Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grad Party - Chalk It Up to Being Awesome

I posted a teaser for the graduation party hosted last Saturday, June 13th, in last week's Wordless Wednesday post.


Those yard stakes set the tone for an awesome event!


I made a simple wreath using graduation caps, yarn and a mini chalkboard.  I love the simple and chic design.



The guest of honor has a great sense of style and, according to her stylish mama, cheesy decor was not an option.  When I saw the party invite, I decided to move forward with a chalkboard-themed event.  Our grad is headed to school on a basketball scholarship, she maintained great grades, and she is as breathtaking as a super model!




Chalk it up to being awesome, I guess.  Wait.  Did I just say -- that was it.  THAT was my theme.  That is what I decided to repeat in my head as I pulled together simple and chic decor.  Why simple?  Well, the event was hosted at their home and the "venue" is gorgeous.


Warm and welcoming.


Eclectic and stylish.


I didn't need to cover walls or create centerpieces.  No need to set a background with tablecloths and draping... Did you see the house?  Why would I distract from the fabulous decor of this home?  How would graduation decor hold a candle to the textures and textiles?  I decided to make my decor count.  I needed to create pieces that could stand on their own.  Paper crafts?  Poms hanging from the ceiling?  Nahhhh, not in this place.

I came up with an idea to create a chalkboard globe!  I've seen painted globes all over Pinterest and they're priced at more than $150!!!  That was WAY out of my party budget so I decided to D-I-MYself a chalkboard globe for much less.  I'll share the tutorial and I know you're going to love the results!  Shoot, I knew when I finished that this was a game-changer.  I snapped this photo in the dining room shortly thereafter.


Again, I'll share the tutorial in the near future.  For now, back to the party!  As soon as you enter their home, there was a sideboard under a feature art wall and that was to be my focal point for her memorabilia.


*gasp*  That painting of my grad's mother is amazing.  I want one on every wall in our home.  I just love how effortless her photo galleries are... almost as if her pieces were painted just for the spaces where they hang.  FOCUS, Tabitha.  You have work to do.

That painting is huge and required decor that made a statement - cute little paper 2015 cutouts wouldn't even be seen!

Our grad's mom pulled together memory books and photos.  She also brought two of the grad's favorite childhood books.  Much like the test photo, I decided to stack books under the globe for added height.


I used kraft paper to wrap books I brought from home and they allowed her childhood faves, the non-wrapped books, to stand out.


Just in case guests didn't know, I used small food labels to make chalk board signs to say they were...


... "her favorite childhood books!"

I also pulled the theme together with a custom frame for the feature table.  It incorporated both basketball and a quote that was appropriate for our grad.


I designed it to look like it was on a chalkboard and used the kraft paper to make up the size difference.  This frame was VERY large and served as a buffer between the artwork above and the memorabilia below.


Beside the feature table, I stacked a set of nesting tables to create the height our grad's mom wanted.  Each level had memorabilia:


I used extra photos and supplies to make a last-minute frame and food picks were placed beside each photo for mom to write her age in each photo:


With the final memory table set-up, I left to pick-up the balloons.


Yep, chalk board paper and kraft paper unified the space's decor.


I picked up 30 balloons in the college's colors (burgundy, gold, and white) and, for the statement we needed, I also purchased large gold number balloons!  I've loved the look of the letter and number balloons but forgot how quickly their expenses add up.  At nearly $10 per balloon, they were a party splurge but made the perfect statement for our classy event!


I arrived on graduation day just before the family departed for the grad ceremony.  When they returned I had transformed the space and was on my way to prepare for my other event of the day, a WEDDING!  It was an honor to relieve the graduate's family of the stress decorating for a party can bring.  Imagine how pleasantly surprised they were to arrive home and find the place ready for an awesome family party... too bad I couldn't get a plate, the menu looked amazing!


Have a yummy day and stay tuned for more!

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