The end of summer always has me thinking about two things – gearing up for back to school, and travel. Something about the idea of school starting again really gives me a nagging sense of wanderlust. Who am I kidding? I ALWAYS have a sense of wanderlust!! I suppose growing up an Air Force brat and living abroad will do that a person. But I digress... Finding a fun way to meld the two thoughts into one theme was a no brainer for me. I have a SERIOUS obsession with maps and globes – our house is riddled with both, and my husband all but slaps my hand away when I find a new vintage globe while out and about.
The Adventure Awaits theme not only came to me out of my love of travel, but also from the thought it evokes – anything is possible. Every bit of me wants to shout from the rooftops to all the littles who visit our little party place that very idea – anything is possible if you just set your mind to it.
I reached out to my talented gal pal Jen, of Jen T. by Design, about designing party printables around the theme, and thankfully she was game! She seriously read my mind and everything just fell into place!
Since it was a back to school theme, I knew I wanted our crafts to coordinate, so I turned to my fave site, Oriental Trading Co! They even had these awesome passports that tied right into our adventure theme!
We wrote the names of each of the crafts inside the passport’s pages and each girl then received a different “country’s stamp” (stickers provided with the passport) once they completed the craft. We also took their picture and glued it inside the cover to personalize them a bit more
I mean – look how crazy cute these little world-traveling crafters are!
Nothing screams of school days more than chalkboards. Although, it’s crazy to me that chalkboards aren’t used in classrooms anymore (but that’s another topic altogether). Nevertheless, they still make me think of school and being the lucky one that was assigned the task of cleaning the “blackboards” after school and banging erasers...oh the childhood joy of chalk clouds! So decorating little chalkboards as one of our crafts was an absolute must! We attached arrows made from felt and sticks we found in the yard, then added self-adhesive colorful jewels to add a little bling. They were so easy peasy and mess-free.
Our next craft was pretty and practical. I’m an organizer by nature – bags within bags within bins and all with pretty labels really makes me swoon! These DIY Canvas Pencil Bags were the perfect craft for a back to school theme and were super easy to decorate. Using watercolor paint in the colors pink, purple, and blue, the girls ombre painted them, then we added their names with a gold fabric marker. They were so cute I even made a few for myself and as teachers’ gifts!
I wanted a fresh spin on the typical red, yellow and black color scheme seen in most back to school parties, and I’m pleased as punch with how our décor turned out! Our table centerpieces were a mix of travel books, globes, and school supplies, and adorned DIY lunchboxes were filled with mini poms, ABC and 123 cards, along with crayons, glue, and colored pencils.
Jen also designed fun activity placemats for each place setting, and we decorated the gable boxes with maps and a bit of frilly crepe paper to add a girly touch.
Our stick arrows, along with mini painted wooden versions were scattered throughout the space to tie the decor together.
For snack we had yummy sprinkle donuts and strawberry milk – because the thought of going back to school definitely calls for sprinkles...lots of sprinkles!
I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual learner, and am more apt to be successful in a happy space than a drab and dreary one. For our Back to School Soiree I wanted to design a space that would get the littles’ creative juices flowing, and open up their sense of wonder. I’d like to think the end result did just that – I know it did for me at least!
Hope you all have an adventurous and wander-ful school year!
Adventure Awaits Printables – Jen T. by Design
Photographer – Moments by Maredith
DIY Metal Lunchboxes, Passports, Canvas Pencil Bags, Chalkboards, Self-adhesive Jewels – Oriental Trading
This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided the sample free of charge by Oriental Trading to provide my honest review. No other type of compensation was received. All ideas and opinions are my own.