There are lots of places to find things you can use in your exhibit. Some of them might be right under your nose!
1. Craft Stores and art supply stores
You may want to walk around in your local craft store or art store just looking for ideas and cheap supplies. You can buy fabrics, trim (like lace or ribbon), silk flowers, matboard and interesting papers in craft/fabric stores. You can find interesting paints and papers and markers in art stores. Take a friend or a parent along and keeping your theme in mind, see what jumps out at you. Don't buy the whole store! Keep it simple and keep it cheap.
2. Someone's sewing stuff
If your mom or grandma or aunt or cousin sews (or dad or grandpa or uncle), they might have extra fabrics or trims left over from other projects. Ask them very nicely if you may please use it. This is cheaper than a craft store.
3. Christmas supplies
Maybe someone you know has extra Christmas decorations. With all of the "theme" trees people are doing nowadays, some tree trimmings are really rather un-Christmassy (The red, white and blue border on the left side of this webpage is actually some Christmas tree garland that I put on the scanner and made a JPEG of.) Warn them that they might not get it back if you glue it down, though!
4. Dollar Stores
Dollar stores are great if you have one near you. They have lots of varieties of decorating stuff and usually it's a dollar, or very near it. Browse around and see what they've got. Cheap is good.
5. The Internet
There is lots of cool stuff out there on the internet. Remember the free fonts I talked about? There are free images out there, too. But be sure you are using ones that are free. Be good and only download those things that people say you may. We might be cheap, but we don't steal.
Do a google or yahoo search (or dogpile or whatever your favorite search engine is) for "free images" or "free fonts". If you know what you want an image of, include that too, like "free airplane image" or "free airplane photo".
6. A camera
If you are looking of a photo of a common, everyday thing, like a road (for a transportation exhibit) or a tree (for a nature exhibit), take your camera and shoot your own (The rules say it MUST be your own work). A digital camera will allow you to probably enlarge it to an 8 x 10 size and print it out yourself, but you can do that with a regular film camera, too. It just might take a bit longer to have the enlargements made.
7. Your own artwork.
If you have any talent as far as artwork goes, draw your own illustrations. NHD rules say that any artwork or photos created specifically for your exhibit must be made by you (artwork that already exists made by someone else may be used, but check with the NHD people to be sure). Creating my own artwork would only work for me if I were designing an exhibit about a preschool--I think I can draw better than a 3 year old can, but barely.
That's it! We're done! We hope this helped you and we wish you the best on your exhibit.
Have Fun and Good Luck!
You can jump to another section by choosing one of these pages:
1. How to Relate the Topic to the Design of the Exhibit, in which we discuss the overall feel of your exhibit and how to match up the visual stuff with your topic.
2. Interesting Exhibit Design, in which we discuss all sorts of fun stuff like choosing an appropriate color, where to put stuff on your panels, photo sizes, and other things that make your exhibit go from ho-hum to KAZOWIE! There's so much info here that it takes up 2 huge pages of info.
3. Fonts and Type Faces, in which we discuss all the cool fonts in the world and how they go hand and hand with a good visual presentation and where to find them.
4. How Do I Do That? (a virtual hands-on demonstration), in which we show you with photos how to attach a photo to fomecore, how to cut fomecore with a knife and how to other stuff.
5. Sources, in which we show you that there are lots of places to find ideas and stuff to use in your exhibit. Some of it for free!
Back to our exhibit help main page