Here it is! My first post!! I have been thinking about and praying about this for OVER A YEAR as I planned for our first guy to leave the nest. It was such a joy to plan his graduation reception that it kept me from focusing too much on the fact that he would soon be living under another roof. Don’t get me wrong…I have had my moments, but he is already almost done with his first year of college and will be home for the summer! Momma can’t wait! I decided it was about time I shared this party with y’all. Maybe you 2018 graduate mommas can pull some last-minute inspiration from it.
I just have to say that our family is NUTS about baseball. It goes way back. We put a bat in our kiddos’ hands before they were two…including our softball-playing daughter. Hours and hours have been spent in the yard playing ball at about every family gathering possible, and our gloves go everywhere. It has become part of our DNA. When our oldest decided to continue with baseball in college, it only made sense to incorporate the theme into his grad party.
I started a graduation Pinterest board about a year before graduation, then starting in about January, I would stash my supplies away as I found them. I also gathered great ideas from friends. The magic comes when you pull everything together, put in your personal touches and make it your own. We decided to have the reception at home. That was honestly less stressful for me because I did NOT want to haul things, and I could set up on my own time frame. I started with a color scheme of black, white, silver and gold….masculine and classy. I like to use a theme for an event in splashes throughout the space. Check out these photos from what was a wonderful evening!
I created these pillows for our front porch swing using my Cricut with iron-on vinyl. Here’s the fun part…our address is 2107, so I have used these since graduation by just switching the numbers around!! (Those are the kinds of things I think about at 3 A.M. when my thoughts start racing!) I ordered the cute little customized door hanger from Etsy. I LOVE Etsy. I kept it neutral so that I can use it for the next two kiddos. Always be thinking about what you can use again to keep things budget friendly!
This was definitely one of the most sentimental displays that day. The caps clipped to a string of jute are from each of the teams our son has played on since he was a little guy. Some of them were FILTHY, but that just added to the charm in my opinion. The jar full of peanuts was inspired by this fantastic post from B. Lovely Events. We used several on the tables. They each included my favorite baseball photos of our son over the years. I printed all of the photos in black and white to keep with the theme. I mounted two different photos on each side of a piece of black cardstock and glued a wooden skewer in between the layers to stand them up in the peanuts.
We parked our graduate at this table near our entry to greet guests. We had a basket for cards and a guest book that I created in Shutterfly with his senior photos. He was adorable and chatty with all of his guests. It was one of my proudest moments as a parent to date just watching my normally quiet guy shine.
This focal wall was my absolute FAVORITE display for the reception. I think when you use too many small photos that no one really sees any. I chose favorites from when he was a baby, a young child and his senior photos. I tried to tell a story on the wall. The three photos toward the bottom left are all taken at the lake at different ages. The two on the top right are both posed with his arms over the back of a chair and the two at the top were from both in baseball tees….one when he was missing his two front teeth. (one of the cutest stages ever!) Some are just normal photo prints from Walmart. The large poster-sized prints are from Staples and are printed on blueprint paper….and they are VERY INEXPENSIVE. My inspiration for those came from this post at Tidy Mom. We hung the posters with jumbo push pins (also from Staples) that I spray painted silver. They looked SO COOL!! I also added a couple of framed bible verse prints that spoke to him which were custom made to look like chalkboard art and some metal monogram letters for dimension. You can order the chalkboard prints here: http://postergen.com/chalkboard-generator
This fun garland was also an Etsy purchase. These are all first-day-of-school photos from each year starting with his first year of preschool. Again…I printed them in black and white. I was pretty proud of myself for actually having all of them! The numbers on the mantle are those great cardboard paintables from Hobby Lobby. I ordered the jumbo balloons from our local party store. I made the tissue paper tassels to tie around the base using this tutorial from Pizzazzerie.
This cake from a local baker was A-MAZ-ING! I actually still crave it to this day. I sent her this inspiration pic from curly girl kitchen, and she went to town! I ordered the small round cake to stack up on two cake plates to give the table some height. Just like our focal wall, I think it is important to add dimension in your displays. The cake topper was another Etsy purchase. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Etsy????
We went with a buffet style spread with heavy appetizers as this was an evening reception. I found the great napkins and the galvanized serving pieces at Walmart. They were part of their Better Homes and Gardens selection, and the prices were great!
We decided to rent a tent for the evening for overflow seating. Then we crossed our fingers and prayed really hard for good weather. It was PERFECT, and we felt so blessed.
This is our crew. I love them all so much it is crazy. I hope you have enjoyed this peek into our graduation reception. Please comment below with your favorite parts or any ideas you have. It’s impossible to believe, but I will start planning the next one in less than two years!!!
The blog looks great, Karen! Looking forward to your future posts.
Thank you, Casey! I am excited for this new little venture. 🙂
You’re so crafty! One question. What did you do with the pin holes on the wall after the pictures came down? Patch & repaint?
Hi! Thank you, and yes. My wall was in need of a good touch up anyway, so I just spackled all of the little holes and gave it a fresh paint job after graduation. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Great job Karen! Loved reading your blog and will definitely be revisiting it in a couple of years when planning Jaxon’s party! Keep the blogs coming!
Thank you so much! I LOVED Logann’s party. I will be revisiting THAT when Julia graduates. 🙂
Love these ideas Karen! Just starting to organize photos for next year.
Thank you! I am proud of you for getting started now. 🙂
Great blog! Love the tip about blueprint paper! Did you use them online or go there?
Thanks!! I ordered online. Super simple and came quickly. 🙂