creative projects for life's celebrations

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Graduation Decorations – Hail Yes Maize & Blue

About a year ago, I created this blog as a way to share inspiration for the creative ways you can celebrate the people and occasions in your life. Most of the time, I’m finding fun ways to celebrate our friends and family members, but this time, I got to pour all of my creativity into a day for someone who I think is pretty awesome– my husband, Matt.

Two years ago we picked up our life in DC and transplanted to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Matt to start the MBA program at the Ross School of Business. He quickly got back into the school groove:

Matt's first third day of school

Matt’s first third day of school

And before we knew it, it was time to start thinking about how to celebrate this newly minted MBA. It didn’t take long to land on a theme: Hail Yes! Things started out with a subtle tribute to Maize and Blue, with a laurel wreath that would later be picked up in other celebration items like wall decals and table cards. With a little trial and error I combined photos, fonts, and logos in Photoshop to create an announcement to mark the big occasion:

Matt Grad Announcement

After that, it was time to think about what could be done around the apartment to make things a little more festive.


On the Walls

After a little searching, I found a graduation card in the Silhouette Online Store that I could modify for some wall decals. I picked up a few sheets of scrapbook paper in maize and blue, and used the Cameo to cut out circles with different shapes– including the laurel wreath and the graduation cap. If you’d like the laurel wreath and the Ross MBA decals, you’ll find free downloads below!

Wall Decorations

On the Table

As usual, Pinterest was a source of inspiration. That’s where I found this fun graduation cap cupcake idea. I thought about buying some fun new fabric for a table cloth and runner, but then I found an easier option at Target and ordered this nice navy crosshatch table cloth.

Graduation Cap Cupcakes

Grad Night Spread

My sweet mother-in-law found amazing bakeries for graduation cookies and a custom cake so fortunately I was off the hook for most of the treats. Since the sweets were covered, I thought an assortment of cheeses would be nice (plus anyone who knows me, knows that a party isn’t a party without an ample amount of cheese). To help folks tell the cheeses apart, I created some table cards with a laurel wreath cut out.

Table Cards


Being grad students, we’re in a cozy one bedroom apartment which means that there’s limited space for entertaining. Fortunately, the celebration was a family affair so everyone was up for huddling together in our family room. I thought it would be fun to add a little flair to the room with a photo wall where the backdrop is actually a disposable Mara + Mi tablecloth from Target that I grabbed from a clearance bin earlier in the year.

Family Room Decorations

My mom created that super cute Go Blue bunting for us last fall to make sure we were ready for football weekends and it was the perfect way to bring a little class to my tablecloth backdrop. The Hail Yes print to the right was inspired by this card I saw at Rock Paper Scissors in Ann Arbor. I spent a morning of trial and error in Photoshop to try to design something that looked similar and then used it in a few different ways including some takeaway treat jars that I filled with lemon drops.

Hail Yes Treats to Go


The day wouldn’t have been complete without a gift for the graduate, so I took the Hail Yes theme one step further with a custom shirt for Matt to wear to celebrate his most recent accomplishment. From moving from DC to Ann Arbor, to getting back into the swing of school, to all-night case competitions and some almost all night MBA fun activities, to a summer in San Francisco at SunRun, and all the way to graduation, Hail Yes just really sums it up.

Congrats, love!

Hail Yes Shirt

Matt at Ross


Free Downloads:

A little note on sharing:

These downloads are free strictly for personal use, not for commercial use. I’d love for you to share these photos on Pinterest as long as you credit and link back to Please do not distribute my downloads from your site and, as a courtesy, please do not link directly to the downloads above- Instead, please link back to this post.


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In all things, give thanks…

Even though I can’t believe it’s the end of October, I’m already looking forward to Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s because I’m reuniting with some lovely family members or maybe it’s because of all the good memories from Thanksgivings-past. Either way, here’s a little something I put together to add a little Thanksgiving goodness to our family room.


If you’d like your very own “In All Things Give Thanks” printable,  download by right clicking and choosing “Save As”.

thanksgiving printable