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Darling Vintage Schoolhouse Birthday Party

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Who knew school could be such a blast, right?! ;)  Leslie gets at A+ for this adorable School House Inspired Birthday Party that she dreamed up for her daughter Kate, who happens to be super excited about starting preschool soon! Playfully dubbed “Ms. Kate’s Class”, this sweet party is full of clever ideas for any creative back to school or teacher-oriented celebration. I’m seeing lots of great ideas for teacher appreciation gifts too!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

  • DIY ruler wreath (LOVE!) + chalkboard easel welcome sign
  • Fabric embellished apples, brown bag lunches & cute lunch notes from Kate!
  • Yellow school bus & pencil sugar cookies
  • A clever backpack-making activity followed by “shopping for school supplies”
  • A pinwheel topped cake with flashcard “instructions”

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Leslie

Theme & Decor

Our sweet little gal is headed to preschool this fall and could not be any more excited!  It seemed fitting that for her 3rd birthday party that we celebrate her first year of heading to preschool with a school themed party.  I always look to incorporate vintage items into any party and loved collecting some vintage school supplies for her special day.  I borrowed globes from friends (one who is a teacher and had access to several!) and I’m lucky enough to own my grandmother’s typewriter which added character to the party.  I purchased the green chalkboard tablets at a flea market a few years ago.

“Class Schedule”

The party began at the front door with a chalkboard easel and a ruler wreath that I created with inspiration from the Polkadot Chair.  When the guests entered the “school house” they were invited to pick a pair of spectacles for their school pictures.

Next it was time for Art Class.  The kids gathered around the table to decorate backpacks that I cut from brown grocery sacks that were labeled with their names.  They colored, stamped and stickered their masterpieces.

While the kiddos were busy decorating their backpacks the adults treated themselves to a delicious beverage in the “Teachers’ Lounge”.  We served wine and an apple, cranberry, ginger, vodka drink (recipe found here).

It was then time for Lunch so everyone lined up in a single file line and headed to pick up their brown paper lunch sack.  The guests were treated to a sandwich of their choice, pickle, kettle chips, pretzel rods, fruit salad, and some gummy bears.

After finishing up lunch the kids grabbed their newly decorated backpacks and headed over to the school supply bar.  New pencils, watercolors, paint brushes, composition notebooks, erasers, crayons and glue sticks were just some of the goodies they were able to choose from.

It was then time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake.  Once everyone was finished with their delicious cake and school shaped cookies we all gathered for a “class photo”.

It was a memorable day for our little lady and I know she is so looking forward to her first day of school…even if mommy may be a little sad!

Diy Projects

  • I created pinwheels out of scraps of paper that I used to decorate the ruler wreath, the easel and hot glued them to bamboo skewers to top the cake.
  • The paper glasses were cut from cardstock and attached to cake pop sticks.  Website link is below for the printables.
  • I used green chalkboard spraypaint to create the labels for the lunch sacks.  Then clipped the tags with mini clothespins on the brown lunch sacks.
  • Using a piece of felt I cut a small pennant and dipped the end of a pencil eraser in white paint to create the dots.  I then glued the felt to a toothpick to insert into the sandwiches.
  • My husband is a graphic designer and he designed the signage for the party
Vendor Credit


  1. Deanna at Mirabelle Creations August 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Oh my, Leslie! I’ve been waiting to see these gorgeous pictures and it was more than worth the wait! What a beautiful party! Love all the fabulous details! The “I will not talk to boys in class” sign is simply too much!

  2. JewelBoxCreativeStudios August 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I love this party!

  3. Leilani Parente Rogers August 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This is the cutest party idea ever!

  4. Leilani Parente Rogers August 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This is the cutest party idea ever!

  5. sandra@ribbonsandfavors.com August 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

    All the vintage details in this party are terrific. The paper bag lunches added even more to the this already great party decor.

  6. lisa-sweet pop studio August 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

    This party is absolutely adorable!!

  7. Martha August 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

    This is a great birthday party idea that kids and adults will surely enjoy. The decorations and food fits the theme perfectly as well as the giveaways. Though the little ones will enjoy the food, old memorabilia might value nothing for them but for their parents will have fun with those.

  8. Pen N' Paperflowers August 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    So SUPER adorable Leslie! Seriously cute details here. I'm just letting you know…I'm SO stealing the idea of tying fabric on the apples. Love it. REALLY love it!

    • leslie August 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

      HA! Thanks Jes! And by all means, you tie fabric on ALL your apples!!!!

    • Cloth and Patina August 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      Absolutely adorable!

  9. Cloth and Patina August 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Absolutely adorable! It is just the cutest party!

  10. Michelle - I DO invitations by michelle September 6, 2012 at 5:36 am

    WOW! Not one detail missed – absolutely love this adorable party! Amazing job!

  11. Play :: Back to School Party Ideas August 14, 2013 at 7:13 am

    […] Hostess with the Mostest came up with this Vintage Back to School Idea.  Love how she incorporates things you probably already have around your house, like the globe, wooden crates or boxes and glass jars.  So adorable!  To read more go to: https://www.hwtm.com/2012/08/darling-vintage-schoolhouse-birthday-party/ […]

  12. 5 Things To Do This Weekend! | August 16, 2013 at 6:05 am

    […] a few pals over  for a “back to school” themed bash. See your party inspiration at hostess with the mostess. This vintage inspired school theme was executed with out a detail missed…very […]

  13. Amanda June 19, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Hi Leslie! I LOVE this party idea and want to throw one similar to this for my twin daughters! Just curious, what did your party invitations look like?

  14. […] love the school bus ideas at this back to school party on HWTM. He cookies and decorations are so […]

  15. Bleekcup's Le blog » Back to School Party 2014 September 1, 2014 at 1:04 am

    […] { Crédits : HWTM } […]

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