12 Crafty Graduation Party Ideas

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014

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With the spring comes an event high school and university seniors itch for — graduation. These party ideas are geared toward the crafty friends and family members of recent grads, the ones who look at party decorations that come out of a bag and think, "I can do better." These people know that handmade parties are not only more fun to prepare, they're more personalized for the star. Let your recent grads shine with these crafty graduation party and gift ideas.

smart cookie graduation party
Smart Cookie Theme Party

There are few things a recent grad wants more than a boatload of homemade cookies. (I mean, I guess this is true of everybody. Right? Just me?) Put your Pinterest and CraftFoxes recipes to the test by inviting friends and family over for a cookie tasting — and celebrate the smart cookie waltzing around with a fresh diploma.
Check out photos from Love the Day’s smart cookie theme party!

sail away theme graduation party
Sail Away Theme Party

Speaking of boatloads, you don't need to live near the beach to send off your recent grad with a Sail Away theme party. Break out the Halloween sailor and pirate outfits, the oars from the old canoe in the garage, and tons of crafty materials like cardboard (for cutouts like the one pictured), fabric for colored bunting (we've got a tutorial), and photo booth props like a cutout parrot and speech bubbles. 
Plunder Your Homebased Mom’s party ideas!

grad cap card box
Grad Cap Card Box

Grab a free tutorial on DIY tassel earrings (a great gift idea in their own right) to make this grad cap card box where party guests can drop personal notes. All it takes is some black card stock, strategic cuts with scissors and a crafting knife, and glue.
See more photos from Oh It’s Perfect!

graduation guestbook pillow
Graduation Guestbook Pillow

Whether it’s for a dorm room or a new apartment, a recent grad will find pillows useful and sweet reminders of home. This is especially true if their loved ones’ personal notes are written directly on it. The tassel tutorial above will come in handy here, too.
Find the tutorial at FaveCrafts!

senior portraits graduation party centerpiece
Senior Portraits Centerpiece

Finally, a use for all those extra copies of senior portraits you ordered! Cut out your grad’s photos in fun shapes with a crafting knife and tape them up to the walls, protect them with a waterproof sealant and pile them next to the drinks as coasters, or place them in a centerpiece of flowers. 
Poke around Pear Tree Greetings for more glam grad party ideas!

crepe paper flowers centerpiece
Crepe Flowers Centerpiece

Farmers’ market organic flowers are great for avoiding harmful pesticides but not so great for your checkbook. Why not make flowers that last by crafting your own with crepe paper? Don’t forget this sneaky tip: dab the ends of the stems or petals with your favorite essential oil blend before sliding the flowers into a vase as table centerpieces. After the party, give them to guests (and the grad) to fill their new dorm rooms and apartments with lasting aromas and memories.
See the full how-to at CraftFoxes!


grad cap bottle caps
Grad Cap Bottle Caps

For an easy grad party hack, cut out squares from black card stock and glue on a bit of yarn or string in your grad’s school colors. Unravel the ends of the yarn or string to give it the appearance of a tassel. Glue or tape the whole thing onto bottle tops to make them look like grad caps.
Get inspired at Mixbook!

photo album coasters
Photo Album Coasters

Coasters reminding the recent grad of family or school memories make perfect graduation gifts — as well as party décor. Follow the tutorial over at Lee lala but be sure to protect the coasters with non-tacky sealant. That, unfortunately, rules out Mod Podge for most of us. Earth Safe Finishes makes a variety of low- and VOC-free varnishes and sealers that resist sticking. Speaking from experience, it breaks hearts to see a cracked family photo because the heat from a mug of hot tea made the coaster stick and fall to the floor. 
Make your own photo coasters with help from Lee lala!

grad cap party pops
Grad Cap Party Pops

Party food takes dedication and time to make. These grad cap party pops are an exception. While you’re at the grocery store picking up ingredients for your other party dishes, pick up a bag of Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a few other ingredients from the baking aisle. Skip to My Lou has a helpful tutorial, but if you’re feeling particularly strapped for time, use broken up chocolate bar squares instead of melting chocolate into square molds.
Skip over to Skip to My Lou for the recipe!

graduation party food
Cheesy Diplomas

This rolled up slice of cheese and sandwich meat is held together with a scallion. Use diced up red, orange, and green peppers as edible confetti!
Find the recipe at Spoonful!

buttermilk fried chicken with chipotle mayo
Tastes-Like-Home Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Some things are just better homemade. If you’re frying up some chicken, spice it up with homemade chipotle mayonnaise to ramp up the delicious.
Check out the recipe at CraftFoxes!

dream destination change jar
Dream Destination Change Jars

A recent grad’s mind should treasure the past and yet race forward with zeal known only to the young. But that kind of zeal needs to be bridled with patience — patience that can be taught with a simple gift in a jar. First, find out your recent grad’s dream destination. Then, either slap on a few stickers — like Miss Social did — or cut out a city- or landscape with craft scissors or craft knife and tape it to the inside of an empty Mason jar.
See the DIY houses by night tutorial pictured in the header image at Duitang!

Photo credits: Love the Day, Your Homebased Mom, Oh It’s Perfect!, FaveCrafts, Smarty Had a Party, CraftFoxes, Mixbook, Lee lala, Skip to My Lou, Spoonful, CraftFoxes, Duitang


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