Graduation Party Ideas

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The season of graduation parties is upon us. Party stores will be packed with stressed out parents trying to plan a party for family and friends, one big enough to celebrate the success of their child's graduation from high school or even college. I had my own graduation party almost exactly a year ago and I remember running around like crazy trying to figure out what needed to be done still. I spent hours on Pinterest trying to find cute ideas for my party (most of which I didn't use, but hey) because I had a lot of free time after graduating, honestly. I found plenty of ideas to be used for outdoor parties (maybe I'll throw one someday…#LOL), but these were my favorite graduation themed ideas. They're all very simple, which is the best way to go when you have to plan a big party in what seems like little time.


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1. Advice/Memory Jar

What you need: 
- Small pieces of paper
- Various pens or pencils
- A mason jar

I had an advice jar on my "photo table" at my graduation party. Really, all my mom did was cover a folding table with white table cloth. Then she displayed my kindergarten graduation picture alongside my senior picture. She sprinkled the table with graduation confetti and had my card box, the Smarties jar (see #5), and my card box (see #6). Most of the advice that was left was nonsensical, but I find myself reading them from time to time for a good laugh.

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2. Edible "diplomas"

What you need: 

- Pull 'n Peel Twizzlers or stringy gummies
- Pirouette cookies
- A serving plate

Arrange the pirouette cookies on a plate and stack them until your desired height. On a few of the top cookies, tie the Twizzler bit into a bow to resemble a diploma. You can use ribbon if you want, but these are a cute (and delicious!) decoration to put out with desserts.


3. School Spirit

What you need: 

- Clear serving bowls
- M & Ms in your high school or college school colors
- Balloons, again, either in your high school colors or college colors
- Streamers (you know the drill with the color scheme)

This is a more general theme than it is anything else. I didn't want to use my high school colors for my graduation party (black and gold, gross). My mom had the great idea to use my college colors (green and white) instead. So to show school spirit for CSU, I used green and white serving plates, plastic silverware, cups, napkins, and the confetti. Customizable M&Ms can get expensive, but they do have a lot of colors available at places like Party City. I happened to luck out because they were selling big bags of mint M&Ms when I went to pick out the rest of the decorations. The mint M&Ms were various shades of green, which was fine with me. We put them on the patio for guests to snack on, though they were really just there for decoration.

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4. Picture boards

What you need: 

- Some sort of board, i.e. a cork board, fabric message board, upholstered cardboard, etc.
- Photos from high school, or even from when you were younger
- Tape or thumbs tacks

Picture boards are great way to include your best childhood pictures as well as some of the fun times that you had while in high school or college. I swear, people love pictures of you as a little tot, so suck it up and say thank you to their "aw, you were so cute!" because you probably just got a pretty nice check from them.

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5. Smarties

What you need: 

- Clear serving jar
-(American) Smarties

Smarties are easily one of the worst candies ever, but they are a cute touch to a graduation party. The play on words are amusing enough to suck it up enough to eat a couple of those chalky disks.

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6. Decorative card boxes

What you need: 

- Cardboard box with lid
- Box cutter or X-acto knife
- Fabric of your choice
- Fabric glue/tacky glue
- Hot glue gun
- A square of felt

My aunt made a card box for me and my two cousins, as well as my best friend for his party this year. I found having a card box made everything ten times easier. I didn't have to worry about the wind blowing away cards if they weren't enclosed and it was just a convenient way to store them. My card box was black and gold because I had to show some hawk pride. And since my aunt is the sweetest human being in the world, she sent me step by step instructions on how to make one of these beauties.


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