This retro dinner is great fun and should be no problem to create in most churches’ snack area. Remember the snack leaders can dress the part and add the fun to this rotation time. A fun idea for the servers is to dress in a 50s style clothing. The ladies with matching aprons bright pink lipstick and pink scarves and the men with white aprons and fry cook hats. Create server nametags for each worker to wear in this location. Serving trays or silver pizza pans can be fun to carry and some servers might be brave a wear roller skates. The diner is taped to the wall and the tables are located outside.
Diner- Decide the length of the diner by the amount of space available on the focal wall. On the floor, roll out the larger width of silver water tank wrap to the desired length and cut with scissors. Now add another length of the same material side by side. Finally, add and third strip of the same material in the narrow width to be the roof of the diner but approximately one foot shorter on each side. With the strips laying side by side attach a long row of duct tape down the seam to join the strips together. Repeat for the attaching the roof. Cut rounded corners on the roof and the top corners of the building to make that old mobile diner look. Flip the diner over and add neon color pink duct tape across both seams. The stripes of tape can me doubled if you prefer a wider stripe. Complement the stripe with aqua colored stripes of duct tape above and below the pink stripe. The diner door can be made from aqua poster board or other paper from the hobby store. Place the poster board in the center of the diner standing tall from the bottom floor and then the second piece stacked on top. Attach the door to the diner and using black duct tape around the edges and across the seam in the middle. To make the door handle, add some silver or gray tape layered across the seam allowing a small strip of black tape to show underneath. To create diner and door windows, use a long piece of black bulletin board paper the width of the space between the door and the end of the building. If possible laminate, the paper to be a shinny surface like glass. Divide the laminated paper in half to be the long thin window on both sides of the door. Cut the ends of the windows to be rounded and not square. *Note- Using a round trash can or hula hoop to trace on the paper will help you windows be more uniform. Paint a neon pink “OPEN” sign in one window before laminating. Add a round circle window to the door as well.
Signage– Diner and neon lights are a must. Purchase enough clear tubing from the home improvement store to outline the roof and across the front of the diner above the door. Tie a string on each end and secure with tape then stretch the tubing outside between a couple of trees or posts. It will need to be suspended in the air to be painted. Spray paint the tubing a primer or paint made to adhere to plastic then later paint with neon pink spray paint by painting across one side then the other side, then the top and finally the bottom. You will want to pay close attention to insure complete coverage. Let it dry completely and spray any spots that are missed. The neon light can be attached to the diner with velcro dots. Write with a permanent marker “right” and “left” on the back of the tube if you plan to disassemble and reuse the diner set. This way the velcro dots will match when you reuse the scene. Locate the diner sign on the CDROM and print or use the sign in the poster set. Attach the sign to a foam board and cut around the edge if desired. To make the cotton candy three dimensional, tape an aqua colored triangle of construction paper along one side to the sign over the cone and allow it to bow out then tape the other side. Place a pink feather boa inside a square of pink toile fabric and gather in the back allowing it to be a puffy ball. Attach the back of the ball to the sign as the cotton candy on the cone. Secure the sign to the roof of the diner.
Outside Diner Decorations– Set up card tables for the kids to sit at during their snack or just set up a couple of prop tables in front of the diner as decorations. Cover the tables with bright pink table cloths with vase and flowers. Use two chairs at each table and slip a bright pink pillow case over the back of each chair. If you desire, use the diner artwork and print it on transfer paper (iron on) found at most office supply stores. Each chair cover can have the diner logo on it. Using green paper, blanket, flat bed sheet or outdoor carpet as a grassy area for the tables is a nice addition. Consider including a gray sheet or paper as the sidewalk leading to the door with toilet plungers for the fence. Buy several new toilet plungers and spray paint them aqua blue. Drill a hole in the top of each plunger handle about an inch from the top. Thread white clothesline rope through each hole and tie knots on the both ends. This way the plungers can be adjusted along the rope and placed in the scene more easily. The rope fence outline the yard or down the sidewalks or where you choose. This plunger rope fence is a great thing to have for future use since it can be repainted and disassembled to store easily.
Menu specials or open signs can be created on “A” frame signs standing on the sidewalk in front of the diner. Take two foam boards and hinge across the top with tape. Consider using neon pink tape across the top and around the entire frame on both boards. More stripes of tape and the diner clipart can be added too. An alternate idea is to use black foam board and write with chalk.
Sno-Cone Kiosk– Another item of interest to add to this scene could be a sno-cone kiosk. Many kiosks are found in an amusement park and we can barrow this idea from past VBS years and reuse items already available to you. Wrap a cart or small table with the silver water tank wrap used on the diner. Lean a couple of wagon wheels against the table and add a large umbrella (colors of diner if possible).
To make a sno-cone machine, choose a medium size box slightly smaller than a copy paper box. Carefully cut windows on all four sides. Spray paint the box silver inside and outside. It might take a few coats to cover any printing on the box. After the paint is completely dry, add window glass made from scrap pieces of laminating film or acetate from the hobby store. Add pillow batting to the box as snow but do not fill over half way. Place this on the cart and add the motor to the top of the box. It is possible to look around for items that could play the part but if you need to make a motor, cover an oatmeal can with foil and tape that to an upside down foil pan add a couple of soup cans.
Be sure to have cone cups visible. Create the cups by taking bright pink paper and curling it around into a cone and taping in place. Use scissors to cut the paper straight across the top of the cone. Since this is Cotton Candy Diner, consider making this kiosk a place to get cotton candy or locate in another place on a special day to get cotton candy as children leave the VBS.