So Hot Right Now: School Nostalgia

It’s been waaay too long since the last mood board (you can see over 150 of them here), especially since a bunch of you sweetly requested their return during our recent blogiversary. And since I was in a weird mood, I decided it might be fun to whip up a little ol’ mood board full of affordable items on a specific topic. So here’s a gaggle of goods that are all under $25 on a theme that I’ve decided, kind of randomly, is so hot right now: school nostalgia. From ceramic paper airplanes to gorgeously redesigned grade school novels and trophy-esque vases, there’s definitely something in the air. Perhaps because it’s the fall – the season of going back to school? Call me a detective. So here are some fun things that I dug up on the subject:

1. Ok, so globes have been hot for quite a while, but the globe-love-fest continues, and I’m still on the wagon. Giddyup. My favorite spot to find them are thrift stores (we have a white one held by a whale, a bright turquoise one from my little cousin, and a sweet little one that I have yet to photograph for you guys) – but this one is under 25 beans.

2. Ceramic paper airplane. Need I say more? Oh and it’s just $7.99.

3. I’ve seen these amazing cloth-covered classic books that Penguin redesigned with gorgeous modern patterns in person, and I totally swooned. Seriously. John saw me sway from across the room while petting their covers. Can’t you picture a few stacked on the coffee table for everyone to ogle? Oh and you can read them too…

4. Test tubes full of paperclips, binder clips, and pushpins? Why the heck not. Actually I think my chemist brother, who is officially Dr. Dan by the way (and I’m the proudest sister ever) would get the biggest kick out of these.

5. Yellow clipboard! Here’s what I’d do with it: hang four of them in a grid on the wall of a playroom and use them to clip up some kid art. At around $6.50 a pop, they’re cheaper than most frames, and swapping out the art is as simple as the flip of a clip.

6. Have any of you discovered the genius that is a pencil highlighter? I love them. There’s just something infinitely more satisfying about them than a fat old neon marker. And they’re much cuter in a little cup on a desk, that’s for sure.

7. Remember those much coveted varsity letters of yore? I got one for swimming but get this… John got one for manning the concession stand during basketball games. And another one for band. Mah-man. Anyway, back to the varsity letter. Wouldn’t it be cool to get one from ebay or etsy (like this one) and do something fun like frame it or sew it onto a pillow? I know it sounds kids-room-ish, but I think it could totally work in a masculine or nautical adult room like a den.

8. This $14.99 ceramic trophy-vase from Target would be as cute empty on a bookshelf as it would be with fresh flowers in it on your desk.

9. This cute wood grain notebook almost makes me want to go back to school. Almost.

10. Maps roll with globes in the been-hot-for-a-while-but-they’re-still-going-strong crew, and this one is one of the prettiest ones I’ve seen. So imagine my sadness that it’s not for sale (at least not on this site where I found it). But then I had an idea. What if you got a black and white map and used bright highlighters to recreate this look? It could work, right? I’d love to see pics if someone tackles it!

What do you guys think? Do you like little mood boards like this that are centered around a certain topic? Definitely not for every week, but maybe once a month when I get a wild mood board hair? I’m definitely also planning to do room-centric ones too, but this was just too much fun to resist. I blame the ceramic paper airplane. What say you oh lovely readers?


  1. Laura says

    Love the idea of more mood boards – in any shape or form :) I actually used one of your old mood boards as inspiration for my son’s playroom. I’ll have to share pics once I complete a few more finishing touches!

  2. says

    I like the idea of mood boards themed around a topic. If someone had a certain theme in mind and wasn’t necessarily changing out furniture or anything major and wanted to just add some accessories, this would be perfect for them.

    I love those books btw…

  3. Jessica says

    I’m a teacher, so I LOVE this board – need. to. buy. highlighting pencils. I think the mood boards are a great idea. Some of us love to shop as much as we love to DIY, so getting more inspiration from your mood boards is so fun.

  4. says

    I’m happy with the return of your moodboards. I appreciate you including affordable things. As much I love some high-priced inspiration, I have to roll my eyes at moodboards with $500 “investment pieces”. Haha.

  5. Jessica Portilla says

    oooh, I’m first! I love school/office supplies..i’m a sucker for them, what can I say..btw, I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting you in NYC!

  6. Adeline says

    I say yes to those kind of mood boards!
    And so you know you’re not alone, I also petted the covers of Penguin redesigned classics once in a bookstore… They’re gorgeous!

  7. Meredith says

    The post title is making me channel Zoolander: “Hansel, so hot right now”. I loved it, please keep ’em coming! :)

  8. Esther says

    Just wanted to say hi cause I’m the first person to comment on this post and that has NEVER happened to me since you guys are just too cool for school (ha! school!), and so I couldn’t resist!
    fun mood board, I love that ceramic paper airplane

  9. audra says

    I love this board! I was one of those kids who got super excited for new school items!. I recently got my niece the penguin classic Alice in Wonderland (with the flamingo cover) for her 1st birthday. I’m going to get her a new book each year. Oh, and yes, I am the crazy person who interupted your lovely dinner last night! Clara is so cute in person and you and john are super nice too. My oldest daughter kept on saying “can we play with Clara tomorrow?”. Thanks for being so sweet to us (and sorry you didn’t get to experience the food festival).

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