Graduation

116 Graduation Party Ideas Your Grad Will Love

The school year is at an end, which means that it’s time for a new class of graduates to walk across the stage, receive their diploma and throw their graduation cap into the air. If your son or daughter is graduating this year, celebrate this huge milestone with a fun party. To help you plan your perfect party, we’ve collected 116 grad party idea below; plus a great video for anyone who is thinking to DIY their grad party.

From creative decoration ideas to tasty graduation cap and diploma-themed desserts, there are ideas here that are great for every graduation party. Use the filters below to help you discover fun graduation party ideas. Whether you’re throwing a high school graduation party or a college graduation party, you’re sure to find food, decoration and favor ideas here that you love.

With the drinks, appetizers and desserts all selected, don’t forget to make a matching graduation party invite that will delight your guests and your grad. Say congratulations to your 2018 graduate with these party ideas.

Instructions: Click through the buttons below to sort by category. Click the photo for a larger view.

On your dessert table, put out sweet and delicious “class rings” for your guests to enjoy.

Photo Credit: My Life at Play Time

For a cute DIY centerpiece, spray paint wine bottles gold, and use the bottles to display the graduation year.

Photo Credit: Vicky Barone

Pay homage to the traditional graduation cap with these tasty cupcakes, featuring a chocolate cake base, a chocolate graham cracker top and a licorice tassel.

Photo Credit: Lil Luna

For a creative cupcake topper, add an accordion-folded dollar bill. To make it graduation themed, attach a cute graduation cap sticker.

Photo Credit: Lil Luna

Celebrate your smart cookie with a dessert table filled with different types of cookies from around the world.

Photo Credit: Polka Dot Chair

Celebrate your graduate’s new school by using the school’s colors in your graduation party desserts. For inspiration, take a look at these sweet blue and white Oreos.

Photo Credit: Your Home Based Mom

Add some brightness to your graduation party dessert table by decorating with cheery yellow sunflowers.

Photo Credit: Ashleigh Nicole Events

Try using some bold and bright décor at your graduation party, like confetti-filled balloons and colorful honeycomb balls.

Photo Credit: Party of 7 Photography

For a sweet and nostalgic décor idea, decorate your walls with photos of your son or daughter growing up.

Photo Credit: Tidy Mom

Invite your guests to write down some of their favorite memories with the graduate and have them place the memories in a lovely jar.

Photo Credit: Less than Perfect Life of Bliss

Colorful pendants are a great idea for a school-themed centerpiece. You can also combine your pendants with bright flowers and photographs of the graduate.

Photo Credit: Robb Restyle

Add a sparkle to your table centerpieces by creating fun striped boxes filled with colorful and glittery pendants.

Photo Credit: Frog Prince Paperie

For a festive dessert, create delicious Oreo cheesecake push pops and top them with little graduation caps.

Photo Credit: My Paper Crush

For a lovely piece of décor, frame and hang up one of your graduation party invitations. You can also have guests sign the frame to create a wonderful keepsake.

Photo Credit: Frog Prince Paperie

If your graduating student has some old No. 2 pencils left over from their school days, use them in a creative centerpiece.

Photo Credit: Kristen Carley via Me and My Insanity

A graduation wreath is a great way to display pictures of your graduating child growing up. Be sure to top it with a paper graduation cap.

Photo Credit: DIY Beautify

This year sign is easy to make, and it’s perfect for a graduation party. Simply glue tissue paper in the color of your choice to foam-board numbers.

Photo Credit: Sugar Bee Crafts

If you’re looking for grad party ideas for girls, take inspiration from this beautiful dessert table featuring sparkly silver and turquoise decorations.

Photo Credit: Jen T by Design

Add a festive flair to your graduation party’s cupcakes by using toppers that say the graduation year and “Congrats Grad.”

Photo Credit: Laura’s Little Party

Create delicious graduation pretzel pops by first covering pretzel rods in white chocolate. Then, attach your graduation year and give each of your pretzels a little chocolate cap.

Photo Credit: Hungry Happenings

Give each of your guests their own candy graduation cap to take home by attaching a piece of black paper to a Rolo. Finish with a ribbon in your school’s colors.

Photo Credit: Made to be a Momma

Another way to let all of your guests know that your graduate is a smart cookie with this cute wreath.

Photo Credit: Two Prince Bakery Theater

For an adorable favor, create smiling cake pop people wearing graduation caps. Attach a tag with each of your guests’ names to the pops.

Photo Credit: Koru Photography

Create a sweet keepsake for your graduate by inviting guests to write memories they’ve built with them on Jenga blocks.

Photo Credit: Must Have Mom

These graduation cap cupcake toppers are too cute to toss into the air! You can easily make them by using black cardstock and a painted bottle cap.

Photo Credit: Dukes and Duchesses

Invite guests to share their keys to success with the graduate with this lovely party keepsake idea.

Photo Credit: Party Bluprints

Create a fun graduation topper for your straws using black cardstock and construction paper. Finish with a little gold tassel.

Photo Credit: The Glitter in my Tea

This bright tag would make a great addition to a favors bag. The cheery yellow tag will make guests smile all the way home.

Photo Credit: Love the Day

Thank your guests for celebrating your smarty pants with this bright favors tag. Fill the bag with matching colorful gumballs and candy.

Photo Credit: Love the Day

Point your graduate in the direction of their dreams with these creative arrow straw toppers.

Photo Credit: Kara Allen

Break out the confetti for this colorful graduation year sign. For even more festiveness, place gold party horns in front of the sign.

Photo Credit: A Bubbly Life

If you’re looking for graduation decoration ideas for your dessert table, check out this adorable graduation cap cupcake stand.

Photo Credit: Joyful Scribblings

Fill champagne flutes with Smarties candy to celebrate your smart graduate. Top them with off with traditional graduation caps.

Photo Credit: Bottle your Brand

To make a lovely graduation decoration, frame a few of your favorite small photos of your graduate, and hang them up on a black cardboard wreath.

Photo Credit: Yesterday on Tuesday

Create a unique photo collage of your graduation by attaching black and white photos to papier-mâché letters that spell out ‘Grad.’

Photo Credit: Michelle’s Party Plan-it

Add some school spirit to your graduation party by decorating your desserts with your graduate’s school mascot.

Photo Credit: Kitsch Event Styling

Burgers are a versatile and delicious addition to a graduation party. You can even make them go with your party’s theme by using creative and cute signs.

Photo Credit: Piggy Bank Parties

The Keys to Success is a great graduation party theme idea that can lead to tons of fun décor options, like ornate old-fashioned keys.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Kaye Photography and Charming Touch Parties

Go down the rabbit hole with a fun "Alice in Wonderland" themed graduation party that features a table runner with pages from classic books.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Kradel Photography

If your graduate is going to art school, use paint cans as a cute graduate party favor. You can also add a cap and tassel to the top of the can.

Photo Credit: Party Pinching

These glittery gold graduation cap cookies are almost too pretty to eat. The white tassel is a lovely finishing touch.

Photo Credit: Kristi Murphy

For a graduation decoration idea, try displaying a memory board with some of your graduate’s favorite memories from school.

Photo Credit: Homemade Interest

Your graduate’s new school is a great theme idea for a graduation party. For inspiration, take a look at how this party incorporated University of Mississippi décor into their dessert table.

Photo Credit: GreyGrey Designs

Add a pop of color to your graduation party by filing number-shaped dishes with bright chocolate candies.

Photo Credit: Party Patisserie

As your graduate takes the next steps towards their future, invite your guests to look into their own futures with decorated fortune cookies.

Photo Credit: Party Patisserie

Rolled up chocolate cookies are a great addition to a dessert table - with a ribbon tied around them, they look just like diplomas.

Photo Credit: Oh Sugar Events

Brighten your guests’ days with chocolate bars in adorable blue and yellow wrappers that feature sun illustrations.

Photo Credit: Sweet Metel Moments

Give your guests delicious Swiss Roll diplomas to enjoy. To make them look just like real diplomas, tie a ribbon around them.

Photo Credit: Revel and Glitter

Encourage your graduate to shoot for the stars with shining silver and gold balloon decorations.

Photo Credit: Dave Robbins Photography

Score a touchdown with a football-themed centerpiece. Use pendants, footballs and fake grass to make the centerpiece look like a real football field.

Photo Credit: Photography by GBalduvinos

For your graduation party decorations, try creating a colorful tassel banner to pay homage to the classic graduation cap tassel.

Photo Credit: Rialee Photography

Get your graduate excited about going out into the real world with this cute “The World Awaits You” banner.

Photo Credit: Molly B. Photography

Attach a sparkly frame and a classic tassel to a small chalkboard for an adorable graduation decoration idea.

Photo Credit: My Sister’s Suitcase

This Instagram graduation party idea is perfect for every social media lover. You can use Instagram photos in a banner, as part of your centerpieces and on your invitations.

Photo Credit: Thinking Closet

Give your guests a pair of cool, sparkly shades to rock during the graduation party.

Photo Credit: Revel and Glitter

If you’re looking for a way to make your balloons more festive, attach the graduation year and some colorful streamers.

Photo Credit: Studio DIY

Tip your cap to this creative graduation cake idea that can be customized to include school colors.

Photo Credit: Pretty Twinkle Party

If you’re celebrating two graduates who are going to different colleges, try creating two food tables decorated with each school’s colors.

Photo Credit: GreyGrey Designs

This graduation party cake takes its inspiration from geometry class with its brightly colored triangles and squares.

Photo Credit: Sweet Georgia Sweet

Turn Oreos into the perfect graduation party dessert by attaching a cute, edible smiley face with a graduation cap.

Photo Credit: A to Zebra Celebrations

Fold up bills into graduation caps for a creative way to give money to a graduate.

Photo Credit: Sugar and Charm

Add brightness to a graduation year sign by decorating it with white Christmas lights.

Photo Credit: Queenie Eileenie

At the end of your party, give your guests colorful graduation cap cookies to take home.

Photo Credit: Gallamore West

To make sweet and delicious graduation cap candies, attach a small chocolate bar to a mini Reese’s cup. Finish with a colorful candy tassel.

Photo Credit: Bakerella

If you’re looking for graduation decorations ideas for centerpieces, check out this lovely display that shows the graduate growing up.

Photo Credit: My Creative Therapy

Create a garden on your graduation dessert table by using flower cookies and flower pot decorations.

Photo Credit: DIY Design Fanatic

Try using some foods that match your graduate’s school colors, like this party did by using black and red tortilla chips.

Photo Credit: Amy Hutchinson

On your food table, try displaying the graduation year on clear plastic cans or jars. Then, fill the jars with chips.

Photo Credit: Party Pinching

Create a delicious s’more on a stick by covering marshmallows in chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Finish with a cute graduation year label.

Photo Credit: Big Bear’s Wife

Add festivity to your napkins by rolling them up and tying them with ribbon to make them look like diplomas.

Photo Credit: Talk of the House

Inspire your guests by placing quote cards next to their plates. For a conversation starter, have your guests share the quote they got with everyone at the table.

Photo Credit: Talk of the House

Create delicious diploma roll appetizers by filling wraps with a mixture of salmon, cream cheese and spices. Finish with a chive ribbon.

Photo Credit: What Should I Make For

Share inspirational quotes with your guests by creating a lovely Words to Live By wall decoration.

Photo Credit: Lemon Squeezy Home

If you have little guests, hand out sweet Fruit-Roll up diploma favors that are tied up with black ribbon.

Photo Credit: Paging Supermom

Provide s’mores stations. If the party is being held outside, and you have access to a fire pit, creating s’mores stations is really easy.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Have a taco/nacho bar. Perfect for any fiesta- or pool-themed graduation parties, taco/nacho bars are delicious and easy to put together.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Hula skirts, flower leis, and a variety of island-appropriate food, up to and including a luau-style pig roast, are the staples of a great luau themed party.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Toga parties are classically associated with wild college blowouts, but can easily be adapted to fit family-friendly get togethers. Provide a number of clean bed sheets for guests to use as togas.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Contact your graduate’s friends and ask for any and all photographs that show the time that they spent together during their school career. Collect the photos and memories beforehand, and use them to create a professionally printed photo-book.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

A memory jar is a great way to celebrate the good times of high school. All you need is a decorative mason jar, some pens or pencils, and enough strips of paper for each guest.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Make floating photo frames. Get pictures of your graduate out where your guests are, by printing the images on thin, 4×6-sized, lightweight paper, and then attaching those images to festive, helium-filled balloons.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

College is where the graduation cap plays the biggest roll, so using the cap as a symbol in your décor is a great way to recognize the importance of what has been achieved.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Fill a punch bowl or basket with a variety ring-pop colors/flavors (still in their packaging), and create a small sign or plaque that says “Class Rings.”

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Provide single-serving ice cream sundaes. Fill individual mason jars with a scoop of ice cream, and then add various sundae toppings before securing them with a lid and placing them in a cooler.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Pirouette cookies, when served with a ribbon tied around the center, make fun edible diplomas.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

Create a school-themed watermelon boat, which can double as a centerpiece. Make it graduation-specific by decorating the side of the watermelon rind with the graduate’s school logo.

Photo Credit: Shutterfly

If your graduate is a lover of all things vintage, adding a few old items like some hardcover books and a trunk will do the trick. Use them as decor or as a fun backdrop for your photos.

Photo Credit: Adriondack Girl at Heart

For a rustic outdoor party, all you need are vinyl tablecloths, floral centerpieces and some candle jars. To incorporate your child’s school colors, add a pennant to each centerpiece.

Photo Credit: After Orange County

Let your guests know where the party is with come cute street signs. Decorate your signs in your party’s color scheme and add a few balloons to make it eye-catching.

Photo Credit: By Sophia Lee

If you want your graduation party to be bright and bold, cover some large props in the beloved Tiffany blue. Add smaller accents like frames and table decor in the same color throughout your party.

Photo Credit: Catch My Party

Donut forget the sugar! For an easy dessert table, grab some colorful donuts from your favorite shop and arrange them on cute platters and cake stands.

Photo Credit: Catch My Party

Easily create a “Key To Success” theme with a few bold accents. Scatter a couple of vintage keys combined with bright and muted tones of yellow and cream for a beautiful setup.

Photo Credit: Celebrations at Home

Use rolled wafers and store bought chocolate to create diploma and graduation cap shapes for your desserts. Use them to top off your cupcakes and place them in a cute pattern on your dessert bar.

Photo Credit: Circle River Creations

Create some fun lanterns as centerpieces for your graduation party. Pick the materials in your chosen color scheme and add a cute graduation cap at the top to tie it all in.

Photo Credit: Daily Dose of DIY

Use the outdoors as part of your party’s decor. Hang some lanterns or lights on the greenery in your backyard to cast a soft light over your party.

Photo Credit: Domestic Fashionista

Make your cake just as festive as the rest of your party. Proudly add your child’s graduation year using candy, frosting or candles.

Photo Credit: Frog Prince Paperie

Nothing says party like some fun photo props. Get everyone excited to take pictures with a balloon frame using your child’s school colors.

Photo Credit: Fun Squared

Graduation bottle cap toppers are a cute and inexpensive way to add detail to your child’s party. All you need are a few colorful foam sheets and a hot glue gun to create these fun shapes.

Photo Credit: Fuzzled Joy

Display your graduate’s pictures on your home’s shutters using twine and small clothes pins. Combine the photos with a few inspirational graduation messages.

Photo Credit: Gracefully Vintage

For the outgoing graduate, get creative with over-the-top decorations. Use bright colors, patterns and feathers to make your props stand out.

Photo Credit: Grey Grey Designs

For a fun snack, try pretzels twisted into graduation caps. Not only are pretzels a popular snack, but they’re easy to serve and won’t make a mess.

Photo Credit: Hungry Happenings

For something sweet and savory, chocolate covered pretzel pops are easy to make and delicious. Dip your pretzel sticks in chocolate and use fondant to create mini graduation-themed shapes.

Photo Credit: Hungry Happenings

Get your graduate excited about their next step with these college-bound cupcakes. Add mini college pennants using toothpicks in your child’s school colors.

Photo Credit: Jacolyn Murphy

Celebrate your child with some money-filled graduation balloons. Cut black and gold vinyl into graduation shapes and roll up a few bills to place in each balloon.

Photo Credit: Kim Byers/ Celebration Shoppe

Everyone loves a taco bar! Set a table with various ingredients and use a letter board to tell your guests how to build their own taco.

Photo Credit: Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

If weather is unpredictable, you can always throw a semi-outdoor graduation party. Whether it’s sunny or drizzling, you’ll be prepared to handle both.

Photo Credit: Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

There’s nothing we love more than cake — unless it’s a money cake. Celebrate your graduate with a bang by gifting them some cash for all of their hard work and accomplishments.

Photo Credit: Maria Kang

A pink and orange dessert bar will make for a bright and beautiful backdrop for your graduate’s party. Add some cotton candy, streamers and macarons to make your setup pop.

Photo Credit: Pen Paper and Flowers

Nothing says graduation like tassels — and a diploma, of course! Make your own tassels in your party’s color scheme and use them to add color to any wall or table throughout your event.

Photo Credit: Pizzazzerie

A graduation party is the perfect opportunity to gather some valuable advice. Create an advice tree for your guests to write some inspiring words for your graduate.

Photo Credit: Play Party Plan

If your child is ready to travel the world after their graduation, use their dreams as inspiration. Use globes, maps and adventurous quotes to nurture their wanderlust.

Photo Credit: Polka Dotted Blue Jay

Add candy jars for a hassle-free dessert table. Use labels to write some funny graduation quips to name your jars.

Photo Credit: Shugary Sweets

These delicious graduation cap and diploma sandwiches are perfect for a graduation tea party. Use garnish as tassels and serve on floral dinnerware to tie together the theme.

Photo Credit: Sweetology

To decorate a large empty space or wall, create this pink and white balloon garland to add color and dimension. Use a silver or holographic fringe to fill the space in between.

Photo Credit: The House of Hood

Whether it’s your child’s school colors or a classic black and gold color scheme, easily incorporate your party’s colors into your desserts with frosting and edible sugar decorations.

Photo Credit: Karin’s Kottage

Use any special moments you’ve captured throughout your graduate’s childhood as part of your party’s decor. Create a table runner or place a few frames on your dessert bar to celebrate your child’s journey.

Photo Credit: The Thinking Closet