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Back to School Party Ideas

Back To School Party Ideas: start a family tradition of a back to school dinner on the first day of schoo. Lots of party decor ideas.

Back To School Party Ideas: start a family tradition of a back to school dinner on the first day of schoo. Lots of party decor ideas.Start a Tradition

Every year it’s a tradition in our family to have a special back to school dinner on the first day of school.  I always set a pretty themed table, make a nice dinner with an apple dessert, and look forward to hearing all about their days.  Today I’m sharing this years dinner full of back to school party ideas.

Back To School party ideas

It’s not too late to have your own back to school celebration.  Consider having one this weekend with a “we survived the first week of school” spin.  Kids love traditions, love to be celebrated, and love to be the centre of attention (who doesn’t?) so they love this special dinner.  My kids look forward to it every year. I have a feeling that even when they’re in University we’ll be doing some version of it.

back to school party decor ideas

Back to School Table Ideas

This year I went with a vintage science class room feel for the table.  Last fall I decided to decorate my house with a similar theme -it was like a botanists goes for walks in the fall and brings everything home with her to study vibe.  You can check out the fall home tour here if you’re interested.  Anyway I had all this cool vintage science stuff so it was perfect.

Back To School Dinner

Book Page Runner

For the table, I started with a runner made from old book pages.  In the past I’ve sewn the pages together to make on of these or glued them, but this time as I was laying them out I realized they were fine just set on the table.  So that made my runner super easy.  The books are some old ones that I’ve picked up at the thrift store.

first day of school party

DIY Lined Paper Plates

My very favourite piece for this table just might be my special lined paper plates.

back to school party

I used some square plates from the dollar store that I already had.  Then I had the idea to use some edible markers to make the plates look like lined paper.

first day of school party

The dye in the markers is completely safe to eat, they’re made for decorating food.  I free-handed some blue lines and then an inspecting red line.  You could even use a ruler if you wanted perfectly straight lines, but I like things a little wonky and hand crafted looking. 😉  As soon as the plates get wet the dye will wash off, including onto your diner (so if you have a kid who would not like blue dinner maybe swap out the plate for them).  The possibilities are really endless with this little plate hack -plates for all occasions!

Back To School Dinner

Pencil Boxes Cutlery Holders

Another fun little idea was to use pencil boxes to hold cutlery.

back to school party

I picked up these vintage looking little ruler pencil boxes at the dollar store, and they were perfect for holding our dessert spoon and fork.

Back To School party

To finish the placesetting, I used some cute little mini clipboards as napkins rings.  I picked these up at the dollar store too.

Back To School DinnerI used chalk to write our names.

back to school party ideas
Scientific Glass Vases

All along the centre of the table I used some of my vintage science pieces.

back to school partyMost of the lab glass I’ve picked up at antique sales, but there’s some new pieces mixed in too.

back to school party decor ideas
Just for fun I added some sugar and salt to these glass containers to make it seem a little more science class-ish.
Back To School Dinner
Test tubes, and flasks make perfect vases.

Back To School decorationshow to have a back to school partyI also had an old microscope.  Look for them in the office section of your thrift store.

Back To School party ideasThese school supplies are new but have that vintage feel to them.

Back To School Dinner

Science Chalkboard

Over on the side, I added a little bit of a science classroom feel to the chalkboard -thanks to some inspiration on-line -google science wall paper. 😉

school themed party

The globe here and on the table are thrift store finds too.

Back To School Dinner party

I thought the vintage trophies were very back to school.  They brought back memories of those old trophy cases in school hallways full of silver cups engraved with students names from long ago.

school themed partyWe had such a lovely dinner, filled with every detail of my girls first days.

school themed partyI almost can’t believe that one is high school -and there’s only going to be three more dinners like this one after this!

Back To School party ideasThis years are speeding up!  All the more reason to cherish them and make all the memories.

first day of school family dinnerWith a Back To School Dinner to celebrate the first day of school, life really is a party!

More Back To School Party Ideas

Want more inspiration?  You might like these too!

Back to School Dinner 2017

2016 Back to School Family Dinner


Back To School Family Dinner 2015


Back To School Family Dinner 2014


  1. I purposely came to visit your blog to check out the back to school post. You always have amazing and fun ideas and never disappoint! Love those cute little ruler boxes. So clever! Hope your girls have a wonderful school year!

  2. Sabrina, thanks so very much. My girls are off to a great start to this school year. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and stopping by.
    Best, Dannyelle

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