Friday, June 29, 2012

Graduation Party Details-Part 1

Details, Details...there are a lot of 'em (and it's all in the details if you ask me).
In case you don't know what I'm talking about,  you can start here.
I ordered the checked pennant banner from Oriental Trading Company. I was thinking of making one out of fabric or paper originally but thought my time could be better used in other projects.  These banners were way bigger than I imagined but they worked out well to define and decorate the party space.

I had some lanterns left over from this party but I needed some red ones and I ordered a few more white ones in varying sizes from   The bike basket was a thrift store find!  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it as soon as I saw it.  I already had the red bike.
We had some extra lanterns after decorating the tent so we strung them together to adorn the "very fancy" bar area.
Notice the swing is still not hung up. boo!
The oversized balloons came from  They did arrive quickly and I was able to get them inflated at Party City.  I just had to drop them off and pre-pay.  They held up very well and still looked good the next day.  Party City accidentally popped one of them and gave me 4 regular sized balloons in their place. I thought that was nice because they had said they wouldn't be held responsible since they were not their product.
 (BTW two of the regular balloons popped before the party even started from the hot sun, they were tied to the bike below).
This was the entry table as people arrived.   Everything was either thrifted, borrowed or something we already owned.
 I used to design and print out all of the signs, food tent cards (that didn't quite make it to the table you know who you are Mr. Chairman!), and labels for the parties.

I used clip art printed on card stock to make the "C" centerpiece and mini flags for the flower arrangements.   The text looked collegiate to me.  The tables were decorated with flowers in thrifted/collected jars, mostly mason, but some were pickle jars, etc..we made a few extra that day because we had so many flowers.  They were wrapped in burlap and tied with red and aqua ribbon.  There were also bubbles on the tables and little red buckets from the Target dollar bin filled with graduation buttermints (from OTC).  I put tea lights out there but we didn't even need to light them. The buckets have a punched out star design on them and look great with a tea light popped in there. I will be using them outside this summer.
 This banner was made from school portraits converted to black and white and mounted on card stock. It's hanging on my mantel now.  We also used the gingham banner around the tent.  It was easy to hang from the interior clips.
Most of the party was during daylight hours but for the few who stayed on into the evening we had lighting.  I ordered the string lights from  They also defined the party area and kept people from wandering falling down the hill.  
We picked up some inexpensive tiki torches for bug control as well as ambience.  The fire pits also gave us some light(and heat).  I had blankets for people and the hubs lent out a bunch of his sweatshirts. It did get chilly that night.
You're probably sick of reading about my thrifted aqua colander. So I won't mention it.   The serving dishes were from Crate & Barrel, our own stash and some thrifted items-rhymes with olander.   My daughter put together the caprese skewers for me. I had pinned the idea here.  I used the marinated mozzarella from Costco, grape tomatoes and basil.  They were messy to make and I think they must have been good because I didn't even get one!  She also made Pioneer Woman's pico de gallo and guacamole (both from her first cookbook).   You can't go wrong with a PW recipe!  I ordered the picnic-food trays from  I still have a lot left so I'm going to be using those things for years...
We served sandwiches and wraps that I purchased.  I did make two salads though. Sorry about this photo, it's the only one with the salads {sort of} in it. The big silver bowl is full of Spicy Thai Noodles and the clear bowl had Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad that I had pinned from here.
We set out this sweet table for dessert.   The cupcakes were made by my daughter also, they were Pioneer Woman's chocolate Sheet cake cupcakes (from her cookbook) and vegan French toast cupcakes with Maple Butter cream.  My other daughter made red velvet cake pops, raspberry Linzer cookies and butter press cookies.  The oven got a work out that week! I ordered the personalized lollipops from OTC (I probably could have made the labels myself.)  The meringue cookies are from Trader Joe's.
Older daughter also made these cute s'mores on a stick.
I pinned the idea here.
 Just dip marshmallows into melted chocolate and roll in graham cracker crumbs.

Chill until set and store in an airtight container. You can't make these too far in advance, they are best the day before or day of the party.  We added some straws to the skewers when we set them out for dessert. I ordered the straws and cupcake liners from  She also made a bunch with mini marshmallows and toothpicks. Too cute!
This is getting long so it will have to be continued...

Disclosure: I was not compensated or comped in any way for any of the products featured. I just liked them and I'm passing on the info.

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scrappymo! said...

Well done! Looks like afab party. Love the banners and mini lights!

Creations By Cindy said...

Great party! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Katie said...

I love seeing all of the details! The lighting is beautiful and I'm glad no one fell down the hill!

That was nice of party city to give you extra balloons since they'd popped one of yours!

The signs you made are great, and you know I love that banner!

All of the food looks very yummy too! I wanted to bake something after looking at it, but then realized I'm out of sugar!

Debbiedoos said...

You sure know how to throw a party Heather. Love all the details. COngrats to your daughter.

Bliss said...

The whole thing is wonderful, and I might have to try those smores on sticks just for the fun of it.


dee dee said...

you are so right... the details made the event a hit! Love all the food ideas... I was trying to figure out which were vegan and what were not! I am sure your daughter enjoyed being honored in such a fantastic way!
dee dee

Life in Rehab said...

Stop- party posts are never too long. We all need lots of cool ideas to steal.

I for one need the recipe for the Thai Noodle Salad!

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