Most of the graduation festivities are over (not all!) and I’ve had a little time to decompress. I thought this would be a good time to share some of the creative things we did. I really made a concerted effort to rein in all the ideas I had gathered through the years and spied on Pinterest. There are so many ideas out there – really great ideas! Things I would love to do. But a) I work full-time and have a limited amount of time to create, b) I have boys who aren’t into frills, and c) its high school graduation, not a wedding or coronation of the queen! I’m really happy with the way things went. I think it was successful for several reasons.
- I started early. Of course, I was working off of a spreadsheet shared by a friend. I started looking at this last August thinking about what elements we wanted to include. What was important to me and to Oldest Son. Based on this list, I began tackling pieces right away. I ordered a book of his senior pictures last fall when I had a coupon. I order poster prints months before graduation. Those pieces really helped lessen the stress as graduation got closer.
- I picked the most impactful ideas. Like I said, there are so many excellent ideas out there that you really have to pick and choose. If I had a girl, it might have been a different story, but having boys it was easy to eliminate some ideas right away. I tried to focus in on things that would be simple and have a big impact. And of course, things that could be tweaked and used again in a couple of years:).
- I let go of needing to have everything and have it be perfect. It became very easy to remember that this was really about Oldest Son and acknowledging this milestone in his life. It wasn’t about me or my home. Keeping that in mind helped a lot. What would help mark this milestone for him?
- I asked for help. I asked friends to make food, asked my niece to do the slide show, Mom to help with bunting, etc. I know how much I enjoy helping others with an event like this and I chose to give my friends that opportunity too. (I hope they saw it that way anyway:)!) It lightened my load and let others feel a part of the day.
They seem like simple enough ideas, but for a somewhat controlling, perfectionist who has been known to take on way more than she can accomplish it was a challenge.
Now for some eye candy, here are a few of the ideas we implemented.
Orange snacks – the school colors are orange and black and this is what Oldest Son chose for his reception as well. So we filled containers with orange snacks – circus peanuts, candy corn, cheese popcorn, cheese crackers, etc. It was fun, colorful and easy to do. (Pardon the picture, it doesn’t do justice and makes me realize I really should have ironed that tablecloth, but it’s what I have:).)
Bunting – I’ve seen this all over blogland and love it! To keep it from getting too girly, I went with lots of black. I even found fabric with music on it -which is totally him. It’s super simple to make and I got a lot of satisfaction from tearing the fabric:). And bonus – maybe I can use it to decorate for Halloween too!
Wreath – for the front door. I wanted something to welcome people and have seen fabric wrapped wreathes. I took this idea and translated it to graduation. The letters are wooden letters I painted to give it some punch. The fabrics are left from the bunting. Super easy and a great touch of color.
Collage posters – I created these collages in Picasa then ordered poster prints from Shutterfly. They were super simple to do and made a great impact. Plus, I didn’t have the pressure to finish his scrapbook! (See, I really am letting go!)
Photo guest book – I did this through Shutterfly as well – with a coupon. I pulled together some of our favorite pictures from different aspects of his life – band, scouts, family, youth group, etc. Then we put out colorful sharpies and let people sign the book. An easy, fun way to mark who attended.
Mantle – I was excited to decorate my new mantel for the occasion too! I chose to include some things I plan on keeping up there as well as some things just for graduation. I like the way it turned out.
So there you have it. The highlights of our graduation decorating. It was fun, simple and easy to manage. Just what I needed!