How to make a Keys to Success Graduation Display

Setting up a KEYS TO SUCCESS display at my son’s high school graduation party was my favorite project. I loved the idea of encouraging our guests to share bits of wisdom by writing it onto a tag. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to create a graduation keepsake for my son. When I first brought up the idea to both my son and husband, they looked at me like I was a little crazy. Neither of them thought that guests would participate. Well, after we set up the display at both graduation parties (one party was in our home and the second party was a joint party held at a park in Michigan), everyone was surprised with the results. The advice and perspective shared was abundant! I ran out of tags! It was entertaining, informative AND heartfelt. At the end of the parties, I collected the tags and put them together on a large ring which now hangs in my son’s room.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

STEP ONE:

Paint the peg board the color you choose or leave as is. I chose to go with glitter gold because my son’s high school colors were black and gold. Also, black and gold are the classic colors used for graduation parties. I have seen people drill holes into a wooden board and add hooks, but that I found my method worked better with my time constraints.

STEP TWO:

Attach your hooks. I am not including any measurements, because you can decide how many hooks and tags work best for your party size and space.

STEP THREE:

Download artwork, print, trim, punch hole. If you purchased the tags from my website, 2 of the designs do not have an indication for the hole. I did this on purpose, as you may want to adjust where you punch the hole based on the size of the vintage key you use. I also moved the type down on those tag designs so it was more visible if a larger key was used. I personally used an assortment of vintage key sizes.

can view and purchase printable key to success tags here

STEP FOUR:

Cut ribbon, thread through tag and attach key. In my first photo, I used a wider ribbon. In the second photo, I used a black and white baker’s twine. It was an EXTREMELY windy day in Chicago, so the photo shows the end result with all the handwritten tags. The tags and board held up very well considering the weather. The ribbons provide two separate looks but both worked well.

STEP FIVE:

For displaying the board, I used a large standing dry erase board which I draped with black fabric. I would also recommend a large easel or frame holder. Have 3-4 fine type black Sharpies available so your guest can write their advice. Lay the tags on a table, along with the pens, in a spot where your guests are comfortable and can take the time to ponder and write out their bits of wisdom.

Enjoy the process! I considered this a labor of love. A stage is ending in your child’s life so you may be feeling many different emotions. I process my emotions best when I am working on a diy project!!! Perhaps this project will bring you and others much joy as you celebrate and complete another chapter in your family’s history book!

Brigtte Baer, Baer Design Studio

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