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Pretty Neutral DIY Graduation Year Numbers in 3 Easy Steps

Make these pretty neutral DIY graduation year numbers and letters in 3 easy steps. In less than an hour, you’ll have the perfect party decor. These graduation numbers are a great way to add a personal touch to your celebration.

Do you have a student graduating this year?

Have you been planning a party to celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments?

After throwing high school graduation parties at home for all of our Simply2Moms kids Anne and I have some experience in this area.

We know all too well that this time of year can be expensive.

Graduations aren’t cheap between new clothes, a gift, and a party.

But we have some great ideas to keep the costs down to celebrate your graduate by making some of your own party decorations.

Like this customizable burlap banner.

Or this banner to display photos.

You can even use pallets for an inexpensive but large party photo display.

We’ve made simple centerpieces using photos and mason jars.

And these pretty centerpieces with painted cans, ribbons, and photos.

How to Make DIY Graduation Numbers

painted and decorated numbers on table outside

When my daughter Emma was graduating from high school last year she wanted to help me plan her party.

Boys are so much different than girls!

My boys could care less about the decorations as long as there was good food.

Although the food was also really important to her, the overall aesthetic of the graduation party is what Emma wanted to help with.

Lucky for me she has a similar style as I do so it was fun to plan her gathering with friends and family.

Since there are lots of other things to pay for with a graduation party making your own decorations can save you some money.

Emma wanted to include DIY graduation numbers like I had made for both of her brother’s parties.

This simple craft idea can be made in under an hour with just a few supplies.

What Supplies Do You Need to Make Graduation Numbers and Letters

craft supplies on table to make graduation numbers

To get started making your graduation decorations, you’ll need to gather a few supplies.

Aside from the paper mache numbers and letters, you’ll need some paint, brushes, and a few other items you can find at the craft store.

I found these paper mache numbers and letters in Hobby Lobby but they can also be purchased online here.

Supply List:

How to Make Neutral Graduation Decorations

These graduation decorations were for my daughter’s party so they were a feminine style.

But the same steps can be used for a more masculine theme with some different embellishments.

These fun graduation decorations are really very simple to make.

You can choose any color of paint or embellishments to personalize your decor.

I made these numbers and letters in a neutral style to coordinate with the theme of Emma’s party.

Anne made paper mache graduation decorations similar to these for her twin daughter’s party in several pretty styles to match their school colors.

Step 1: Measure Paper Mache Letter or Number

hand marking spot on number with pencil and ruler

The paper mache numbers and letters I used were 8″ so I measured each one halfway and marked it at 4″ with a pencil.

I painted the bottom half of each number and left the top half in the natural Kraft paper color.

Step 2: Paint DIY Numbers and Letters

blogger painting paper craft number with white paint

Next, using white craft paint with an inexpensive chip paint brush I covered the bottom half of each letter and number.

You can put painter’s tape along your pencil line if you’d rather not freehand your painting.

Step 3: Embellish Graduation Year Numbers or Words

half painted paper mache number with ribbon

After the paint is dry on all of your numbers you can start to embellish them with extra decorations.

I used a burlap ribbon with white detailing through it for a simple but pretty look.

You can use any style ribbon that coordinates with your colors and theme.

using glue gun to attach ribbon to number

I used my favorite Ryobi glue gun to attach the burlap ribbon to the numbers at the line where the natural color meets the painted area.

The ribbon not only looks great it also hides any imperfections in your paint line.

paper mache letters spelling grad on table in front of mirror

After adhering the ribbon to the graduation letters I added a single white paper flower on top of the ribbon.

Some of the flowers were attached to the left side and others on the right.

The simple flowers add a bit of a feminine boho style to the neutral letters.

Where to Decorate with Paper Mache Graduation Numbers

paper mache numbers decorated on outdoor table

I styled our outdoor dining table with the DIY graduation year numbers.

Two mason jars filled with fresh-cut hydrangea flank the grad year on the table to complete this simple centerpiece design.

Other places to display graduation numbers:

  • fireplace mantel
  • side or console table
  • buffet food table
  • hang from the ceiling or on a wall
  • photo booth backdrop

Variations to DIY Graduation Year Numbers

grad letters decorated and styled on table in front of mirror

Not only did I make numbers in Emma’s graduation year but I also created letters to spell out the word “grad”.

You can spell out anything you want with letters, another idea is “congrats” or if you want a really long display “congratulations”.

Add some personal touches to your decorations, and use your child’s name or initials.

Paper mache decorations can be used for any type of party, not just graduation parties.

They’re a great way to add a unique look to any event.

I hope this blog post has inspired you to make your own graduation year decorations.

Congratulations to the graduate!

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collage of product images needed to make graduation decorations

Sources: paper mache numbers | paper mache letters | white craft paint | chip paint brush | burlap ribbon | white paper flowers | glue gun | painters tape | scissors | ruler

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

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