12 Ideas for an Amazing Graduation Party

Graduation Cupcakes
DustyPixel / Getty Images

High school and college graduations mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, and there are only so many days designed to celebrate academic achievements. Whether you are the person graduating or you're hosting the celebration for a loved one, there's no reason not to go all out on a graduation party, from decor to food to favors. Graduations happen rarely enough to be truly special, and you don't want to miss the chance to celebrate. These graduation party ideas will help make the day memorable for everyone involved.

  • 01 of 12

    Celebrate With a Dessert Display

    Donut table for a graduation party

    Whether a graduate is completing high school, college, or kindergarten, planning a party with thoughtful details will take the experience to the next level. A dessert display such as a trendy donut wall will help make your celebration the hottest event on the graduation party circuit. Donut wall backdrops are easy to create and always stand out.

  • 02 of 12

    Create Glitter-Filled Balloons

    Woman holding a glitter balloon

    Glitter can add a lot of glam to a party—but cleaning up the tiny sparkles after the event can be arduous. You can achieve a sparkling effect without the mess by featuring glitter-filled balloons. And the combination of glitz and bouncing balloons promises to liven up the atmosphere. 

  • 03 of 12

    Design Sweet Serving Platters

    Glitter do it yourself party favor trays

    Hand out your graduation party favors in these glittery, do-it-yourself trays. Spell out GRAD, the graduate's name, or even the university they'll be intending in the fall. Once these letters are constructed, stuff them full of the graduate's favorite sweet surprises.

  • 04 of 12

    Let the School Colors Shine

    Blue themed covered oreos
    Your Home Based Mom

    Whether your graduate wants to celebrate where they're coming from or where they're going, let the school colors stand front and center. For a high school graduation party, consider decorating with the colors of your student's future university. Your menu can also become a work of art if you have foods with a specific color scheme.

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  • 05 of 12

    Create a Graduation Photo Board

    Birth to graduation picture collage
    By Sophia Lee

    Everyone attending the party has had different experiences with the graduate, so ask friends and family to bring their favorite photos and display them all in one enormous collage.

    You can use pallet boards to create a striking backdrop for your best shots. And don't limit yourself to photos alone: Consider adding items like sports uniforms, notable school projects, and medals.

  • 06 of 12

    Create an Art Installation

    Graduation year balloons
    Studio DIY

    Celebrate like you're in a modern art museum with giant statement balloons. Cut out large numbers to highlight the graduation year and hang them on streamers dangling from an enormous balloon. Once they're floating in your room, these colorful creations can seem almost magical.

  • 07 of 12

    Write Down Your Wishes

    Wishes on a wish tree
    Kate Aspen

    Give your graduate a grand send-off by having guests write down their best wishes for their future. You can use twigs in a jar to make a wishing tree, then have guests attach personal notes to the branches. Your graduate can keep these wishes for motivation and comfort as they embark on their next life chapter.

  • 08 of 12

    Say It in Writing

    DIY speech bubble chalkboard

    The Paper Curator

    This DIY speech bubble allows guests to send best wishes to the graduate—from "Congrats!" to "Keep in touch!" And your graduate can create a fun photoshoot by scribbling "I'm done!" on the chalkboard. To create this simple craft, you only need some scrap cardboard, chalkboard paint, and chalk. 

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  • 09 of 12

    Cap off Your Drinks

    Cute and clever graduation drink bottles
    The Idea Room

    These clever straws promise to add some pizazz to your beverage table. Your guests will love using them to sip delicious cocktails or strawberry lemonade. If you want to go the extra mile, wrap a colored band around glass bottles to create a cohesive display.

  • 10 of 12

    Build a Glam Photo Booth

    Graduate photo booth spot
    Lauren Conrad

    When it comes to a graduation party, the photo booth is always a popular feature. This glamorous rose-gold photo booth combines confetti, traditional peachy balloons, and enormous number balloons (spelling out the year of graduation) to give the party a fun glitzy effect.

  • 11 of 12

    Get a Little Seussian

    Oh the places you'll go sign
    A Night Owl

    There's a good reason "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a classic graduation gift. Dr. Seuss understood the plight of graduates like no one else. This quintessential book makes the perfect party theme for your graduate of any age with colorful cookies, a sea-blue suitcase, and (of course) a globe.

  • 12 of 12

    String up Your Superlatives

    Senior superlatives hung on balloons
    Studio DIY

    The classic senior-year superlatives can make fantastic graduation decorations. Honor the party guests with these balloon awards—think best hair or cutest couple—to create an immersive atmosphere for the party. Better yet: Have guests vote on who should win which award.