Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School Dinner

Despite having our annual "Back to School" dinner last night, I still can't believe it's time for a new school year!
I posted several tutorials and ideas last week but here is how it all came together.

I had a lot of fun putting this table together. One of the best parts is that I spent very little.

1 yard of fabric for runner $4.00
4 composition notebooks $1.20
Pencils for centerpiece-$1.00
Donut Holes $2.99
Wilton Red Food Coloring $1.99 approx

Hobby Lobby:
Red Candy Melts $2.50
Chalkboard $3.99

3 Hand Sanitizers $1.50

Total: $19.17
I mostly used things I already had on hand (plates, napkins, utensils, cups, straws, chargers, easel, cake plate, vase, paper, ribbons, cookie ingredients etc). I was lucky to have the paper goods left over from past birthday parties and to borrow an apple cookie cutter from my Mom. I did use up my Americolor Meringue Powder (gift from my husband, boy does he know me well :) so I will have to force myself to make a trip to Orson Gygi to buy some more.

The apple drinks were a hit, especially the gummy worms! You can see the tutorial and leaf template here.

I found these red chargers on clearance a few years ago at Walmart. The great thing is that I can use them for lots of holidays and celebrations (Christmas, Valentine's, New Years, Birthdays).

I love these free printables from Magnolia Creative Co. I love that they went well with my apple theme and the colors (red, yellow and green) were perfect.

I also used the Magnolia Creative Co free printables on these little backpack favors. Each child got a small hand sanitizer to put in their new backpacks.

My 8 year old and I hemmed this cute piece of fabric from Walmart to make a table runner.

I was inspired to make the pencil vase and apple pops by this cute version at Shingdig Parties to Go. However, I decided to make mine with donut holes. You can see my Donut Hole Apple Pop tutorial here. I knew I wanted to elevate the centerpiece with books but I wasn't sure what I was going to use. I was excited to find these "old school" composition notebooks in bright vivid colors!

I am sure you'll be seeing this chalkboard again. I think it is so versatile!

I love making and decorating sugar cookies. I have learned so much from following Bridget at Bake at 350. Check her out!

I had hoped to make a fabric bunting for the party but ran out of time. I am glad I ran out of time because I like the way this banner from Creative Magnolia Co pulled the whole apple theme together. By the way, if you love free party printables you will want to head over to The Catch My Party Blog!

I enjoy decorating my shelves to match. This adorable printable from Holiday Snob was just the perfect thing! Love it!

Last but not least, don't you love this invitation by Kim at Kim's Kandy Kreations. It may seem weird to use invitations at a family dinner, but the kids love knowing that something special is coming up and it really increases the excitement factor!

After dinner we went around the table and said one thing that is exciting about school starting that begins with each letter of the alphabet. (A-apples, B-basketball, C-c...).

I hope you've found some inspiration to celebrate an ordinary day and make it special. Life really should be celebrated!

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Kim @ KimsKandyKreations said...

Wow! Your party turned out so amazing. I love it.

I can't decide what my favorite part of it is since I love the table runner (I have yet to succeed at making one of these myself), the donut holes (my BOYS love donuts so I will definitly try these), and the colors of your table are so bright and cheery.

You did a great job, and I was thrilled to see your use of my invitation. Thanks for showing. I think kids love to get invited to fun events in an old fashioned way. We are such a media techy society now, I think the kids don't get many hand written notes anymore. I can see why it would be a hit.

Thanks for sharing your party! I loved all your great details.

Leslie said...

What a great tradition! Good job on keeping things affordable!

Happy Home Fairy said...

This party turned out soo cute! I loved everything! Especially those gummy worm apple cups! I'm gonna bet that your Happy Home LOVED every second of it!

Red Couch Recipes said...

That is the cutest idea. I have never done something like this but my kids, even though two are teenagers, would like this. Love the pencil vase and the apple cookies. I am pinning this. Joni

La-Dee-da crafter said...

You have been crowned a La-Dee-Da Diva!!!
I love this project!!

odetoinspiration said...

Awesome job! Too too cute!!

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

This is fabulous! I love all the wonderful details. I am slowly learning to add more layers to the events I do- I think it adds so much to the feel of the party. And it shows your family how much you love them. So glad you linked up!

Erin of said...

I loooooooove tablescaping and this table placement is SO cute! Thank you for sharing! This makes me want to go to school!

I would love for you to link your post up at my Savvy HomeMade Monday blog party at

I am a new follower!

Hollie - said...

Love, love, love everything!

CSI girl said...

So fun and creative! I hope you will link this up to The CSI Project starting tomorrow night. The challenge this week is Back to School. every week is a new challenge and winners! Also a great giveaway!
Come on over and see the tutorials.

aforrest said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. I'm a former first grade teacher and my daughter is starting school this year. I can't wait to begin this family tradition. Thank you so much for sharing!

aforrest said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I'm a former first grade teacher, and my daughter is starting school this year. I'm so excited, and I can't wait to begin this family tradition. Thank you for sharing!