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17 of Our Best Graduation Party and Gift Ideas

Are you planning a graduation party? Or maybe need a gift idea? We have you covered with 17 of our best graduation party and gift ideas.

If you’ve been around here a while you know that we each have 3 children in their teens and early 20’s.

So that means we’ve thrown a few graduation parties for them!

And Anne is actually prepping right now for her girls high school graduation at the end of this month.

We’ve shared diy party decor ideas, creative ways to display photo & memorabilia, meaningful gift ideas for your child, and more over the past couple of years.

You can find any one of those ideas with a quick google search.

Need a graduation gift…just search grad gift idea.

Need graduation party decor…look for decorations for grad party.

But then you’ll have 1500 tabs open on your laptop or phone and get all confused. You may not remember where you saw which idea. Am I right?

So…we thought we’d make it super easy for you to find all our AMAZING graduation party and gift ideas (if we do say so ourselves) in one blog post!

Since between us…we’ve planned three high schools and one college graduation party…and currently getting ready for another high school graduation party for twins…I think we’ve got some great ideas.

And they’re the BEST graduation party and gift ideas since they’re from two of your favorite moms who always bring you simple ideas!! 🙂

1. Virtual Graduation Party

TV showing a livestream of a graduation ceremony

First we want to recongnize that not everyone will be able to attend a graduation party again this year. Honestly, we’ve learned over the past year that we’re still able to connect with our family and friends who don’t live close by.

Although this year most schools have figured out a way to have an in person graduation ceremony for families tickets will be limited.

We also realize that not everyone is comfortable with gathering in large groups or traveling yet to attend your student’s celebration.

Anne shared a blog post recently with some creative ideas to host a virtual graduation party.

2. Food & Drink Ideas for Grad Celebration

Three large mason jar-styled drink dispensers with chalk labels and paper straws

Back in 2016, I hosted Jake’s graduation party with two of his close friends.

The biggest hit at the party was a salsa bar!

The boys love Moe’s and spent lots of their time & money there during their senior year so it was a fun addition to the party food.

Anne had a great spread at Ryan’s party in 2018 including Cracker Jacks!

You’ll have to check out this post to see why!

3. DIY Burlap Banner

congratulations banner hanging in dining room above console table and floor plant on stool

Have space for a large banner? This one is pretty long but I LOVE it!

And if you want to make it shorter…just use the word CONGRATS instead.

I made this for Jake’s graduation and was able to store it and use it again 4 years later when Gavin graduated. And I’ll probably pull it back out next year for Emma.

Get all the details for how to make this CONGRATULATIONS burlap and ribbon banner in just 5 easy steps here.

4. Custom T-Shirt Quilt

woman holding up completed t-shirt quilt as example of meaningful graduation gift ideas

Got t-shirts?

Custom handmade quilts can be really expensive but this is an affordable option to get a custom t-shirt quilt made for your special grad!

I created t-shirt quilts for both of my boys when they graduated high school. It’s a special gift that’s easy to do with my step-by-step instructions here.

5. Graduation Memory Book

meaningful graduation gift ideas photo of young man sitting in family room on carpeted floor reading book of letters

I can’t take credit for this idea…I wish I could…but I do share it with everyone I know because it’s such a meaningful gift idea.

And one of my sons may have cried reading his book! I made a book for each of them for high school graduation and it was one of their favorite gifts.

Read this blog post to get all the details of putting together a graduation memory book for your student.

6. Graduation Party Ideas: Table Centerpieces

Both Anne and I made these simple table centerpieces for our at home graduation parties.

We did slightly different styles but the idea was the same. And they are super easy for you to replicate for your celebration.

7. DIY Photo Booth

diy photo booth with star lights and sheer voile curtains and two bunches of star balloons on either side

What’s a party with out taking a few selfies?

This easy photo booth can be hung for your guests but don’t forget to take lots of pics of your grad with their friends and family too!

8. College Graduation Gift Guide

three young men standing with their arms around each others shoulders in caps and gowns wearing sunglasses on a brick sidewalk on college campus

We shared a list of 31 gift ideas that college grads really want this year.

But there are many things on our list that would be perfect for a high school graduate also.

So, if you need a great graduation gift idea…be sure to check it out!

9. Photo Banner

Four banners made out of photos mounted on cardstock squares hanging above a half wall dividing a kitchen and family room to decorate for a graduation party.

Anne made this incredible double sided photo banner for Ryan’s graduation party and hung it between the kitchen and family rooms.

Their guests loved taking a walk down memory lane and seeing all the pictures of their favorite grad throughout the years.

10. Graduation Gift Idea: Photo Book

cover of photobook with young man sitting on stairs of old warehouse

And while we’re talking about looking back at our graduates growing up…I created a photo book for Jake as a graduation gift.

I titled the book Jakob Riley: Through the Years and included photos of Jake from birth through 18.

You can get all the details for this sentimental graduation gift idea in this blog post.

Honestly, this one took a bit of time to put together.

And I still haven’t done Gavin’s book. I’ve got his pictures organized by year on my hard drive but I need to find the time to sit down and actually create his book.

11. Graduation Party Decor

Paper mache numbers decorated with school colors for a graduation party on brick steps with a graduation cap

We have a super easy but impactful graduation party decoration idea that can be used in so many ways for your celebration.

These paper mache numbers are so simple to decorate…Anne shared several great ideas to make these in the school colors and graduation year.

12. Memory Display for Grad Party

Display of high school memorabilia for a graduation party

Another special way to honor your graduate’s accomplishments is to create a memoroblia display.

Anne set up a beautiful display for Ryan including achievements in academics and sports as well as several of his pieces of art.

And even a super cute list of things he wanted to be when he grew up…you have to see how adorable it is!

13. DIY Popcorn Bar

close up of matching shakers with chalkboard labels filled with different seasonings

Food is an important part of any gathering and I love to get creative in how I serve snacks at a party.

For my daughter’s birthday party we put together a yummy DIY popcorn bar complete with all the seasonings and toppings you could imagine.

A DIY popcorn bar would be an awesome idea for a graduation party too!

14. Photo Board Display

birthday memory bulletin board with 15 photos displayed in grid pattern 5 across and 3 down

This photo bulletin board is another example of how you can display photos of your graduate throughout the years.

You could add a photo for each year of your child’s life from birth through 18.

Or how fun would it be to include the student’s school picture of each year from kindergarten through senior year?!

You know how much we all love those school pictures! LOL

Either option would be such a cool idea for a graduation party.

15. Inspirational Quotes for Graduation

Graduation Book | | #graduation #gradgift #graduationgift #memorybook #digitalphotobook #photobook #letters # keepsakegift #meaningfulgiftidea

While you’re putting together the graduation memory book or the photo book through the years or even signing a card you may want to include a few words of wisdom.

Check out this list of 75 inspirational quotes that are perfect for any graduate.

16. Dress Up Your Graduation Party Desserts

Adding little diy picks to your desserts is a fun way to incorporate more graduation themed decor.

Just print out Class of 2021 and cut with a paper punch in your favorite pattern.

Then attach to a toothpick to create this fun and easy decoration for your dessert table.

17. Meaningful Graduation Gift Ideas

man stading on rock formation with mountain range ahead and trees on either side of him as an example of an experience graduation gift idea

If you’re still reading this, then you can probably guess that Anne and I are pretty sentimental mamas!

We both wanted to make each of our children’s graduation days unforgettable celebrations as you can tell with all of these special graduation party ideas.

But the decorations weren’t the only things we poured our hearts into…

I’ve already shared a few sentimental graduation gift suggestions but get our 11 meaningful ideas here to find the perfect gift that speaks to your heart…or better yet…one that will speak to your child’s heart.

We hope you found some graduation party and gift ideas for your graduate!

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

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