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Graduation Party Decorations

Updated on June 3, 2014

Graduation Party Ideas

Both my daughter and stepdaughter graduated from high school last year, and I have one more left in high school. There is so much to do, party decorations, graduation announcements, party food, and graduation gifts before graduation day it's best to start early.

In rural Nebraska graduation parties are a BIG event. Everyone is invited and it's a giant open house for anyone who knows the students or family. Many parents, OK Mothers, start thinking of ideas the year before at the graduation parties for the previous class. It's also when we start crying when we think of our children graduation and moving away to college.

Graduation Table
Graduation Table

Decorating Made Simple

Easy and Quick

Is there such as thing as making decorating easy? I think so. Think big, think shortcuts. Streamers are easy to string across the ceiling and balloons hung in bunches. Pick a single color theme and throw a secondary color into the mix. Senior classes often have special colors, or you can decorate with the school colors.

In my case the colors are black, silver, and white. I've had two boys graduate from high school and my daughter is a senior this year. I've learned a few things from those two parties and am going to do it different this year. For one, I'm starting early.

Table Decorations - Table Decorations for a Graduation Party

Decorating your tables is the biggest way to set a theme for your graduation party.

1. Start with the table coverings, they come in every color to match your party theme, but black goes with any color and you can use colored balloons and accent for the theme color.

2. Add centerpieces, they can be handmade or your can make it easy by purchasing table decorations in themed colors.

Considering I was on a budget and had five kids to decorate for in the future I chose simple centerpieces that I could store and reuse in the future. Each child had a different color for their theme, but the black and white graduation decorations made fantastic accent pieces at each party.

Graduate Cap Gleam 'N Burst Centerpiece (black & white) Party Accessory  (1 count) (1/Pkg)
Graduate Cap Gleam 'N Burst Centerpiece (black & white) Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)

This graduation centerpiece will fit with just about any decor and color. It's perfect for the card table or with the cake.

 

Graduation Picture Frames - Senior Picture Frames

A high school graduation party is an opportunity to display senior pictures of your graduate. It's a milestone to mark with unique and special photo displays that represents your childs high school "career".

Photo display boards, collages, mosaics and lots of picture frames are just a few ideas to display the pride you have in your son or daughter.

Class Of 2014 Graduation Photo Frame
Class Of 2014 Graduation Photo Frame

This 2014 Graduation Photo Frame is complete with a memorable quote and holds a senior wallet sized picture. This would be ideal for the card table, or registration guest book area.

 
2014 Graduation Then and Now Wall Photo Frame
2014 Graduation Then and Now Wall Photo Frame

Do a then and now photo comparison of your son or daughter on their first day of school and their last day of school.

It's hard to imagine your little boy or girl all grown up and graduating high school or college, but you can always be reminded of their baby days.

 

Basic Balloon Essentials - The complete balloon kit.

Balloons are a necessity at a graduation party. A party just isn't complete without colorful balloon. Here is everything you will need for a festive graduation party. Balloons, clips, weights, helium, and an electric pump to blow up the balloons so Uncle Harry won't have a heart attack.

Curly ribbon, no balloon party is complete without curly ribbon. It's cheap, it's color coordinated and versatile. Really, I can't describe this stuff any better, it's like tape, you just need it.

There is actually quite a bit to think about when assembling your party box to get ready.

Quickie Clips for Latex Balloons Pkg/100
Quickie Clips for Latex Balloons Pkg/100

Quick balloon clips are the way to go when you are blowing up lots of balloons for a party.

The last thing you want to do just before your party is spend hours wrapping the end of the balloon around your finger and feeling like you have no fingertips left.

 
Electric Air Balloon Pump, AGPtEK Portable Dual Nozzle Inflator/Blower for Party Decoration - 110V 600W Rose Red
Electric Air Balloon Pump, AGPtEK Portable Dual Nozzle Inflator/Blower for Party Decoration - 110V 600W Rose Red

For fast work of blowing up balloons this balloon pump is the perfect solution and will save time and your breath. This electric air pump has two nozzles so several people can fill balloons at once. Start an assembly line, two people inflate balloons, pass them to the person who ties and closes who then passes them to the decorator.

The price is so worth the cost of not having a headache and being out of breathe. You can save the pump for your next party or share it with your school, church or another senior parent for their graduation party.

Blowing up balloons the old fashioned way by mouth is exhausting, tiring and slow.

This electric balloon pump blows up and inflates your balloons fast without running out of air. Just plug it in.

 

Helium Balloons - Save money, Fill at Home

Helium balloons are fun and make great centerpieces and balance the air filled balloons hanging from the ceiling and bunched as accents. I like to have a balance of helium specialty balloons and air filled at a graduation party. There are many graduation mylar balloons to choose from that will act as a highlight to the festivities.

If you live in town, unlike me, it's pretty easy to find a grocery store, or party store to fill helium balloons. But if you live in the country and have to drive these balloons long distance juggling balloons in the car and getting them out can be a challenge. Put this image in your mind, you have two bundles of balloons, the wind is whipping and you're juggling the car door, ribbons, and balloons trying to escape.

A better solution is to purchase a disposable helium tank which will fill 20-30 balloons conveniently inside.

8.9CUFT Helium Kit
8.9CUFT Helium Kit

Having a combination of helium balloons and blow up standard balloons is a good idea.

The helium balloons make great centerpieces and accents on the tables where blow up balloons can be tied and hung from the ceiling.

Have your own source of helium for your party with a helium balloon kit. Most party stores will refill this tank for a small fee.

If you are just on your first senior this will pay off in the long run. Think of loaning it to friends and family throughout the year for high school homecomings, football games, and school events.

It's just like filling your propane tank on the grill.

 

Graduation Card Box

In the past I've put out a basket for cards and even made my own custom box for guest to place their cards. However this time around my daughter is having her party with two other friends and we're expecting probably over 200 people. It's a lot safer to have a card box for guests to put their cards in each box.

You can also make a graduation card box by covering a box with graduation wrapping paper and cutting a hole in the top.

Grad Cap Card Box (black) Party Accessory  (1 count) (1/Pkg)
Grad Cap Card Box (black) Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)

I personally like the graduation cap style card box, that way each graduate can decorate their own cap according to their personality. My favorite card box design I've seen at a party was hand made into a putting green and the drop was the "hole in one". Jake had a little help, his sister was going to college for event planing and the theme for the party was golf. Jake was also going to major in golf management.

 

Graduation Bobbleheads of Your Senior - Fun Personalized Graduation Party Novelty

Personalized custom bobble head statuettes of your high school senior are a fun way to celebrate your son or daughters graduation and make a unique table decoration to the cake table or card table at graduation.

They are easy to order, just submit a photo with your order and characteristics, hair color and the result will look like the person you are honoring.

Model D15 Fully Custom Design Personalized Bobble Head Clay Figurines Based on Customers' Photos Unique Gift For Boyfriend Father Men
Model D15 Fully Custom Design Personalized Bobble Head Clay Figurines Based on Customers' Photos Unique Gift For Boyfriend Father Men

I'll bet no one else will have a custom bobble head at their graduation party. Upload a photo of your son and receive in return a facsimile likeness on a bobble head that looks just like your graduating senior.

 
Model D43 Fully Custom Design Bobble Head Clay Figurines Based on Customers' Photos
Model D43 Fully Custom Design Bobble Head Clay Figurines Based on Customers' Photos

Save this surprise for your daughter at her graduation party.

Graduation guests will be in awe and impressed when you put a bobble head on the card table that looks just like your graduating senior.

She will be talk of the dorm when she takes it to college. Bobble heads are fun, cute and a great keepsake of their high school days.

 
Order your own candy wrappers on Etsy
Order your own candy wrappers on Etsy

Graduation Candy Favors

Customized photo decorations

Candy and snacks are common additions for a party and daughters graduation I created custom candy favors with their senior pictures. They were such a hit I set up an Etsy store for others to order personalized candy wrappers.

The nice thing about doing candy wrappers is they can be made in advance. My daughter and I sat at the kitchen tble one Sunday afternoon and it was nice to just stop the hectic pace, slow down and do something together quietly.

So much of graduation preparations are spent hectically going from store to store, shopping for table cloths, banners, streamers, getting a dress for the ceremony and not spent together.

Order personalized candy wraps on Etsy
Order personalized candy wraps on Etsy

Graduation Cupcakes - An alternative to a graduation cake

Seniors want their graduation party to be unique, like themselves. Many are foregoing the traditional graduation cake for cupcakes. Cupcakes can be decorated in many different ways, with different color frosting and are versatile in they can express a variety of hobbies just by using various cupcake toppers and decorations.

Just like the baby box, each one of my kids has a graduation box which contains samples of their decorations, graduation cards, tassel, and other memories of the day.

Need to send a cupcake home? Does your guest have several parties to go to in one day and just can't eat another piece of cake, or cupcake? Simply box a cupcake to go, it's as easy as that.

Graduation Cupcake Holder
Graduation Cupcake Holder

Many high school seniors are opting for graduation cupcakes instead of the traditional sheet cake.

Graduation cap picks can be used at the appetizer table or as decoration in your cupcakes.

This graduation cupcake holder displays the miniature cakes vertically in three tiers.

Complete with a graduation cap at the top.

 
Wilton 36 Count 415-0818 Cupcake Grade Decorative Kit, Multicolor
Wilton 36 Count 415-0818 Cupcake Grade Decorative Kit, Multicolor

The cutest cupcake graduate around, complete with google eye. This specialty cupcake will have your guest smiling at your creativity.

 

Is Your School Big or Small - There were 32 in my daughters class

I live in a very small community in eastern Nebraska. People are often surprised when I tell them that between Murdock and Elmwood we have fewer than 1200 in both towns. Our graduating senior classes average around 30 students. You heard right. There is approximately 120 student in the entire high school.

Myself, I grew up in Connecticut and had 256 in my graduating senior class. I won't tell you how long ago that was, but we're coming up on a big reunion soon.

How many students were in your own graduating class, or in your son or daughters senior class?

See results

Custom Photo Graduation Banners - Make your graduation party personal with personalized decorations

Banners banners everywhere, there is no faster way to decorate the walls, garage doors, or side of the building than hanging a large graduation banner. Better yet, have a custom banner made with your graduates senior picture.

Living in a small town is an experience during graduation season. Parties are pretty much open houses and family clean out the garage, the Morton building, barn, and rent out the local fire hall for graduation parties. During May signs and banners go up in yards on party day to celebrate the event.

If your party is in a converted garage and easy way to decorate is hang tarps over the walls, to hide the tools, shovels and other "stuff", then string streamers to create a festive atmosphere.

Creative Converting Congrats Grad Paper Art Gigantic Greetings, Black
Creative Converting Congrats Grad Paper Art Gigantic Greetings, Black

Now if you would like to recycle, reuse, and trade decorations with friends and other students then a classic black and white banner that should "Congradulations Graduate" is the perfect banner and signage.

 

Inspirational Posters Speak Words of Wisdom - Advice to take with you on life's journey

Parents want to give words of wisdom and advice to their kids at momentous times during life, such as graduations and weddings. But, kids don't listen to their parents until later in life, especially high school graduates.

Instead of stumbling with the right words to say in a way they will remember give a gift that will always remind them of their roots, of the advice and of home. Help them decorate their dorm room, apartment, or first home with scripture and words of wisdom.

This inspirational poster from Jeremiah 29:11 fits the bill and hopefully will remind my daughter that God has a plan for the future and to continue to hope and pray.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for You by Stephanie Marrott 8"x10" Art Print Poster
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for You by Stephanie Marrott 8"x10" Art Print Poster

For I know the plans I have for you God says. Trust in God in your life, give that message to your graduate, they will need it in life.

 
Wall Décor Plus More WDPM2279 Serenity Prayer Verse Large Wall Vinyl Sticker Decal for Courage and Strength, 23x41-Inch, White
Wall Décor Plus More WDPM2279 Serenity Prayer Verse Large Wall Vinyl Sticker Decal for Courage and Strength, 23x41-Inch, White

Words of wisdom from the Serenity prayer is ideal for a graduate or someone starting off in new chapter of life. "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference"This vinyl wall decoration is easily removable and therefore dorm or apartment safe.

 
Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates (Forest Gump Quote) - Wooden Wall Decor - Wood Sign
Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates (Forest Gump Quote) - Wooden Wall Decor - Wood Sign

I didn't watch Forest Gump until many years after the movie was released. I didn't realize the significance of the "box of chocolate" quote, and in fact got pretty sick or hearing that famous line.

But, after watching the movie , this quote really wraps up life. You never know what you're going to get, but make the best of it, live it to the fullest with no regrets.

 

Graduation Decorations on eBay - Search for bargains

I'm a bargain shopper and eBay is a great place to find large quantities of similar decorations for pennies. Don't forget eBay for bargains and unique decorations. Many school have senior receptions, dinners, and special parties. Think about purchasing graduation decorations for the school and donating to the class.

The beauty of starting early is I can change my mind. Let me know what worked for you.

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    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
      Author

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @CherylsArt: Hopefully I'll be around in a few years. I think there is a separate list needed for the graduating college student. I'll have to give it some thought.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      You've got some great ideas here. I've got one graduating from college in a couple of years.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 3 years ago from Texas

      Sounds like fun. This is the month for all the parties.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      What a fabulous collection of graduation party decorations and suggestions. I love the little graduate cupcake! I will certainly have to thank DecoratingforEvents for directing me you way today on Review This!

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      Great ideas for graduation parties! My nephew is graduating high school this year; next year, my son will graduate both high school and a 2-year AA degree from college. I'm saving your lens for ideas - thank you!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great graduation party ideas and products. I especially like the tiered cup cake holder. We used one similar for the refreshments at the Bachalaureate service several years ago. My friend's husband made it and it looked great on the serving table.

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
      Author

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @shellys-space: They are very neat, I've seen them used here at parties.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I love the idea of using a banner with a picture of the graduate at your party!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
      Author

      Dawn Romine 4 years ago from Nebraska

      @TheLittleCardShop: Hmm. I'm doing a video as well, that's another lens. But I hadn't thought about giving an option to buy it. I might just think about it.

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      Awesome graduation party decorations. My grad didn't have as many ecorations but for my daughter's we printed cards with all the names in the class. Also we asked everyone to email us photos an we made a slide show with them, everyone was crying but it was really cute. We gave the option to buy the slideshow DVD and almost everyone bought it.