Rachel’s Farewell Party

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And now part two for the Two for Tuesday!  A more recent farewell party for my daughter who studied abroad.

My daughter was blessed with the most extroadinary opportunity to live and study in Brazil during her Sophomore year of high school.  She was one of just a few to be the recipient of the Global Citizens of Tomorrow scholarship from BP.  It was an enriching experience, allowing her to learn to speak Portuguese and experience the cultural of a new country.

Of course, we had to celebrate!  And, I’ll walk you through all the details.

You may begin to notice that almost every party, I do my set-up on the same buffet, with the same backdrop.  It never ceases to amaze me how it can be transferred from one theme to the next and always match.  Would you believe I happened upon this buffet second hand on the app Offer Up? I think I paid $70?  It was brown and dingy.  I bought this chalk paint from Joann’s, and 2 coats later it looked beautiful!  It is slowly becoming chipped, rubbed, and worn…but I think that just adds character.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The backboard was actually made for my husband’s 40th Birthday.  I built it with some cheap fence boards, and screwed them to two 1×2 boards on the back.  Then I rough painted it with a combination of some beige chalk paint and some old white or cream house paint I had in the garage.  I purposely painted it roughly, not completely coating the wood.  Normally I feel like I really struggle trying to make things look imperfect on purpose.  But, this is one I feel like I totally nailed.

Tissue Poms

The tissue poms are so easy to make.  They are great for adding a bit of color to a party. All you need is a stack of square tissue paper in any color, a pair of scissors, and a pipe cleaner! Our family has hosted several international students. Our Korean host daughter made a nice little tutorial video on making tissue poms that you can find here.

Garland & Banner

It’s amazing how little details can pull a theme together. The heart garland was made by cutting out hearts with a 2″ heart punch from an old atlas I found at a thrift store. I punched out a million hearts. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but I punched out more than I could count. To assemble the garland, I used my sewing machine to sew the hearts together with white thread.For the ‘Let the Adventure Begin’ banner, I used some brown card stock to cut out in a luggage tag shape. And I cut out little strips from black card stock, folded them in half, then stapled them to the top of the tag (being sure to leave enough room to thread through twine). My lovely neighbor owned a Cameo Silhouette, and cut out the letters for me to glue on.

Buffet items

I love these Ikea picture frames! I own several and use them over and over again for my parties. I like that the base can unscrew from the frame so I can easily store them away until the next party. I used a piece of map scrapbook paper I found at a craft store for the frame, and printed the words “baggage claim” on brown card stock for the center of the frame.

I found this wood luggage at Hobby Lobby. They sold them in a few different sizes, and made a perfect decoration for the party.

When I first started planning this party, I fell in love with these “Bon Voyage” vintage suitcase favors. I spent a long time contemplating whether or not to purchase them, as they are a little expensive. But, I am so glad I did. They are adorable! I put a handful of Hershey kisses in each box.

When I decide to splurge on some items like those cute little favor boxes, it’s nice to save on cost on items I use all the time. These vases are great, and are only $1 at the Dollar Tree. I cut a strip of map print scrapbook paper to wrap around the vase. And then, used a long strip of twine to wrap over it. I printed the “good-bye hugs & kisses” on brown card stock and cut them out with a 2″ scalloped hole punch. I hot glued the paper to a lollipop stick. And then, filled the vase with Hershey Hugs & Kisses.

We learned that Brigadeiro is a treat you can find commonly served at parties in Brazil. So, we saw it only fitting to make some for our party! You can find a simple recipe here. I printed out a bunch of little flags, cut them out, and glued them to lollipop sticks. They fit perfectly in these Wilton liners.

Cupcakes…some of our favorites! Just click on the flavor for a link to the recipe: S’more Cupcakes, Cookies & Cream Cupcakes, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes.

For the cake toppers, I used my 2″ round hole punch and a page from an atlas and my small heart hole punch with the brown card stock. And then, just hot glued them to lollipop sticks.

Of course some Goldfish crackers and pretzels for the in flight snacks! I found this little suitcase on the clearance rack of Joann Fabrics.

Party Fun

We had a little area set up in the foyer for cards, a photo booth, and a frame for guests to sign.

I found an old suitcase online that someone was giving away…perfect for collecting cards! We draped a Brazil flag over the suitcase and added some green, yellow and blue balloons from the Dollar Tree.

For the photo booth, we had a Polaroid camera and film ready to go for instant photos! I found these cute little passport books for guests to stick their photos in. And, since I like to use what I already own, we hung some old curtain panels up for the backdrop.

I found this frame a craft store, printed out a map online and hand drew in the line between locations.

The Food

I found this cute little photo box at Michael’s. It was perfect for holding the silverware. I used little strips of cut atlas pages to wrap around each set.

I used the lid to the box on the counter as part of the decor.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of the Pioneer Woman. And, many of the meals I cook for my family are her recipes. Her brisket is always a party pleaser! We also love this chicken. { My friend refers to it as “sacramental chicken”, since she always serves it at sacramental celebrations (ie. Baptisms, First Communions, etc) }. And as soon as I find the recipe online, I’ll add a link.

I love how pretty these hydrangeas looked in one of the dollar tree vases, again wrapped in scrapbook paper and a long length of twine.


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