Graduation Memory Boards

  • 01 of 03

    Graduation Gifts & Memory Boards

    A Grad Night gallery of memory boards. Photo courtesy of Campo Grad Night '08

    A memory board or photo collage makes a particularly memorable graduation gift. Some schools include a gallery of memory boards in their Grad Night festivities, but even if yours doesn't, every family enjoys having a photographic record of their graduate's childhood. And assembling one of these can be a poignant rite of passage for parents saying goodbye to their college-bound child.

    Focus on childhood shots, and the results will be a wonderful memento for both your child and your family....MORE But if you're planning to pack this off to the dorms with your child, make sure it includes plenty of photos of his friends. No college kid takes an ego-centric collage to the dorms - not if he wants to make new friends, anyway. So here are two options, the family-centric memory board and the ready-for-college collage.

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  • 02 of 03

    Graduation Gifts: The Childhood Memory Board

    Christopher Wesser/ Getty Images

    First, choose a frame - 18-inches wide by 14-inches high is a nice size, but whatever dimensions please you will be fine. If this memory board is for a Grad Night memory gallery, the chairmen may provide inexpensive plastic frames, but once Grad Night is over, you'll likely want to reframe the board in something nicer. (Tip: If you have more than one child, purchase all the frames you'll eventually need at the same time. They may look standard, but trust me, you'll never find the...MORE identical frame again.)

    Remove the backing sheet from under the glass and use it as a base to lay out your photographs.

    The best memory boards include 24-30 photographs of varying sizes, drawn from earliest babyhood to graduation. Print out digital copies, varying the size, and scan and make copies of old, non-digital images. You'll be cutting up some of these, and you won't want to damage the originals.

    Mount your child's senior year photograph on a solid colored piece of acid-free paper or card stock, so it gives the image a 1/4" border. Arrange the other photos in a pleasing pattern, overlapping images and cutting out one or two to add variety. Place the senior year image last, so it's the most prominent. Once the images are placed to your liking, use bits of double stick tape to secure the photos to the backing paper. Replace the glass or plexiglass, secure the frame, and enjoy!


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  • 03 of 03

    The College Collage


    A memory board or collage that includes photos of your child's friends and/or your family is a wonderful, sentimental - in a good way! - decorative element for a dorm room. You can follow the instructions for making a memory board, using an inexpensive, lightweight frame - heavy frames with glass are not suitable for dorms, which typically don't allow you to pound load-bearing nails into the walls. Better yet, upload an image of the finished board to an online photo service, such as...MORE Shutterfly or Snapfish, and have them print a photo collage poster that can be hung on a dorm wall with tape.