Grad Party Planning

Planning the Perfect Grad Party

If you've been following along, you know my oldest is graduating from highschool. This Friday is his official ceremony. I've been busy these past few days, cleaning, trying to de-clutter, and planning for his grad party on Sunday night.

We're hosting a drop-in party in the evening. We'll have finger foods, cupcakes, and other easy-to-fix foods.

Luckily my wonderful mother-in-law will be here to help with the food! She is amazing in the kitchen.

I admit that the majority of my focus has been on the decorations (um, craft and DIY blogger, so no guilt here!).

I've already done the giant chalkboard. I found this great Benjamin Franklin quote on Pinterest and, although it took me awhile to figure out how to draw a circle that big (luckily my 8th grade math skills came in handy...I made a DIY compass with chalk and string...booyah!) I mastered it in one go! Love when that happens!!

Benjamin Franklin Quote Knowledge

My mantle has been turned into an homage to studies with stacks of books, pencils, pillars (they stand for the Pillars of Education), a globe and includes pictures of my son through the years.

knowledge learning books pillars of education

I spray painted some old mats black so they'd all match and, minus the frames, hung them using string and tape onto a large pallet board that's leaning in front of my firescreen. I wrote his age in chalk onto the black mats.

pallet board unify mats with black spray paint write on mats with chalk

The table under the large chalkboard holds the tree made with branches from the backyard that I spray painted white and used at Easter to hold eggs. Only now, it's a tree of knowledge! Guests are invited to share their wisdom with my son by writing their thoughts down onto pieces of paper and then hanging them onto the tree. There's a small album resting nearby that I will fill with the notes of wisdom and give to my son. I hope he will read it often and treasure it as the keepsake that it will be!

notes of wisdom to grads keepsake

I went to Staples and had two Architect's prints made from two of my son's grad pictures. I was going to decoupage them onto artist's canvas, but they are 24x36" and the canvas price was about $30 each for the cheap canvas. I don't know if he'll want to keep these as they're so large so I didn't want to invest a lot of money if they're only going to be used for one evening.

I decided to get a sheet of plywood cut to fit at Home Depot and decoupage the prints onto the wood. I don't have that project completed yet to show you...but it will be done this week!

One print will go front and center on our mantle. Not sure about the other one.

I'm also in the process of making something for the tops of the cupcakes...not sure yet if it will be a win or a fail...I'll let you know on Wednesday!

I feel like I'm running full speed ahead. I still have to dust the whole house, decide where people will sit, if it will be inside or outside, where the food will go. Oh why oh why do I leave things till the last minute??? I know it will all work out...I do seem to work best under pressure, sigh.

Chalkboard Quote Ben Franklin, Tree of Wisdom with words of wisdom from friends & family compiled in photo book, pillars of education mantle

I hope that some of these ideas are useful and provide inspiration for those of you planning Graduation parties in the near future or even in the next couple years! I'd love to hear any creative ideas you've used for your parties too! Please share in the "Comments" section!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

Proud to be Featured at:
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson


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  1. These are all great ideas for your son's party, Cindy! Love the tree of knowledge idea. My son will graduate in 2 years so I'm storing up all of these ideas. Good luck with the party!

    1. JoAnne, so glad you might be able to use some of these ideas! My suggestion is to start a Pinterest Grad board and starting storing all your ideas there! I really hope all the guests leave some awesome notes of wisdom for my son! It will be a wonderful (and useful) keepsake for him! Thanks so much for leaving your sweet comment :)

  2. I love all of these ideas! Thanks for sharing them at Monday Funday Link Party! I pinned this to our group party board and shared on facebook!

  3. Love your chalk boards and Quote! Pinned

    1. Thanks so much Michele! I knew I had to use that quote when I saw it! Love B.F. :)

  4. Love the chalkboard and you've created such a fun mantle. The urn filled with pencils is so fun and I love the idea of having pics of your son through all the years! Congrats to him! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thank you Jann! I love trying to do things a little differently. It was a fun Grad weekend but I have to say I'm glad it's all over (not sure I can do with all those high/lows of emotions for too long!!). Appreciate your lovely comments ;)

  5. Hi Cindy, just hopping back to let you know that I am featuring you at SYC this week.

  6. This place is gorgeous, and they served really high quality food. Everyone raved about the sea bass fish course, and the steak with risotto was awesome.


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