One of the best decisions we made for our home is putting our old floorboards on the wall. I like to keep things simple and minimal, so even though I don’t decorate the whole house, decorating the wall brings some attention to any celebration and to the celebrant. I like to reuse and repurpose. Having no budget spurs creativity in me. And buying party streamers and stuff online don’t work for me because I always do things last minute haha. Going out to the mall to buy is less convenient these days too. So I rely on what I already have.
Our youngest daughter graduated from pre-school last year. Our second-born graduated from grade school this year. All their programs were virtual because of the pandemic. So last year, since they only had a virtual pajama party to end the school year, I decided to have a graduation ceremony for Gianna at home. We invited some of our family to join us via zoom. And this year, I surprised Noelle with a background for her virtual graduation program!
I utilized used and unused old paper for all the cut outs. Congrats is too generic for me so I went with Dr. Seuss’ oh the places you’ll go! Gianna chose pink of course so I just put in some yellows. I almost always cut my letters free hand because I don’t have time to use a ruler and pencil, or even a stencil. I used an old-ish Chinese lantern to make the hot air balloon, wrapped a plastic container with crepe paper for its basket, embellished it with an old scrapbooking fence accessory. I used the bear giveaway from my in-laws’ golden anniversary party a few years back.
I asked Gianna’s teacher what awards we could give her based on her performance in school, so I d-i-y-ed them too. I didn’t have time to get an actual medal so I made one out of cardboard and old ribbon, for her excellent grades. I printed out a certificate to honor her for being most cooperative and friendly. I made ribbons for Best in Fine Motor Skills (I traced old hand stickers on black paper), Best in Cognitive Skills (I used old beads for the cogs in the brain), and Best in Rhythmic Skill (copied free-hand a shadow image online). Again, old paper and old ribbons.
For Noelle’s background, I used my stock of black paper which I bought for a friend’s baby shower last year, and ribbon and heart shapes that I had for the golden anniversary party. I had no concrete idea until that morning because I dozed off the night before. I kind of panicked when I woke up that day haha. I went with “you did it!” and made a graduate cap with her initials. The divider’s hinges are a tad problematic, but it’s still good even after about 6 years of being stored.
Upon seeing what I made, she said that we were so extra haha. It was a surprise. But really, it was such a small way of celebrating her and with her.
I also made flags of her name using pipe cleaners (or fuzzy wires), but the spacing on the divider was awkward, so I just put them on our trusty floorboard wall!
For Danae and Gianna’s recognition day, I reused the flags to cut out letters, and I finally got to use the white frames from an old I Spy board game. I kept them because I knew I would have use for them one day. I’ve had them for years! I turned the D into a P, and put triangles on top of the U and P to make arrows. I hung the other letters together using pipe cleaners. There’s a single nail on the board for hanging stuff.
It’s not much, but I hope my children know that this is my personal way of showing them I love them and I am proud of them (besides telling them and writing about them 😂). I hope they feel extra loved and extra appreciated, and they take these memories with them long after I’m gone. May they do the same — different form, same heart — for their children too. ❤️❤️❤️
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord. Psalm 129:1-4 ESV