The First Day of School sign has become a ubiquitous Fall symbol marking kids’ annual milestones as they progress into a new grade.
Everyone puts one together and then proudly snaps the picture of their precious pride and joy to then share on line with family and friends.
As I was about to embark on this social media, sign-building bandwagon, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was really necessary and of course, if I would do it-how could I create the Ultimate DIY First Day of School Sign.
Back to school. Such a busy time of year. So much to do to get ready-fresh school supplies, fresh outfits, fresh lunch and breakfast ideas, and of course…the fresh spankin-new First Day of School Sign.
I’ll admit, I was a little bit late to this social media led trend. I couldn’t understand why everyone had to label their kids.
I mean, really? My mom never made us wear signs in our pictures growing up and we did just fine. Sure years later, if a stray pic didn’t end up in the correct album, we might’ve had to do some Nancy Drew sleuthing and deduce that said picture was taken in XYZ year but it was fine because we had clues–outfits, hairstyles, backgrounds, missing baby teeth, etc.
So I really didn’t understand the need. Honestly, it just seemed like more work for the already overworked busy mom (aka moi).
But like most trends…eventually I caved.
Last year, when it was time for my oldest child to take her first giant leaps into Elementary School, I decided to jump on the First Day of School Sign Bandwagon.
I spent hours combing Pinterest for the perfect design because if I was going to do this, I was going to do this!! And it was going to be the best darn homemade sign ever!
But to my surprise, I couldn’t find a single idea that didn’t cover up the child’s special First Day of School outfit.
Now, I don’t know about you, but at my house, we (OK-me, err I)—I put a lot of work into putting together the perfect First Day of School outfits. Now, I don’t actually sew them–let’s get real here, people. But I do put a ridiculous amount of thought into the choosing the perfect outfits.
In fact, here’s my list of criteria.
How to choose the perfect First Day of School Outfit
- Must be coordinated with the sibling (not necessarily matching but color coordinated)
- Must be comfortable
- Must be playground friendly
- Must be cool enough to withstand sweltering 100 degree temperatures (of a Georgia August) yet still look cute and appropriate for school
OH and Most importantly…
- Must be able to pass final approval by the actual child
So after all this work, I certainly do not want to have a special outfit to be covered by a giant back to school sign!
I just want something like a sign they can hold-like a photo booth prop-so nothing will be covered.
That’s it! I’ll make a Photo booth-style Back to School Sign!
How to Make a Photo Booth Style Back to School Sign
What You’ll Need
- 12 X 12 sized cardstock -1 or 2 colors
- markers or chalkboard pen
- pencil and scissors
- masking tape and possibly glue stick
- photo-booth sticks (wooden dowels)
I had a hard time finding Photo Booth sticks, so I ended up ordering them on Amazon.
These are the ones I used:
Steps to Create the Speech Bubble Back to School Sign
I decided to make mine chalkboard style so I used black 12 X 12 Chalkboard paper.
- I wanted the signs to look like giant speech bubbles so I took a pencil and drew out a speech bubble shape.
- Then I cut out the shape and carefully wrote out what I wanted to say in pencil.
- When I was happy with the text, I went over it with the white chalkboard pen.
Next I taped my speech bubble to the wooden rod. At this point, I realized it was a bit flimsy, so I went back and traced another piece of card-stock to use on the back to reinforce it.
Tips and Tricks (aka Lessons Learned)
You want the speech bubble strong enough so that it stands flat against the wooden dowel.
Option 1: Try and use really thick card-stock so you don’t have to make two layers.
Option 2: If you think you may need two layers-cut them out at the same time (just place one on top of the other-maybe secure with a paper clip). This will save you the hassle of having to go back and cut out the same shape again.
Voila: The Ultimate DIY First Day of School Sign-Speech Bubble-Style
This year, I found these great speech bubble chalkboards at Target in the Dollar Spot section so I grabbed them in case I ran out of time to make the fancy sign, which I of course happened.
But I have to admit, there is something special about the handcrafted artistry of making your own sign. So next year, I might go back to that. Unless…the craziness of life gets in the way…and then I’ll just use my handy pre-fab sign again.
But nevertheless, I am officially hooked on “the back to school sign” trend.
Before you go–I’d love to hear your thoughts:
School Sign–Yes or No? Leave me a comment below.
Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.
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