HOW TO THROW A GREAT GRADUATION PARTY
Today I’m getting a little sentimental because my son Taylor is about to graduate from college. I simply can’t believe it has been 4 years since I threw him a party for his high school graduation.
It has taken me 4 years to accomplish this but I am finally making Taylor a photo album of his high school graduation photos. I’m giving it to him as one of his college graduation presents. So, I thought I’d share some graduation memories with you too, and give you some tips on how to throw a great graduation party. All of my parties start with my chalkboard. For Taylor’s graduation party my artist friend Brenda drew this great scene depicting Taylor’s journey……
from Rim of the World High School here on our mountain top……
to Duke University in North Carolina.
I have a forest for a backyard which comes in handy when I need dinner seating for a crowd. For lighting we strung inexpensive string lights in the tree tops. I purchased them from Target here.
I made the blue gingham check tablecloths from vinyl coated fabric I purchased from JoAnn’s Fabrics & Crafts here . This fabric is the perfect width for a table and did not require any sewing. It was also easy because I got JoAnn’s to cut my tablecloths the perfect length for each table.
I also purchased some white felt fabric from JoAnn’s, cut it into squares and tied it up around pots of flowers I got at Home Depot.
I added small Duke Pendants to the pots and voila……I had easy to make and inexpensive centerpieces! Candle light came from small white votive candles placed in mason jars.
For additional seating we used log stumps and hung paper lanterns in the trees above.
Now, lets head on up to the house and I’ll show you what I did on the terrace.
I set up a self-serve non-alcoholic bar for the kids. I filled metal tubs with ice and cans of soft drinks.
There was lemonade and iced tea in drink dispensers that I bought at Costco. Duke University cocktail napkins came from the student store on campus and I got the small hanging chalkboards here.
Snacks served in white tin tubs were placed near the drinks.
More string lights were strung on the terrace where I also set up a S’mores Bar.
I filled large glass canisters with all the fixings for the S’mores.
Target sells the jars here. Then I had my kids collect long sticks from the forest to use as marshmallow roasting skewers.
Chairs were placed around a portable fire pit.
Later in the evening the kids had fun roasting marshmallow and eating their S’mores as a late night snack.
A buffet table was set up on the terrace. I strung paper plates through twine to make a bunting decoration for the table.
The plastic tablecloths, paper napkins and large plastic salad bowls all came from Smart & Final.
The menu was written on a small framed chalkboard that was displayed on an easel. I purchased both here at Save On Crafts. By the way, SaveOnCrafts.com is my all-time-favorite resource for party supplies.
I made Carolina Style BBQ’d Pulled Pork in honor of Taylor’s future at Duke University, located in North Carolina. I also made Red Potato Salad and Peanut Coleslaw, two of my most delicious original recipes. Click here for my recipe for The World’s Best Red Potato Salad recipe and click here for my delicious Peanut Coleslaw Recipe.
We set up a self-serve adult bar inside with margaritas, beer and wine.
I even got Duke Blue Devils coasters for the bar.
Another chalkboard warned teenage guests that this bar was for those 21 years and over.
Taylor’s graduation gifts were wrapped in Duke wrapping paper and a plush Duke pillow was used as a gift tie-on.
A cupcake station was set up inside. The banners hanging from the chandelier were made using free alphabet clip art from Martha Stewart.
I made flag buntings by cutting blue and white felt into banners and stringing them through white twine.
My daughter-in-law helped me make a scrapbook for Taylor.
We included all of the college admission letters and scholarship offers he received, along with a lot of other high school memorabilia. The memory book was put on display on a table in the foyer……
and guests were asked to write a message to Taylor for the book.
For party favors I recorded a CD with great party music. Here is a link to my Graduation Party Music Playlist.
Taylor and his friends had a great time singing along to some of the songs.
A really good time was had by all……
and we created memories that will last a lifetime. It was a very good night.
I hope I gave you lots of inspiration for your own graduation party.
So there you have it: HOW TO THROW A GREAT GRADUATION PARTY
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