If you follow me on Instagram (@landeelu) then you know that I get VERY excited on the first day of school. I’ve never, not even one time, cried when my kids were going off to school. And quite frankly, I don’t get moms that do. I mean, they know they’ll be back around 3pm, right? I adore my kids, I really really do. Love the crap out of them. But having them gone for a good solid 7 hours or so (while they are off getting an education for their FUTURE, mind you), is nothing to cry about as far as I can tell. But I promise to not judge your tears if you promise to not judge my lack thereof, K? K.
So, I started thinking that if the first day of school is like Christmas to me, then maybe I should do a little decorating for it? Holidays need to be recognized. And this is a holiday if I’ve ever seen one.
So I started thinking about it and I think I put together my favorite mantel display to date… I’ll let you try to figure out why I love it so much (hint: old school pics are involved… more specifically, old school pics of my husband).
First of all, I love lecturing my kids via my home decor (ha!) so I made a sign with the two things I think will make them successful in school this year. Working hard makes them successful at the academics and being nice makes them successful socially. Maybe a little daily reminder will help them keep it in mind? Who knows, but a mom has to try.
I made the sign on a 1×6 that was 36″ long. I painted the edges turquoise and the front white. I then made a stencil out of vinyl for the lettering and stenciled it on! Super fun and easy! I then sanded the edges a little and distressed the letters a little for some character. And finally I did a layer of Mod Podge for protection. I love how it turned out!
(contact me via my Etsy shop if you’re interested in either the stencil or a finished board)
I thought I’d balance the lecture with some laughter…. and that is where my husband’s old school pics got involved. I mean… right?
That is my man there in the 7th grade. The real miracle here is that his self-esteem is off the charts. His parents need to write a book on how to instill self-esteem in children or something because… how? These were his formative years and stuff! I love this photo so much. I really really do. And my kids were dying laughing when they saw it which was the point, right?
I also printed out and put up a photo of me as a Kindergartener on a cheap clipboard I painted yellow. I love my yarn bows and creepy smile. I also put a grid together of school photos of ALL of us and put it in a 12×12 frame. I think seeing themselves through the years was my kids’ favorite part!
Here are the pics upclose.
You probably want to right click and save that one of my husband in case you’re having a bad day and need a little smile. :)
And finally, I made a little Alphabet Art printable for my large 16×20 frame. I just wanted some abstract-y, typography, letter-y image there in the background and I think this did the trick!
You can download it in the 4 different colors shown below in either 16×20 or 8×10 size HERE.
And that’s it for my Back To School holiday mantel display!
Are you inspired to go dig out your old school photos and put them out for all to see?
It’s really fun & your kids will love it. Pinky swear.