20 Graduation Party Crafts and Decorations
Graduating from school is a reason for celebrating. After so much time spent learning, a party is just the thing to top off years of hard work. While we're sure you're also focused on gifts for your grad, a gathering of family and friends is also an important part of the equation. From graduation party crafts to festive decorations, take a look at our top tips for making your graduation party extra special.
First up, welcome and direct guests to the party with a decorative garden flag. Place it on the curb or next to your front porch to grab guests' attention. Commemorate the next phase in your graduate's life with a number of banners and displays—we have plenty for you to choose from. A favorite way to show how much they've changed over the years is with a school picture banner. It's as simple as placing grade school photos on a banner and stringing it over your hearth or along your banister. No graduation festivities would be complete without a poster—have one made with a photo of your graduate and their graduating class year. Then hang the poster up at the entrance of the party so it's one of the first things guests see.
You can also create your own graduation party décor following our how-tos. Build our Graduation Party Card Box for a simple and memorable DIY. Guests can drop their congrats and well-wishes inside. Decorate with our Crepe-Paper Streamers in your grad's school colors for a festive touch. Take it up a notch with one, or all, of our cheerful tassel crafts. We're showing you how to make Magazine-Paper Tassel Gift Toppers and tassel favors. Another fun project is our DIY senior superlatives. All it takes to create is a foam board, chalkboard paint, stencils, and some creativity. From simple crafts to delightful decorations, ahead discover graduation party inspiration your graduate is sure to love.
Paper Graduation Cap
After they've done the iconic hat toss, these colorful copies make a batch of memorable party favors or even a special surprise for the honorable graduate herself. Start by covering round mini boxes with paper in the graduate's school color, and top each one with a matching square envelope and tassel. Stash assorted candy or a class ring in the box, plus a crisp dollar bill in the envelope.
Graduation Honor Scroll
For academic flair, encourage guests to sign this A-plus keepsake. It's made from dowels, wooden ball beads, and our downloadable template—simply fill it with congratulations for your pride and joy.
Mortarboard Gift Boxes
Tip your hat to your favorite graduate with a little gift (or a little cash) in a mini mortarboard box. To make, start with a small, round balsa-wood box, then cut a 4 1/2-inch square piece of card stock in a matching color. Punch a hole in the middle of the card stock with an awl, pull a tassel through, and tape it down. Secure the paper to the box top with double-sided tape.
Shop Now: Oriental Trading Mini Round Balsa-Wood Cheese Boxes, $1.75 each, orientaltrading.com. Mohawk Fine Papers Lettra Paper, 220 lb., 8.5" by 11", in Pearl White, $2.25 per sheet, thepapermillstore.com. M&J Trimming Fine Metallic Tassels, 3", $10 for 3, mjtrim.com.
Let your graduates play fortune teller with a fun photo-booth party setup. Cut a 22-by-20-inch piece of foam board, then cut out a 17-by-15-inch rectangle inside. Paint it with chalkboard paint and let dry, at least 1 hour. Apply a second coat; let dry again. Use craft paint and alphabet stencils to paint "Most likely to..." on the frame bottom. Provide guests with chalk to predict friends' futures, then snap photos against a solid-colored wall. Extra credit: After the party, assemble the printed photos into a yearbook-inspired album, using a service like Shutterfly.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Paint, in Gray, $6 for 6 oz., michaels.com.
Part decoration part keepsake, display a large photo of your graduate with their graduation year for all to see when entering the soirée, then hang it up in your home for years to come.
Shop Now: Minted "Wishing Cheer" Custom Photo Art, 18" X 24", from $189, minted.com.
Chalk-Painted Monogram Plaque
Recognize your grad before guests even walk in the front door with this easy to make plaque featuring their initial.
Welcome guests before they enter the party with a garden flag.
Shop Now: Wayfair "Confetti and Stripes" Graduation Party Polyester Garden Flag, $26.99, wayfair.com.
A subtle graduation decoration comes in the shape of a kiss. Sweeten up to your grad with these candy stickers.
Shop Now: Distinctivs Graduation Hershey Kiss Stickers, $9.49, etsy.com.
Fringed Graduation Decoration
Show some pride for your favorite graduate in a big way—with an oversize decoration in his or her school colors. Embellish the class year with fringed paper stripes and hang it on the wall using removable adhesive strips.
Print our number templates and tile pages together. Trace number templates onto chipboard; cut out. Accordion-fold about 30 sheets of 12-by-18-inch medium weight paper lengthwise, creating 2 1/2-inch folds. Open paper and cut along every other fold to make two-ply strips. Using scissors, fringe the open side of each folded strip. Cut a fringed strip to fit across bottom of one number. Apply a glue stick along top of strip and adhere to chipboard. Continue cutting and gluing strips, working upward, overlapping each and alternating colors. Add a "class of" wall decal above the numbers to really spell things out.
Shop Now: Recollections Fringe Scissors, $15, michaels.com.
Custom Photo Banner
Nothing says graduation party décor quite like school pictures. Hang this banner above your mantel so everyone can see how much your grad has grown.
Shop Now: PennantParties Graduation Banner Picture Display, $13, etsy.com.
Graduating Year Garland
Give your graduate a shout-out to their graduating year with a "Class of" garland.
Shop Now: KbPaperCo Graduation Banner, $13, etsy.com.
School Color Balloon Display
This balloon garland is a simple nod to your graduate's school colors. Simply purchase balloons in various sizes and colors and string them together to create your own.
Open up a scrapbook and cherish the memories of your grad at their graduation party. The book serves as a decoration when laid open on a table.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart x Mixbook "Floral" Family Photo Album, starting from $47.50, mixbook.com.
Decorate your graduation party with these colorful dahlia-like pom-poms. Create your own in your graduate's school colors for an extra festive touch.
Graduation Party Card Box
Leave this themed box by the door and have guests drop their best wishes for the graduate inside.
Graduation Party Sign and Guest Book
Despite the year being 2016, the idea is still perfect for a graduation party. It's easy to make, too. Simply paint three of the numbers with two coats of paint in the color of your choice. Use the flat tip of the brush to paint the edges of the numbers. With the remaining number, paint the edges in the color of your choice and let it dry. Then start to decoupage the photographs onto the bare surface of that number. First, apply decoupage medium to the wood surface (just about the size of the image), then to the back of the image. Lay the image down to the preferred position. Then apply a thin layer of decoupage medium over the images as you go along, repeating this step for every photo. You may use your brush to release any air bubbles and ensure a flat image. Finally, let everything dry completely before allowing guests to sign.
Decorate your graduation party table with confetti featuring photos of your graduate.
Shop Now: Zazzle "2020 Graduation Party" Black and Gold Photo Confetti, $10.50, zazzle.com.
No modern graduation party is complete without a picture-perfect photo-op. We love this elevated gold option.
Shop Now: Ginger Ray "Pick and Mix" Gold Photo Booth Backdrop, $22.49, target.com.
Magazine-Paper Tassel Gift Toppers
Top off gifts for your graduate with this festive and easy to make craft that's reminiscent of the ones worn on graduation day.
A tiny tassel makes opening this favor box especially fun—the wide, striped fabric around the box has been trimmed with pinking shears at the sides.
Use pinking shears to trim a 10-by-1 5/8-inch fabric piece. Glue one end to the inside of the box's lid and wrap it around the box before gluing. Punch a mini hole in the lid's edge before slipping the tassel loop through and securing with 1/4-inch dowel or tape.