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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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