Back to School Lovely

Alright, I just can't wait for you to come over anymore.

I want to show you my Back to School decor. I don't usually get too excited about these kinds of things. The times are few and far between when I feel like I have AND know how to coordinate an ensemble of things to display for a given season. You are the supreme expert in this area, and so I learn a lot from you.

So this time, I tried really hard. I spent a long time. I thought and shifted and added and subtracted.

I just want to explain my process, since I'm not super confident in my display planning, in case others are reading this who feel the same. My starting point was a square vintage tablecloth I have that is red and navy plaid with a bit of yellow in it. I tried to stay focused on using only items that coordinated with this, or were white. For instance, for my crayon jar, I picked all the primary colored bits out of our broken crayons box, and allowed a few chalkboard green ones in too.

I also wanted to express our love for books. I stuck to the narrow color range in choosing the books for my stacks, trying to stick to classic looks and titles, and ones we love. I also had the idea to make a book page garland to hang across my large, old screen. I found one book in our collection with simple illustrations in colors that matched my backdrop, with childish text, and interesting images, and spent a bunch of time photocopying (2 book sheets per page of paper) and cutting them out. I could have ripped the pages out of the book. But I didn't want to ruin it. This book was one from the Nate the Great series. This garland is my favorite part of my display.

I really struggled to find things I already had to fill my three jars. I didn't want to go buy thirty erasers, although those kinds of jars I've seen all over the internet crammed with school supplies are so cute. I wanted it all to be free. So I had to stretch the category of "school supply" a bit. I filled one jar with red and yellow yarn. One with empty coin rolls (let's just pretend there are coins in them), and into the third, I put the pieces to one of our wooden puzzles (much to my son's dismay. angry voice: "Look what mom did to our puzzle!")

I got to thinking about 1st and 4th, the grades into which my kids are going. Ya know, there is a freeway exit nearby called "1st and 4th." Those are street names to me. So I made these. A little freehanded shape on green paper, white paint pen outline, and chipboard numbers made them look like street signs! (I did diverge and use some orange crayons here. It can't look too matchy matchers, right?)

So that's it. I'm so glad I took the time to display things that reflect our family and what we love. My kids were so happy to see it when they woke up on day one. They loved that I posted the 1st and 4th grade signs.

I love honoring and celebrating their milestones. Thanks for being a good little example to me, Shauna, on lots of creative ways to celebrate our kids.  



  1. I love this Leslie- it's so important for the kids to know how wonderful school is and that we also embrace this at home...

    your love of books and creation is so evident...and your two signs are fab!!

    bet your kids loved it...all inspiration for them isn't it!

    Love it!

    Melissa- Miss Sew & So

  2. This is fantastic... and it's great the kids were so excited... makes it all worth it! I love those jars, by-the-way! ;-)

  3. this is the cutest back to school decor ever! i should of had you come decorate my classroom when i was teaching. ;-)

  4. this all looks perfect.
    just perfect.
    it is so funny how unsure you seem about it all since i NEVER think of you as anything but great at this kinda stuff.
    great, once you get started.
    the starting seems like the most challenging.
    love the garland and the jars and that rad window.

  5. Wow! What a neat way to celebrate your kiddos going back to school! That is so cool. And to find stuff that is free to do it is genius. Thanks for sharing!

  6. you did such an awesome job leslie!
    i love the thought and effort that went into making this lovely for your family. it's just brilliant!

  7. How could you not think that you are a display creating rockstar with creativity like this! My kids would wake up and think a new mom had moved in if had a display that cool all set up for them. So cute!

  8. the love you have for your family just oozes in this sweet space:)

  9. This is such a cute idea!


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