Our VBS is always an elaborate event with vibrant massive decorations, creative crafts, and with lots of colorful characters telling the Bible stories! Each year the director comes up with interesting, and sometimes unlikely characters (not necessarily from the human or animal categories) to tell parts of the story each day. I have been various characters over the past several years, some of which have involved the wearing of heavy, hot costumes that were just a mite too tight for my not so one-size-fits-all frame! Hearing a child gasp,”Wow, that’s a big lamb!” does not build one’s self esteem. I became wary about what character I would be asked to portray, and would preface my reply to, “Will you be a character this year?”, with “There aren’t any lambs in the story, are there?”! Come to think of it, the crocodile costume wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience either with its heavy stuffed headpiece repeatedly dropping down over my eyes. Talk about having trouble concentrating on my memorized story!
One year I was asked to be a bunch of grapes to tell part of the story that I would have overheard while “hanging around” in Naboth’s vineyard! I thought a costume for this would require some imagination, and shuddered at the image of myself dressed as a balloon dancer. Since I seem to do my best creative thinking while I am supposed to be asleep, one restless night I came up with the idea that I turned into a fun and easy costume.
I found a somewhat faded purple bed sheet (and no, it didn’t have to be a king-size sheet!) at a thrift store to make the underdress for the costume. I traced the armholes and neckline of a tank top onto the sheet and then just cut down from there to make an A-line tube dress shape which could be pulled over the head. I put a casing at the bottom and inserted some elastic to make the dress have a more bulbous shape (not that I didn’t already achieve this with my own shape). The night before I was to wear this, I blew up a bunch of purple balloons and attached them with safety pins poked through the little rolled edge of the balloons.
I fashioned a headpiece out of brown paper, twisting it to form a stem, and added some leaves from my craft box that had fallen off of artificial plants over the years. A pair of dark brown tights completed the outfit. I entered the room singing, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and nibbling on some raisins ( I have no shame at all). Everyone loved the outfit and it was one of the most comfortable costumes I have ever worn! I was a bit nervous that some of the little imps sitting around me on the floor might want to take a poke at my balloons while I was telling my story, and scare the juice out of me!