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Nostalgic Back to School Decor

I recently ran across some old photos that brought a past project to mind,
and it's PERFECT for 'Back to School' celebrating!
I don't know about you, but for ME, this time of year seems to stir faint memories of 
the smell of sharpened pencils and new paper
the need of a new tote bag, backpack, or lunch pail
wistful reactions to hearing school recess bells ring
and children laughing on the playground
hearing marching bands practice on the field
using typewriter fonts
and other nostalgic impressions.

Whether or not you have kids heading back to school right now,
it's pretty easy to pull together some items in a small display or tablescape
that will say 'back to school' in a whisper of neutral tones.
( If you want it to SHOUT, use bright color! )
I created this vignette in about five minutes,
by simply rummaging through my office and finding some things 
that could pass as 'school supplies':

a metal locker basket
two metal lunchpails
a small metal chalkboard
rulers and yardsticks
a large canvas satchel bag
a small metal memo board, magnet, and sheet music
a vintage vocabulary card that I treasure
 a tin can vase
scissors & pencils
a paperweight
several books in neutral tones
(total disclosure: they aren't school books - or even really old!
Two are Bibles. One is a library book. the other is a paper brochure. ;) )

The thing is, it's about creating a MOOD, a LOOK - by using what you have on hand!
If you have great vintage items, use 'em!
But if you don't, don't fret -
you'll be surprised at what you can create using everyday stuff from your desk, too!
Case in point:
I wish I had more pencils to fill up this vase, but I really don't USE pencils.
So I don't HAVE pencils, and that's ok - 
even though my designer eye wants to see a vase brimming with pencils.
Maybe I'll hit the Dollar Tree store and buy a pack for a buck. Maybe I won't. 
But I'll enjoy this little scene either way!

You can see my fave vocabulary card here, too - the back side says "Embellish". ;)
I've had that for about ten years now.

continue reading for more - in a darling vintage kitchen!
Back in 2004, I created a similar 'back to school' display on the deep window sill
of my Cottage kitchen's little bay window...
(display not shown in this photo)
Yeah, I really loved the charm of that tiny 900-square foot rented bungalow.
It was a lot of fun to decorate for the seasons...
(and how I'd love to find something like it here in Southern California!)

The photos below are the ones I found in my archives, that spurred today's post:

I did the same thing back then... was inspired to celebrate 'Back to School',
and just gathered up a buncha' stuff that I had on hand in a palette of black, silver, tan, and green,
to create a little vignette with them:
antique building blocks
small vintage chalkboards
old papers and composition notebooks
metal and wood rulers & yardsticks

a vintage fan and a jar full of pencils,
along with my little 'Ami' ceramic figure
(who ended up in a LOT of these window scenes!)
a vintage lunchbox that reminds me of my Grandpa's
(all these years later, I still have it!)
two vintage Stanley thermoses that remind me of my Grandpa

(not only because he used them, but because his name was Stanley!)

I also created a paper banner to hang across the window, over the display:
The banner was made using
lined pages torn from a composition book 
lined pages torn from a small green notebook
scrapbook papers in tans and greens
black & white paint pens

I just cut out triangle shapes, EMBELLISHED them :),
strung them on a length of vintage seam binding, 
and held it up with thumbtacks.

That's my kinda' decorating: Fast. Cheap. and Easy. Class Dismissed!

shared online:

Cupcakes & Crinoline | Project Inspire{d}

Practically Functional | Creativity Unleashed

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