My kids, who — I swear — were 4 just yesterday, graduated middle school this week. They each ended their 8th grade year with straight As in advanced and accelerated courses. We couldn’t be more proud. Okay, mom brag over. Of course, this milestone had to be celebrated with a middle school graduation party!
I started with the school colors, which are the same for their middle school and their high school — navy and maroon. To that I added gold and white.
Feeling so proud of these girls made it easy to find inspiration in this backdrop from Oh Joy. I modified it to read “YOU GO GIRLS” and cut the letters out of gold scrapbooking cardstock using my Silhouette Cameo. They were easy to attach to tri-fold foam core using pop-up glue dots. To fill the empty space on the backdrop by “GO,” I added felt pennants from Embellishments Studio on Etsy. (Links to vendors are at the end of this post.)
On either side of the YOU GO GIRLS sign, I added honeycomb tissue balls opened just half way, so they could be affixed flat against my wall with 3M Command picture hanging strips.
From each tissue ball, I hung a tissue tassel so the whole thing had the quality of a balloon. Since my backdrop area was my mantle, it was too shallow for a 30-inch balloon, but just right for a flat 14-inch tissue ball. (I’ll have a balloon tassel tutorial later this week – be sure to come back!)
From my mantle, I hung three sections of a 10-foot tissue garland. The tissue decorations alternated between my party colors, so on top of the tissue garland, I added a felt ball garland with all my party colors.
Our party was our family plus three of the girls’ friends, so I kept the desserts simple. I ordered a cake in school colors from Smallcakes Woodstock. The cake was cookie dough, so our other desserts were chocolate.
I made Christmas Crack with a custom sprinkles mix in school colors. (Recipe to come later this week!)
We picked up brownie bites from the grocery store, and I added sprinkles to the tops of each brownie using the cookie sprinkles technique from my sprinkles post. Sprinkles, sprinkles, sprinkles!
When you are serving only a few treats, you want to make sure that your dessert table doesn’t look sparse.
- The first step is to choose a smaller table. The white desk I used for this party is just 3.6-feet across.
- Make each dessert you do have look special by choosing great serving pieces. I used all white pieces with modern lines. Choosing pedestal stands gives the table some height and drama. Then, I lined the two square stands with more of the gold scrapbooking paper.
- Fill in gaps with items you need anyway, like plates, napkins and forks. Make those look special also. My forks are displayed in a white, hobnail jar I bought for our bowling party. The napkins are layered on the plates and then topped with my daughters’ initials.
- I also added little gifts for the girls to the back of the table.
I also wanted the girls to capture their favorite middle school memories and hopes for high school. I found classroom posters designed to look like notebook paper and titled each one using vinyl cut on my Silhouette Cameo.
The posters were my dessert table “tablecloth” and later the girls filled out their posters as they ate their cake. It just took a little prompting, but soon they were jotting down their favorite day, teachers, colors, friends, memories, songs and more about middle school. They don’t realize it now, but they’ll love looking back at those lists years from now. I can’t wait to see if all their high school hopes come true!
- Party styling and photography – The Party Teacher
- Custom sprinkles mix – CC Cake Toppers on Etsy
- Cake – Smallcakes Woodstock
- Congrats cake topper, napkins, plates – Party City
- Gold forks – Target
- White hobnail jar – Accent Decor on Amazon
- Felt ball garland – The Rainbow Barn on Etsy
- Tissue fringe balloon garland – Paperboy Party on Etsy
- Felt pennant banners – Embellishments Studio on Etsy
- Tissue fan garland and balls – Devra Party on Amazon
- Gold scrapbooking paper – KODAMAA on Amazon
- Navy vinyl – Vvivid on Amazon
- Notebook paper posters – Carson Dellosa on Amazon