18 Amazing DIY Graduation Ideas

Graduation is a time to celebrate your child! Make memories extra special by incorporating one or more of these graduation ideas for your party, save time and money by following the tips below!
graduation memory wreath with mortarbord and tassel
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

All three of my kids have graduated high school, and two have graduated University, making me feel profoundly old, lol! I'm so proud of the hard work and dedication each of my kids put into their school work (especially at University!), and what better way to show your support than some custom DIY graduation ideas!

Tip: Give your child the grad party (or not) that suits their personality!

Our daughter graduated during lockdown, so sadly we didn't have a big party for her. We were also in the process of packing up to move out of state, so we kept her graduation low-key and family only. I can't wait to shower her with a fabulous grad party when she graduates from University in a couple years! Unless she chooses to celebrate in Yellowstone (one of our family's favorite vacay spots!)

Not every kid likes a big party, hoopla and being the center of attention while being forced to mingle for hours with a large group of people. That's how our middle son is, and while we did host a high school graduation party for him, he doesn't want a celebration for his University grad...which is next week! Instead, we are going on a family vacation to visit family - and he is thrilled with that!

Be sensitive to your child and what they would prefer before you jump in with both feet and spend a ton of money on party decor and food! It's always a good idea to talk to your graduate several months beforehand and ask what their ideal graduation party looks like. As moms, it can be easy to assume and do what we want, and what we think they want, but we can get it wrong! I know, I know, shocking isn't it?

I just wanted to get that out of the way before I share some amazing ideas for your graduate who Wants a party and a big celebration!

18 of the Best Graduation Ideas you can pull off

I've rounded up some fabulous graduation ideas that you can copy! From party planning, to saving money, DIY grad announcements, food ideas and decorations that will make your graduate feel special and more! I hope you find these tips and ideas profoundly helpful and if you do, please let me know! I love receiving your comments...it keeps me going in my old age 😉❤

Photo Graduation DIY Ideas

It's always fun to see all the cute pictures of the graduate and how they've changed over the years! Here are some fantastic ideas to display those photos prominently.

Memory wreaths

I've made two photo memory wreaths for my son's HS graduations, one in black and white and one in color. Both include a simple cardstock mortarbord but what makes them really fun is that the graduate's tassel can hang from it! Both are created on a DIY pool noodle wreath form, so they're very inexpensive to make!

graduation DIY memory wreaths, black and white, color

Here's another version of the memory wreath, made in a different way, but still giving a big impact! Find instructions for this Memory Wreath by Lynne of My Family Thyme.

grad photos memory wreath

Oversized Graduation Portrait

You spend all that money on graduation pictures, why not show off your graduate's favorite picture by making an oversized DIY pic to welcome guests to the party?

I believe the price of these engineering prints from the print shop has gone up a lot since I made these DIY grad canvases, so shop around to get the best price. Walgreens often has great sales for large prints.

oversized grad canvas

DIY Graduation Pallet Photo Display

Remember when pallets were huge? If you can get your hands on one, Ann of Simply 2 Moms gives tips for creating a giant photo display! This is a great way to showcase some of your own (and your graduate's) favorite photo memories of years past!

Funny aside - in Texas, the graduates decorated their own pallet, built a huge pile of them and then had a 'pallet burning ceremony'! A strange custom but one everyone in our small town loved. As you can imagine, pallets were hard to come by in the weeks leading up to graduation!

grad pallet photo display

Graduation Photo Cube

Michelle of Our Crafty Mom made this photo cube from dollar store picture frames! It includes a slot at the top for cards (or money!). What a great idea and awesome keepsake!

dollar store graduation photo cube and card holder

Ideas for Hosting the Best Graduation Party

Whether you're looking for tips to set up the party, buffet table ideas or special decorations, these ideas will inspire you and help you to plan the best graduation party ever!

Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas 

Danielle of Faith and Farmhouse has lots of ideas for creating a memorable graduation party outdoors. From photo props, buffet table ideas, favors, decorations and more, you'll appreciate the 'formula' she follows for a successful party!

outdoor graduation party set up

Fun Grad Party Photo Activity

Nicole of Adorn the Table shares the easiest photo prop ever and something everyone can participate in! Read her easy directions and make sure to have the camera ready!

photo prop idea for graduation party

Grad Party Planning and Knowledge Themed Decorations

My eldest son has always been very studious, top of his class, full engineering scholarship. The decorations I chose for his party were along those themes of pillars of knowledge, a Benjamin Franklin chalkboard quote, and a tree of wisdom with keepsake album.

tree of wisdom, keepsake album grad idea

Pretty Grad Party Ideas for a Girl

Anne of Simply 2 Moms planned a special graduation party for her twin girls. Her meaningful party decoration ideas will inspire you, her candy and dessert table will have you drooling, and her budget-saving tips will keep you and your wallet (I mean hubby ha) happy!

pretty decor ideas for girl graduate

Graduation Party Buffet Table Set Up

Nicole of Adorn the Table is an expert at setting a graduation buffet table. With the food on different heights, everything is shown off to perfection and guests can easily help themselves!

buffet table set up with risers

Grad Party Cupcakes with Homemade Fondant Caps

While I haven't made them since, and struggled with the construction, I made my own fondant graduation caps with tassels and they looked so great on the homemade cupcakes! My graduate, and everyone else, loved them!

grad party cupcakes, fondant caps

DIY Grad Cap Cake Plate

If you're looking for a super easy and inexpensive idea for a grad party, you need to check out this grad cap cake plate made by Nicole of Adorn the Table. You'll be shocked at how easy and affordable it is to make!

black graduate cake plate from a bowl and square plate

Not everyone considers themselves 'crafty' or enjoys making it themselves. Keep reading for some affordable graduation ideas from Amazon!

Miscellaneous Graduation Ideas to Keep You Sane

Easy, No-Sew Way to Alter a Graduation Gown

If you have kids at the same high school but graduating different years, save that gown! I'm showing you how easy it is to alter a graduation gown. This no-sew project is a great money-saver.
grad gown no-sew alterations before and after

300 of the Best Graduation Quotes and Sayings to Inspire

Whether you're making your own graduation cards, announcements or something else, a good quote can be hard to find. Kate of Southern Home and Hospitality has a huge collection of inspiring quotes for grads that you will appreciate.

300 inspiring quotes for graduates

Graduation Champagne Glass Party Favor

How cute is this champagne glass-turned party favor by Michelle of Our Crafty Mom, with its cardstock cap and embroidery floss tassel. Michelle shares her tutorial and makes it look easy.

champagne glass party favor, cardboard cap and tassel

How to Make Your Own Graduation Announcements

In a bid to save money, we chose to make our own graduation announcements. Thankfully, my son was very accommodating and didn't demand something high end, lol! I created these announcements using his graduation pictures (make sure you have a license to do so if pics were taken by a professional). I'll show you just how I did this in PicMonkey.

homemade graduation announcements using PicMonkey

60 Graduation Cap Decorating Ideas

I didn't even know decorating grad caps was a thing until our daughter graduated in 2022! Kate from Southern Home and Hospitality has 60 incredible ideas for decorating a grad cap that will stand out in the crowd! Not only does it showcase the graduate's personality...it's a great way for the family to find their grad in a crowd!

60 decorating grad cap ideas

Graduation Ideas from Amazon

Pin to Save

18 amazing graduation ideas

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


share this post