The older I get, the more I realize that my creativity is in the sewer.
When my girls were littler (and I was littler as well), I had grand visions, I came up with the coolest ideas PRE-PINTERST mind you!
For Anna’s first birthday, I centered it around a teddy bear theme, came up with having teddy bear picnic themed sandwiches, made by ME, created adorable little goody bags wrapped in tulle and tied with grosgrain ribbon and included, I’m sure, an adorable little note.
For Ella’s third birthday, I hand drew every Yo Gabba Gabba (her favorite show at the time) party decoration because licensing wouldn’t allow it in the stores at the time.
Don’t even get me started when I see all that Yo Gabba Gabba shit in stores now.
I almost want to kick Brobee in the nuts.
You won’t understand that if you’ve never watched an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.
But as I age, I don’t have it in me as much anymore.
In fact, this past winter I was even unsure I was going to throw a graduation party for Anna. We are going on a girls trip to California in celebration of her graduating and felt like I just didn’t have the time, energy, or wherewithal to throw a party like I used to.
Enter the maven of entertaining, the ORIGINAL Martha Stewart, my dear mommy.
She gently suggested that it would be fun and that we would regret it if we didn’t do anything and that she would even help with most of it.
Hmmm. You do make it sound much more interesting…..
She would text me ideas that she had; send me messages on Pinterest of pins she thought would be adorable; called me with menu suggestions that I never in my wildest dreams thought of such as Buffalo Wild Wings.
The biggest hit of our party, by the way.
If you have kids that love Bdubs (as it is lovingly termed by the teens here) get their trays of wings for your party. All four trays were gone before the party was over.
It was after being infected with my mom’s exuberance, that I finally started getting excited about planning Anna’s graduation party too.
I started making a video collage SET TO MUSIC EVEN of baby pictures through graduation.
Side note- Kizoa is my BFF right now. Even if you’ve never made a video before, this is the website to try. I’ve made three videos for different occasions now and if I can do it, anyone can.
My mom and I started shopping for plates, cups, napkins, decorations and much more together making the planning of this party even more fun. I remember when planning Anna’s 8th-grade graduation party four years ago, my mom lived in Tennessee and Mike was working terribly long hours. I did most of the planning and shopping alone and that’s just sad.
This time around, I had my mom, I had my husband, and I had my teenager who was completely interested because she isn’t a 14-year-old any longer.
It was during this time of euphoria that I had an idea: I wanted to find quotes from books Anna loved as a child, print them. and frame them to use as decorations for the party.
My mom was rubbing off on me, in the best way ever.
Here is what I came up with:
I had seven quotes that I found from searching the internet and scouring through her childhood books. So I knew I needed seven picture frames. Since there was a budget, I knew I didn’t want to blow money on these so Dollar Tree to the rescue. We found seven gold (to go with our colors) picture frames at our local store.
This book quote was sent home with Anna after her first day at kindergarten (Ella too). It’s perfect for kindergarten.
Or going away to college.
So after finding my quotes, I landed on Canva for the best background prints. Pic Monkey had great background prints as well, but they, unfortunately, didn’t have the colors for Anna’s school- black and gold.
We had to take our PDF files to Office Depot because our color printer wasn’t working on the day I was creating it. But for less than five dollars, we were able to print the above out on separate thick pieces of paper.
I had a helper who wanted to be part of the decorating committee. She did a much better job cutting out the pictures from the paper than I ever could have.
After cutting each picture out, we added them to our Dollar Tree frames. Tip- if you go to the Dollar Tree website using my link, you can buy things like picture frames in bulk, saving you lots of money. I liken their website to a less expensive Oriental Trading, so if you have an event coming up, it’s a great place to look.
I loved how these turned out!
Anna loved them too.
This is a great idea not only for graduation parties but birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, even weddings! You could use quotes from friends, song lyrics, favorite jokes, the ideas are endless.
I have to show you my mom’s creation at Anna’s party.
No, it’s not the wings.
They were gone when I thought to take a picture.
See? THE ORIGINAL Martha Stewart.
We got the tins at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, the candy from Dollar Tree.
Old Time Candy Company is another fun place to look especially if you are looking for favorites that are no longer in stores.
Cost rundown for the easiest party centerpiece you will ever make:
Picture frames-$1.00 each (x7) = $7.00
Printing at Office Depot = $4.00
Grand total = $11.00 for seven centerpieces (breaks down to around $1.40 per centerpiece)
And after the party, you have fun decor to use for your home FROM the party! In fact, I wanted to give a couple of these away to family and friends but forgot.
I still may.