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
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. Keep it simple and keep it cheap.
2. Someone's sewing stuff
If you know someone who sews they might have extra fabrics or trims left over from projects.
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.)
4. Dollar Stores
Dollar stores are great if you have one near you. They have lots of decorating stuff and usually it's a dollar, or very near it.
5. The Internet
There is lots of cool stuff on the internet. Remember the free fonts I talked about? There are also free images. But be sure you are using ones that are free.
Do a search 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 need 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. A digital camera will allow you toenlarge it and print it out yourself, but you can do that with a regular film camera, too.
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).
That's it! We're done! We hope this helped you and we wish you the best on your exhibit.
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Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum