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Saturday, May 24, 2014


Hi friends!  I'm in for a Saturday post today.  Things got a little crazy this week as we prepared to wrap up school yesterday, so I wanted to catch you up today.

Fifth grade is the last year of Elementary school for us, and our school celebrates with a graduation ceremony.  I was responsible for decorating the gym and thought I'd share a few ideas with you.  Gyms are hard to decorate!  ;)

There is an 8x24 ft. folding partition for the backdrop.  I covered it with black butcher paper (ever tried to hang a 24' long strip of paper by yourself...straight?  It's tough!). I made some register marks with a black sharpie (didn't show afterwards) to keep things semi- lined up over such a large area.  Then, I went to town with the chalk.  I kept it on the simple side, and I like that it ended up resembling a chalkboard, even though that wasn't necessarily the plan.  That's usually how I operate.  I never can tell anyone what they can do to help, because I just add and change things and do it as I go!

One tip, if you're chalking an area that might have a chance of someone rubbing against the design, spray your design lightly with aerosol hairspray.  It will dry clear and greatly reduce the chance of smudges.  Even if it's on a real chalkboard, it will all come clean with a damp rag.

I used a variety of pre-made paper fan circles, balloons, and scrunched up colored paper to resemble flowers.  I had some glittery caps left over so I mixed some of those in too.

I have to show you this, which I stole from my friend's IG feed and it was my inspiration for the backdrop.  Mine didn't even come close, but isn't this amazing?

He's the pastor of the church with this display (if you're near Keller, TX, try out Keystone Church!).  Wouldn't that be fun to have such a fabulous photo spot for special occasion days at church? 

We also decided to designate several "photo booth" areas for family photos after graduation was over.  There were two identical with ballons, pennant and tassel banners, 

and then one with a giant likeness of our school mascot "Rascal."

Lots of fun was had by all!

Lastly, I wanted to quickly show you our teacher gifts.  One, for a creative teacher, was a pack of canvases packaged with a few brushes and a Hobby Lobby gift card.

I got another idea from a different friend's IG feed that she received as a thank-you gift... a cute acrylic pitcher filled with a kitchen towel, wooden spoon, and fresh lemons...all ready for some summer refreshment!

I know lots of you are still in school, and may even have events to prepare for yet, so I hope you've been inspired with a few ideas today.

Have a very Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  

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Would you like to comment?

  1. The decor is fabulous, I love how cheerful it is and such a great graduation platform. I am sure all the children loved it and the pics of you guys are super.

  2. Love how you decorated the gym - I'm sure everyone was oohing and aahhing over it! And those are some lucky teachers - love the gifts you came up with. I'm jealous that your summer is almost here! Have a great weekend Jennifer!

  3. Jennifer! Everything is darling! You did a fabulous job with the backdrops. Your kids' teachers are so blessed by you. Happy Summer!!!!!

  4. well done decorating a gym, not an easy task!! those teacher gifts are so thoughtful!,so original :)

  5. Love these cute ideas and the decorations look great!!!

  6. Jennifer, what wonderfully creative ideas! The decorations looks great; and the teacher's gifts are adorable. You did a great job!

  7. What cute decor and delightful teacher gifts! And you and your family are all just so cute!

  8. You are so good! I love the fan circles, balloons, and scrunched up colored paper. I have to remember that for my daughter.

  9. It still looks wonderful! Congratulations to all of you! I'm planning to make tons of paper fan too for my future daughters baptismal party! LOL! I know, my baby hasn't come, but I'm just crazy about thinking ahead!

  10. I'm locking that gym decor away for future reference!! Decorating school spaces are so hard!!

  11. Great back drop! Could you share with me where you got the black paper? Is it all in one piece 8' wide? Thanks

  12. I am so glad I came across your post, I have been charged with decorating for our 5th grade graduation this year. Your pictures were so inspiring. And I'm totally doing the lemonade gift for last day of school!!!

  13. I have the same question as Kate - is the backdrop attached to a frame? If so did you paint/decorate it flat and then put it on the wall? Or is the paper (I'm assming is a black paper?) attached to the wall somehow? It looks great!


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