Graduation is right around the corner. It’s a time for new beginnings, celebrating accomplishments and looking forward to the next chapter in life. To make this celebration extra special, a graduation party is in order.
Luckily, planning a graduation party is easier than you think. Personalizing it with DIY party crafts such as photo booth props, balloon decorations, table centerpieces and fun banners will give it the nice personal touches needed for your family and friends to participate and wish you well. Below we have seven DIY graduation party ideas to make your commencement day super special.
1. Balloon Decorations
Building a balloon chandelier is the perfect way to showcase the people that helped you get through the year. Those that made it fun, those that encouraged you and especially those that supported you throughout the years. Whether you want to keep it neutral or use your school colors as inspiration, this balloon decoration will be a show stopper.
How to Make a Balloon Chandelier
- 4×6 printed photos
- 5×7 cardstock paper
- Hole puncher
- Curling ribbon, color of choice
- Double-sided tape
- Gold marker
- Helium (optional): Using helium will help the balloons float
Step 1: Punch a hole in the center of the card stock.
Step 2: Place your 4×6 photo prints in the center of your 5×7 cardstock with double-sided tape.
Step 3: With a marker, add cute details to the cardstock.
Step 4: Attach the ribbon to the card stock through the hole.
Step 5: Blow up a balloon-you can use a helium tank if you’d like and tie a knot at the end of it to hold the air in.
Step 6: Attach your balloon to your cards with the ribbon.
Step 7: Hang the balloon from the ceiling. Feel free to add some double sided tape to the top of the balloon to keep it all in place.
Keep in mind, it’s better to use a helium tank so that the balloons can float. But if you want to get the same effect without a tank, you can always use double-sided tape and stick the top of the balloon to the ceiling to get that same hanging effect.
2. Glitter Cups
Having your guests drink in style is a breeze. Glitter cups are fun, festive and can be made in four simple steps. You can mix and match fun metallics such as rose gold, silver, gold and bronze to give your party some variety.
How to Make Glitter Cups
- Disposable cups
- Metallic glitter
- Nail polish
Step 1: Fill your bowl with glitter.
Step 2: Take your cup and with a paint brush add the glue.
Step 3: Dip your cup in the glitter and lightly dab the glitter to set it in place.
Step 4: Once the glitter is settled, add nail polish to set the glitter.
STEP 5: Let it dry for about 10 minutes and fill with your favorite drink!
To keep the glitter from getting on your guest’s hands, you will be sealing it with clear nail polish, so make sure you create these in a well-ventilated area. We tried several tricks to keep the glitter in place, such as hairspray and sealing spray, but they both left several streaks.
3. Sequined Banner
It isn’t a party without a fun banner, especially if it’s made out of sequins. You can use any phrase you’d like: graduation year, graduate’s name, hooray or congrats. The longer the word, the heavier the banner will be so, just keep that in mind when deciding.
How to Make a Sequined Banner
- A crafting knife
- Stretchy sequin trim (approximately 1 yard per letter)
- Glue gun
- Cardboard box
- Printed stencils
- Rope for hanging
- Cutting mat
Step 1: Print out a sheet with each letter that you’ll be using in your banner.
Step 2: Tape the letter on top of the cardboard and begin tracing it out with your crafting knife.
Step 3: Wrap the trim around your letter and glue gun along the way. In some cases, it’s easier to stretch the trim vertically instead of wrapping.
Step 4: Spell out your phrase backwards.
Step 5: Add glue to the back of each letter and place the hanging chord on each piece.
Step 6: Let it dry for approximately 20 minutes and hang!
Don’t worry if you don’t have sequined trim. You can also use loose sequins, just make sure you glue them to the cardboard directly.
4. Picture Frames
Picture frames can dress up a room no matter what the occasion. If you have any vintage or old frames that need some sprucing up, we’ll show you the perfect way to do so. Make sure you gather your graduation announcements, photos or inspirational quotes to hang on your frame once you are done.
How to Make a Picture Frame
- Metal wire
- Frame (any size you’d like)
- Glue gun
- Graduation announcements or any print you’d like
Step 1: Paint your frame any color you’d like and let it dry.
Step 2: Once dry, flip the frame over and start measuring how much twine you’ll need. Cut the twine a little longer than necessary so that it’s easier to glue.
Step 3: Use your hot glue gun to attach the twine to the frame. Remember to stretch out your wire as much as possible.
Step 4: Repeat this step as many times as you’d like depending on how big the frame is.
Step 5: Let it dry for about five minutes.
Step 6: If you feel your DIY frame needs a little extra paint, you can add pretty details.
Step 7: Hang your clothespins along with the pictures or quotes and you are done!
You can use twine or metal wire to do this and any size clothespin you’d like. Just remember, the heavier the picture, the bigger the clothespin you will need.
5. Photo Booth Props
Every party needs a photo booth prop. This is a fun way for guests to interact, share photos on social media and capture fun memories. Making a photo booth prop is super fun and easy. Make sure you share a graduation party hashtag so guests can tag you in all their photos.
How to Make a Photo Booth Prop
- 20×28 cardboard poster
- 2 gold poster boards
- Crafting knife
- Glue gun
- Cutting mat
- Glitter setting spray
Step 1: Draw a three-inch box on each corner of your poster board.
Step 2: Draw a straight line from one corner of the box diagonally to the other side.
Step 3: Repeat for the top and sides of the poster board.
Step 4: Use the crafting knife to cut out the rectangular frame. You should be left with a large picture frame. Set that aside.
Step 5: Take your gold poster board and flip it over.
Step 6: Place your cup upside down and trace the circumference with your pencil.
Step 7: Repeat until you cover 1.5 poster boards.
Step 8: Cut out the circles and start placing them on your frame until it’s covered. Once you are happy with the placement, start gluing them down with your glue gun.
Step 9: Take your brush and add glue to your desired circle and top with glitter. Set with the glitter setting spray.
Step 10: Add hashtag of choice and snap away!
This craft can get a little messy because of the glitter, but it’s worth it! Make sure you set newspapers or extra poster board around the area for an easy cleanup.
6. Shadow Box
Since you are embarking on a new journey, getting advice from friends and family is always great. If you are moving to a new city, country or even just to your new dorm room, it’s handy to take this advice wherever you go. This DIY shadow box with personalized bookmarks will allow you to connect with your loved ones every time you are doing homework or reading your favorite book.
How to Make a Shadow Box
- Shadow box frame with glass front
- Downloadable printable
- Sanding paper
- Glue gun
- Crafting knife
Step 1: Take apart your shadow box.
Step 2: Cut a slit on the top of your box with a crafting knife.
Step 3: With a Dremel or drill, carefully follow the slit.
Step 4: Sand to smooth out.
Step 5: Paint your box and set it to dry.
Step 6: Glue your printable to the back of the box, once it is dry.
Step 7: Place the frame back on the shadow box and make sure it’s closed all the way.
Step 8: Have your guests decorate your bookmarks and add their favorite piece of advice for the graduate. Then, slide it in the box.
Keep in mind, using a drill takes a bit of practice. We recommend you try your skills on another piece of wood first just to make sure you can hold it steady. If you’d rather not use a drill, you can still have your friends and family create bookmarks and you can add them inside your shadow box once they are all done. It will be an awesome addition when decorating your dorm room.
7. Graduation Cap Party Favors
If you are throwing a graduation party, giving a sweet treat to your guests will show them how thankful you are for their support. These graduation cap party favors are handy because they can reuse the mason jar anytime they’d like. For a more personalized mason jar, you can add the letter of your first name or the year of your graduation.
How to Make a Graduation Party Favors
- Mason jar with lid
- Black construction paper stencils (add size)
- Metallic gold paper (add size)
- Glue gun
- Glue gun
- Crafting knife
Step 1: Cut slits to the bottom of your gold paper to make fringe.
Step 2: Wrap the thin piece around the bottom of the lid and glue.
Step 3: Add the square to the top of the lid and glue.
Step 4: Take your rope and glue it to the top of the black square. Cover it with the small circle cutout.
Step 5: Take your fringe and wrap it around the rope. Don’t forget to glue!
Step 6: Now for the best part, add candy to your jar and seal.
Feel free to add any candy of choice, especially if there is a color theme. You can also use these as party table centerpieces along with flowers or a pretty plant.
Create The Perfect Graduation Party
As you can see, making your own graduation crafts just takes a little bit of creativity, crafting fun and lots of glitter. Don’t forget to send out graduation invites to go along with your theme and graduation cap decoration. Allowing your friends to help you plan and decorate makes the party a lot more fun and memorable.