Graduation season is a time for goodbyes, new beginnings and celebrations. Whether you are toasting a high school or college graduate, we’ve rounded up some of the best ideas and products to throw a party to remember.
Check out the gorgeous handmade invitations above from the Etsy shop Dreams By the River. Not only can the invites be personalized with school colors, but they come with handmade envelopes, the flap of which is embossed with graduation caps. The hat part opens to reveal your party details, and each card is topped with a tassel.
2. Graduation wreath
Let everyone know how proud you are of your grad with this wreath from the Etsy shop Gerard Family Wreaths (ask about custom colors). This 24-inch diameter beauty is plush with gold, black and silver bling along with a congratulations sign in the center. Talk about setting the tone for a graduation party!
For a perfect table decor, look no further than these centerpiece wands from Confetti Momma. Three wands come included; two are topped with sparkly graduation caps and one with the graduation year. This one is particularly pretty when mixed in with a vase of fresh flowers.
4. Giant photo wall
There’s nothing better than a display of photos of your graduate through the years to celebrate a lifetime achievement. Over at Tatertots and Jello, the blog’s author created a photo wall display with giant pictures printed out on blueprint paper (less expensive than photo paper). Get your grad to tear up, too.
5. Sail away photo display
For a fun nautical theme, check out this display. A life preserver, fishnet and lots of photos on a rustic pallet make a perfect backdrop to a snack table or as decor. Read about this and many other “sail away” graduation theme party ideas at the blog Your Homebased Mom.
6. Italian soda bar
For a fun drink idea, try an Italian soda bar! This mixture of flavored syrup (the kind used in coffee drinks), sparkling water and cream will give your party a sweet touch. Be sure to top with real whipped cream! Details at Tidy Mom.
7. Graduation cap straws
These cute straws will be the perfect embellishment to any drink. The hats are made of black cardstock and are attached to the straw of your choice. Learn how to create your own at The Idea Room.
8. Diploma cookies
No time to bake? These cookies are simply Pepperidge Farms Pirouettes tied with a bow! Thanks to Angee's Eventions for the cap-tossing worthy idea.
9. School colors chocolate-covered Oreos
For another fun, no-bake dessert, whip up these dipped Oreo cookies. Leigh Anne of the Homebased Mom blog made these for her high school grad. These could also be gathered together and embellished with a ribbon for a cute cookie bouquet to give as a graduation gift as well.
10. Favor boxes
No one will forget your party if you send guests home with these custom graduation hat boxes from Dreams By the River. Made of textured card stock, each box features a personalized message and is topped with a tassel. These are big enough to hold 28 to 30 Hershey’s Kisses. Yum!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2016, and updated in June 2017.