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10 Gift Ideas for High School Graduation

Updated on February 16, 2015
randomcreative profile image

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.


Are you looking for something different to give at high school graduation parties this year or you simply aren't sure what to give the graduates that you know? These ten ideas are appropriate for many different types of graduates and can be given by family members or friends. There are lots of options for different price points here as well as personalization.


1. T-Shirt Quilt

Many people leave high school with a wide variety of t-shirts: sports teams, band competitions, dances, class trips, etc. While these t-shirts contain a lot of great memories, former high school students may not have much need to wear them after they have graduated, especially as they start acquiring college shirts. If students aren't ready to part with their shirts yet, consider offering the gift of a t-shirt quilt.

This office supply set includes a pair of earrings.  Gifts like this can be both practical and fun.
This office supply set includes a pair of earrings. Gifts like this can be both practical and fun. | Source

2. Office Supplies Basket or Gift Set

Even though students frequently use office supplies throughout high school, they may not own high quality supplies of their own, such as a three hole punch and a stapler. There are a number of pre-packaged gift baskets that you can purchase or you can put together your own set. Keep your gift functional and fun. Consider personalization options for the recipient, such as colors.


3. Book With Notes of Encouragement from Teachers, Coaches, Etc.

Creating a lasting gift for a high school student by creating a book that contains notes of encouragement from teachers, coaches, etc. In addition to close contacts from high school, consider other important figures from the student's past such as an elementary school teacher or an old scout troop leader. If you don't want to use Oh, the Places You'll Go!, another graduation related book or a beautiful blank book will work well, too.


4. Laundry Bag with Supplies

Like office supplies, laundry supplies are one of those things that you take for granted when you're still living at home. It may not be the most exciting gift, but the graduate will think of you every time they use these practical supplies. Big box stores often have specials on laundry baskets and bags during back to school sales.


5. Gas and/or Restaurant Gift Cards

When my littlest sister-in-law was still in grade school, my in-laws frequently purchased gas and restaurant gift cards for me and my husband through the school's Scrip program. When we were first married and had an apartment, grocery store gift cards were a popular choice, too. When you're just starting out, $25 off a monthly purchase or the chance for an extra meal out at a restaurant is significant. Many big box stores and other chains (i.e. chain grocery stores) carry gift cards in the check out area.


6. Netflix Subscription

When I started undergrad in 2001, DVD sets were the highly coveted item. This can still be a good gift if you know that someone really enjoys a particular series and doesn't own it. They'll enjoy the commentaries, deleted scenes, etc. that come with the disks. However, don't discount the hours of entertainment that Netflix can provide. There are a handful of gift subscription options on the web site.


7. College Wear/Gear

When I decided where I was going to undergrad and got my first college shirt, I wore it at least once a week until I started classes. Even though college students will have numerous opportunities to purchase and/or acquire shirts, having some initial gear to take to school is a huge thrill. If you don't live close to the chosen university, consider ordering online. Many school bookstore web sites have online inventory.

How funny is this Steampunk MP3 player?
How funny is this Steampunk MP3 player? | Source

8. Tech Gift

There are a number of great possibilities for tech gifts. A few that come to mind include flash drives, MP3 players, MP3 accessories, and portable GPS devices (i.e. for the car). MP3 accessories can include but are not limited to car hookups, charging docks, and headphones. Consider your budget and what will be most helpful for the given graduate.

Many Etsy sellers offer customization options for albums like this including colors, size, and wording.
Many Etsy sellers offer customization options for albums like this including colors, size, and wording. | Source

9. High School Scrapbook

For those of you who are crafty and enjoy making projects like this, consider a scrapbook as a gift option. For those of you who aren't crafty, there are a number of wonderful handmade personalized options out there, such as the scrapbook that I've linked on the right. You and the graduate can work together to design the layout or you can surprise the graduate with a book that she can add photos to herself.


10. Gift Specific for a Chosen Major

For many students, one of the most exciting parts about starting college is the chance to start taking more classes in an academic area that you really enjoy. There are a number of options for any major, even those that are a little more obscure. If you aren't sure where to start, talk to the graduate and/or spend some time browsing on Amazon.

© 2012 Rose Clearfield


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    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You're very welcome! That's great. :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks so much for featuring my album Rose :)

      And I love the tshirt quilt idea too!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Rpenafiel! I'm glad that you like so many of these ideas. A memorabilia chest is another great thought!

    • Rpenafiel profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Cool gift ideas; love the t-shirt quilt, so neat and unique. The tech gadgets may not be something of a practical choice but highly considerable as gifts for the grads, a new phone will do the same, if someone can afford phones like iphone, blackberry and smartphones then why not, but there are few practical phones from Nokia, Just5, Sanyo and Samsung phones to consider. You can also include a memorabilia chest to keep their scrapbooks, photos and other graduation stuffs for them to cherish in a lifetime.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks Shasta and Ardie! Shasta, you're right that many of these ideas would be great for college graduates, too.

    • Ardie profile image


      6 years ago from Neverland

      These are wonderful ideas for a new graduate. I especially like the office supplies basket :) Fun!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas randomcreative, and would be very useful for high school graduates, and even college graduates. Voted up.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks msshandriaball!

    • msshandriaball profile image

      Shandria Ball 

      6 years ago from Anniston

      love the laundry bag with supplies and the t-shirt quilt.awesome hub!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks Alissa! That's fun with the t-shirt quilt. :)

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 

      6 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Great suggestions! Those t-shirts quilts are the best. My roommate in college had one and we all fought over it when we were cold. Very useful hub - voted up!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Kelly, thanks! That's great that you'll have some ideas for babysitter gifts. Thanks for sharing my children's stories hub!

      Linda, thanks! That's great that your daughters still enjoy their HS scrapbooks.

      Sinea, I appreciate that!

      Jamie, including notes from close friends in a book is a great idea. Thanks!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      6 years ago from Texas

      LOVE this hub, Rose! I love all of these ideas especially the surprise book containing all the teachers signatures inside. You could even have his/her close friends from school write some notes in the book too. That is something that will be cherished for years to come. Voting up!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      As always, your hubs are TRULY creative. I love these suggestions. Adding the link to my hub "College Prep - Getting Young High School Students on Track", too. Voted up and useful.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love the tshirt quilt idea! If I was randomly creative I might attempt to make one. I created high school scrapbooks for both or my daughters high school graduations and they still look through them on occasion. I had fun making them!:)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this hub! You gave me so many ideas on what to get my babysitters! Bookmarking this. Voted up and useful and shared! I added your hub on links for free children's stories on my latest hub about free thing to do with kids. Take care, Kelley


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