeys? They really were a hit during our VBS week, so I’d like to give you a free pattern to help you do it. Now let me tell you, I’m not a pro at scanning things, but I think I came up with a way where you can pull up a pdf file of the 3 monkey patterns I used and print them as a poster. Then, cut them out and tape the pieces together and there would be your pattern. I noticed that you can print the poster to an 11×17. That is not as big as my monkeys. These monkeys were 43 inches long and 24 inches wide. Hopefully, you can find a way to project the monkeys on a screen and trace them out however size you want them. You may even be as talented as my husband and free hand them like he did!!

Click HERE to find the PDF freebie!

Now for the little signs….don’t you love them!! They give off that feel of being on a remote island….remember Gillagan’s Island?!? I really think they had signs like this all over their island!!

Here is a close up pic of 1 sign and the supplies I used:

IMG_7165[1]  I took the flaps off of a cardboard box and then cut out triangles on the 2 longest ends of the flap. Next, I got a helper to pencil the words I needed on the cardboard. After we were happy with the placement of the words…BTW….I thought all caps for the letters looked best…..I took a sponge paintbrush and using the end of the paintbrush, I dipped it in black acrylic paint and traced over all of the letters.


Easy peasy!! I needed 8 signs and I think the whole process took less than an hour!

Now to create the palm trees and the vines:

Dan made a pattern of a palm tree trunk and 1 palm leaf. My teen helpers traced the trunks on brown butcher paper and traced 4 palm leaves per tree. Then, using MAVALOUS Tape (click the word to find it on Amazon), we taped it on the wall.











The vines are very easy. Just take strips of butcher paper and twist them to look like vines.


These 3 little monkeys made all of the vines for me!!


Then you just use your imagination and tape the vines between palm trees to have an area to hang your monkeys. My terrific VBS friend, Heidi used her creative juices to create these scenes in the halls. She was a super help to me, because not only was I getting ready for VBS, I was also directing a wedding!! It’s always a good idea to have some VBS buddies near when you are trying to multitask!!

IMG_7179[1]One last pic to end this post:

IMG_7185[1]This monkey was placed beside the door where the kiddos would enter into the room each day. The door was made to look like a door you might see on a tree house.

Hope this post will spark some ideas in your head, like the one I saw did!! God bless!!

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  • Reply
    August 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    There is a really great program I can use, that will allow me to use a photograph and enlarge it, then cut it into smaller pieces, to print them, then be taped or glued back together into the larger picture. I can’t do it with a pdf file or printed to paper. Is there ANY chance you still have the original scans that could be sent to me in JPEG files or photos?? I absolutely LOVE your monkeys and vines!! I would like to use them for our upcoming Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet!! They would work so well on the carpeted walls of the small gym we’ll be using for our program! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing how to not only make the monkeys, but also how to make the vines!

    • Reply
      August 24, 2017 at 2:04 am

      Yes I can send them to you now!! Thanks so much!! Send me pics of your end product!! I would love to see it!! Linda G. 🙂

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