Red Wine & Glue Sticks

Back to School Celebration

Beth PacykComment

I hadn't planned on getting this on the blog so timely (I mean I'm simultaneously working on getting my kid's first birthday party photos on here and they are 6, 4, and 2), but I got so many sweet messages when I shared a photo of our table setup in my Instagram stories that it gave me the motivation to get typing tonight. 

You might be thinking, "surely a child doesn't care about these details" but you've clearly never met my daughter! I had her leave the room while I decorated and she delighted over every single detail — her favorites being the pencil vase and the chalkboard banner. 

You might be thinking, "surely a child doesn't care about these details" but you've clearly never met my daughter! I had her leave the room while I decorated and she delighted over every single detail — her favorites being the pencil vase and the chalkboard banner. 

My daughter starts big school tomorrow. Technically she's been in school for three years, but tomorrow she starts the full day program for first grade at our neighborhood school. I'll no longer be in the classroom regularly and I definitely won't have the same inside peek I had access to during our preschool and kindergarten years at the co-op school. When I saw other bloggers I follow hosting back to school meals for their kiddos, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate this new, exciting school year.

The menu was exceptionally simple — the first-grader chose boxed mac and cheese, grapes, carrot sticks, and chocolate chip cookies. What made it special was all in the details: grown up plates, a chalkboard banner, pencil vase filled with sunflowers, pencil ornaments, a tiny schoolhouse ornament, and pencil confetti. I found most of the supplies at the Target Dollar Spot and the rest in the teacher supply section. In all, I spent less than $15 on decorations that I plan to re-use year after year.

I held pencils around a glass with a rubber band then wrapped ribbon around the band. Though I plan to do this again year after year, I didn't want to store the vase or waste perfectly good #2 pencils!

I held pencils around a glass with a rubber band then wrapped ribbon around the band. Though I plan to do this again year after year, I didn't want to store the vase or waste perfectly good #2 pencils!

I planned to make a ruler table runner using a leftover wedding table runner and this tutorial from Country Living, but a bad experience with a fabric marker left me digging in the garage for the other runners from our wedding. And you know what? The repurposed table runner worked out perfectly. It was more about celebrating our first grader than being Pinterest-perfect. 

It was a feast of epic proportions — boxed mac and cheese, carrot sticks, grapes, and chocolate chip cookies.

It was a feast of epic proportions — boxed mac and cheese, carrot sticks, grapes, and chocolate chip cookies.

My absolute favorite part of the evening is when we each listed a goal for Maddie on the cardboard apples and read them to her during dinner. She loved creating her own goal and hearing our hopes for her — although I'm pretty sure she's not going to run across that unicorn Jack wished for her. I tucked the notes into her lunchbox for her to re-read at school tomorrow and I hope they'll remind her how much she is loved as she sets off on this great new adventure. 

Apple Wishes.jpg

Cheers to all of you heading back to school! What traditions do you have in your family to mark the beginning of another school year? 

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XO,
Beth