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Entertaining
Bon Voyage: Throw a Vintage Going Away Party
Use relics from the past to inspire a going-away party that celebrates the adventures that lie in store.
Written by Michelle E Black
Photography by Bret Gum
Styling by Styled by Michelle E. Black, Jickie Torres and Karen Wilhelmsen
  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Outdoor Splendor

    There’s no better place to throw a travel-themed party than outdoors when the sun is shining. Here a plank of wood takes the place of a traditional table runner. Rather than a large centerpiece, vintage cameras and bud vases run the length of the table. With mismatched painted chairs setting the backdrop for colorful accents, the look epitomizes summertime.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Warm Welcome

    At the entrance of your party, create a gift table where guests can drop off their presents at the beginning of the event as well as pick up a party favor on their way out. These party favors are displayed in a vintage suitcase, along with other items to fit the theme, such as globes, a camera and a 1950s Touring card game box.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Souvenirs that Speak to You

    Use vintage maps, postcards and photos to create a fun backdrop for a buffet table. Using vintage handwritten letters and international currency, Michelle added an authentic layer to her tablescape that set the mood for adventure.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Use your Collectibles

    A vintage camera collection used as the centerpiece is a reminder for the guest of honor to stay connected with those back home. The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Map it Out.

    Bring your guests in on the theme and ensure everything they bring adds to the look! Advise them to wrap gifts with the theme in mind. A map can serve as whimsical wrapping paper, topped off with a vintage postcard and baker’s twine.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Practical Party Favors: DIY Travel Kits

    What you’ll need:
    Clear cellophane bags
    Travel-sized toiletries
    Vintage maps
    Scissors
    Hole punch
    Decorative bakers twine
    Charms (such as the airplane and compass charms shown

    What you’ll do:
    | 1 | Have enough cellophane bags to give one party favor to each of your guests. | 2 | Fill each bag with travel-sized goodies like mini shampoos or toothbrushes. | 3 | Cut pieces of a vintage map to wrap around the top of your party favors, and use a hole punch to cut one or two holes toward the top. | 4 | Use a piece of baker’s twine to tie the bags closed, adding a travel-themed charm if desired.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    DIY Decor: Roadmap Roses

    What you’ll need:
    Vintage maps
    Paint and paintbrush (optional)
    Wooden twigs or sticks
    Scissors
    Tape or a hot-glue gun |

    What you’ll do:
    | 1 | Gather a collection of vintage maps. To add more dimension to your look, you can paint one side of the maps in a color of your choice. | 2 | Take a large rectangular piece of a map, and cut a scalloped edge on one of the long sides. For a less formal look, crumple up the paper slightly. Placing the straight edge towards the center, wrap your piece of map around a wooden twig, flaring out the paper to form petals. Attach the map with tape or hot glue. | 3 | Make multiple flowers to form a bouquet as the centerpiece on your table.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Top That!

    For most parties, it’s all about the cake for your honoree. To create a display that feels special and using, set your cake plate on top of a vintage hatbox, like this 1940s Dobbs one. It not only adds height, it brings a wonderful textural dimension to your look.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Layer your Serving Table

    A crowd-pleasing cheeseboard that includes classics like cheddar, brie, blue cheese, parmesan, gouda, strawberries and grapes is an easy-yet impressive starter. Add depth to your table by scattering something small and textural. Here we used matchbooks collected during stylist Michelle E. Black’s travels to keep the design playful.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    Stack it Up

    Whether you want to add height to a tabletop or simply need an additional table to serve some party treats, get creative with a collection of vintage suitcases. A few ones stacked here get topped by a vintage serving tray and adds instant pizzaz to a beverage station.

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  • The message is simple: go out there, explore and take plenty of photos. With vintage pieces, you can create an atmosphere that celebrates life’s possibilities—and it just may inspire you to go out and explore as well.

    “The world is my playground, so I shall play,” is a phrase that stylist Michelle E. Black wrote all over her folders in high school. On her various adventures, her constant companions were her camera and journal. Many of the things she has collected over the years from her personal travels formed the basis for this inspirational “adventure awaits” themed party. When decorating for the milestone moments you celebrate in your life, it can be daunting—especially if you are working with a limited budget. But with a little imagination, planning and items you may already own, it’s easy to set the mood for your party. Whether you are celebrating a graduate about to go off to college or a retirement, the sentiment of this theme fits several occasions.

    More to Explore

    Two wooden sawhorses and a piece of wood can create this easy rustic table. Use a backdrop of vintage maps for big impact with little effort. Stack plates on crates of varying heights for visual interest and finish it off with touches like a View-Master, pedal car and seltzer bottles. For more information on stylist Michelle E. Black, visit mishkablack.com.

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