First Day of School Celebration Dinner

  • Back-to-School Celebration Dinner1/8
  • Centerpiece2/8
  • Chalkboard Placecards3/8
  • Monogram Cupcakes4/8
  • Vintage Book Garland5/8
  • Girls with their cupcakes.6/8
  • Monogram Cupcakes7/8
  • Flowers and Globe8/8


This was a "First Day of School Celebration Dinner" I hosted for my twin girls to celebrate their first day of 2nd Grade.  Another family joined us for a fun evening.  This is the third year I've had a dinner like this and it's a great way to celebrate the first day of a new school year. You can see more photos here:

Design Inspiration

I bought three vintage books at our local Good Will for $ .49 each.  One was from 1965 and had great black and white illustrations and the other two were illustrated completely with primary colors.  Those three books were my jumping off point for a "vintage school" theme for the evening.

Decorating Style

Vintage modern.

Project Details

I primarily decorated the dining room since it was a dinner party.  I made a garland out of circles punched from the three books that were then strung on a ribbon. It was easy to make but a bit time consuming.  It's one of my favorite details.    I purchased wooden chalkboards on clearance at our local JoAnn's that had gray "slates" to use as place cards.   I then painted the gray part black and put each child's name on one using a paint pen.  I then put one at each place and placed an apple on it.  Each place also had a red napkin peeking out from behind the chalkboard.  In the center of the table I placed a bouquet of sunflowers, billy balls, daisies and cabbage on top of two vintage copies of "The Bobsy Twins."  I also put a wonderful vintage globe in the center of the table with more red apples and a metal school bus.

Favorite Items

I love the book garland.  I made a similar one for a baby shower using a vintage nursery rhyme book.  There are always great books at Good Will and they're less than $ .50!


The "vintage school" look is easy to create with classic -- and inexpensive -- items that say "school."  Things like:  basic yellow pencils, pink erasers, a vintage globe, chalkboards, etc.


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    This is the first time I’ve heard of a first day of school party of sorts. I guess it’s a really great way to jump start the school year. If only I had celebrations like this every year when school started, I wouldn’t have dreaded the end of every vacation time.

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    I just love viewing your blog, love all the ideas that you have to offer and the pictures are just beautiful!

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    I’ve been following your journey to parenthood before you had an official blog. My daughter was in the process of adoption and we were looking for any inspiration, encouragement or news we could find relating to China adoption. I have loved watching your daughters grow! We just celebrated our 4th gotcha day with our precious Ella (Hunan)! Of course I’ll vote for you…you are amazing!!!

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