After years of all-nighters, tests, and report cards, all their efforts have paid off. Graduation is a time to find that personalized gift idea that truly celebrates the hardest-working student you know. Whether your favorite grad is about to celebrate the end of grad school, college, high school, or even 8th grade, this is a time to put their accomplishments in the spotlight.
We’ve compiled our favorite gifts for 2020 graduation that can be cherished for years to come. Graduation is more than just a ceremony or the end of something. It is also the transition in a new life chapter. Are they heading off to college? Starting their first job or internship? Graduation gifts do two things: they celebrate the past and build excitement for the future. Check out our guide to find the perfect customizable gifts for your brilliant child, grandkid, sibling, or best friend. Each idea can be tailored to your grad’s unique passions, style, and dreams for the years ahead.
Graduation Card Ideas
The easiest way to personalize any graduation gift idea is to include a handwritten card. The weeks leading up to the end of school are often hectic. Students don’t always get a chance to pause and take in the excitement of what they’ve accomplished. Graduation cards remind them that their whole community is rooting them on from the sidelines as they walk up to receive their diploma.
Not sure where to start? Consider a photo card that includes all their favorite images from the year leading up to the big day, including your favorite school photos from over the years.
Here is a quick guide on what to include in your graduation card:
- Include a message of congratulations
- Note a specific accomplishment
- Reminisce about your favorite memory of you and the graduate
- End with warm wishes for their future
Personalized Graduation Gift Ideas
When a gift includes a graduate’s name, monogram, photograph, or a special date, a simple item transforms into an unforgettable keepsake. Since a graduation day is all about memories, choose a personalized gift idea that will act as a marker of this significant moment in time. Focus on their journey to reach this big day or include an exciting message for the future.
Four Year of Photos Book
With the rise of DIY and photography gifts, consider compiling your very own school yearbook. A customized photo book features all your hand-picked images of your favorite memories from the past four years. If you’re celebrating with your best squad of girls or guys, consider a bulk order and surprise your friends with the matching books on the last day of school.
Magnetic Photo Collage
If college is on the horizon, now’s the time to get your grad ready for the thrill of dorm life. Magnetic boards are still the must-have for dorm room doors. Make it extra special by gifting one with graduation photos, their name or a loving message. They’ll think of you every time they leave their freshman roommate a daily message.
The summer after any graduation is a time to make big plans for the future. Get them started with a personalized notebook designed just for them and pair with a new set of writing pens or pencils. Design the cover with all the patterns and colors that your grad loves. Include a personalized note on the inside cover before wrapping it up with your graduation card.
School-Ready Luggage Tags
Sometimes the simplest gifts represent the biggest moments in life. After years of a study, this graduate is ready to take off and explore the world or head off to college in a new city. A personalized luggage tag does more than keep their suitcase safe — it signifies a new phase of adventure. You can even pair this great gift with a set of airline tickets for that big trip they’ve always wanted to take.
You’ve watched them grow up from toddler to graduate, and now’s the time to celebrate how far they’ve come. Compile a collage of your favorite images onto a desktop plaque that will act as a loving reminder of the family that supports them from afar. Choose up to 11 photos and add a personalized message wherever you choose.
Silver Photo Charm
Looking for a sentimental gift for your sister? Find your favorite childhood photo and frame it in a silver-plated charm necklace for her to keep close after she moves off to college. You can also add a birthstone or stamped charm with her initials. Consider buying yourself a matching necklace as a reminder that you’re always connected.
Graduation Gifts For Her
No matter how many all-nighters led her to this day, now’s the time to throw up her cap and celebrate the hard work that paid off. We’ve gathered a collection of gifts for her that will get her ready for the future while celebrating this unforgettable moment in time.
A modern bracelet makes a bold statement when gifted at graduation. Its elegance reflects that she’s grown up and ready for the next big professional step in life. Choose a gold, silver, or rose gold cuff, depending on her sense of style. You can also include a carving of her name, initials, or the date of graduation day. Go a step further by pairing the bracelet with a set of matching jewelry.
Cozy Photo Throw Pillow
If she’s about to head off to college or her first apartment, why not make her new place feel like home the second she arrives? A cozy pillow with a collage that showcases favorite memories will make any new place feel like home. Include a message from the whole family in the center of the pillow. Pair with a new woven photo blanket for a bedroom gift set.
Big Year Ahead Calendar
Let’s get all those big plans on the calendar! Even when it’s the middle of the year, a personalized calendar with her favorite photos is a great way to get her excited about the big months ahead. Include a colorful collection of images every month so she sees her favorite smiling faces on her desk each morning.
Looking for a small gift to pair with a card or a big surprise? Pick a candle to refresh her space and make it feel like home. Choose from three distinct scents and colors to cozy up her new space when she moves on to the next big adventure. Pair your gift with a larger ticket item like a gift card or the start of a savings fund for the future.
Travel Toiletry Gift Set
Get her ready for college, her big summer trip, or even setting up a new place by grabbing all the necessities in a personalized toiletry bag. Add her name to a floral design that she’ll love and match it with a set of new luggage to make the next steps smooth and easy. If she’s had her eye on specific makeup, hair products, or other toiletries, pop them inside the case for an extra surprise.
Dorm Room Decor
What’s more fun than designing a dorm room for the first time? Gather up a collection of personalized touches for her to spread throughout her new space. Small home decor accents like a set of personalized magnets can transform a new place to rest and unwind.
Graduation Gifts For Him
How do you congratulate that hard-working guy in your life? For graduation day, pick out a customizable gift that celebrates his drive, enthusiasm, and big plans ahead. You can also gift him with the first piece of wall art for his new dorm room or place away from home. Combine sentimentality with adventure for the best graduation gifts for him.
Family Photo Wall Art
No matter how far he travels from home, give him a loving reminder of the crew that has his back. Metal wall art lets you feature a scratch and fade-proof color image for a high-definition look. Include a picture of the whole family with a simple infinity symbol and graduation date at the base of the image.
Ready for the World Map
This is a time to celebrate all the places in the world he plans to explore. Gift him a vintage map printed on an easy-to-hang canvas so it can follow him from dorm room to apartment during this time of transition. Add his name beneath the map with his graduation date. This also makes an excellent addition to a travel-themed gift set.
Favorite Photo Phone Case
Gather up his favorite photos from the past four years and arrange them into a colorful collage for his phone case. Choose a theme for the photos, highlighting either his group of friends, your favorite family images, or even graduation ceremony photos. You can even surprise him with a new college-ready iPhone or Samsung phone to go with the case.
Business Card Holder
After years of studying, he’s ready to share his talent with the world. Design a monogrammed business card holder to start him off on the right foot. A stainless steel case keeps his business cards safe and at the ready for his first networking opportunity. You can also order a set of personalized business cards to tuck inside the case.
Watch and Keepsake Box
Planning to pass down a family heirloom on his graduation day? Keep it safe in a keepsake box adorned with a family photo and personalized message. This is also a great opportunity to pair a graduation card that explains the story behind the keepsake and your message of love and support.
DIY Graduation Gifts
This once-in-a-lifetime moment calls for a one-of-a-kind gift. When you add your own creative or crafty flair to a DIY graduation gift, you can tailor your present exactly to the graduate’s passions and plans for the future.
You don’t have to be clever with a glue gun to go the handmade route, however. Consider gathering up items in a themed gift basket or a personalized photo gift that will celebrate this next big step. You can also surprise them with an experiential gift, such as a trip across the world or tickets to a show in New York. Here are a few DIY gift bundles that include an extra touch of personal care.
New Kitchen Essentials
Learning to cook for yourself right out of college is a rite of passage. Elevate their meals past ramen and grilled cheese with all the essentials they’ll need to be masters of the kitchen. In a large gift basket, include a set of personalized ceramic bowls, new pot holders, and a set of hand-etched wooden utensils. Be sure to slip a few easy family recipes into the card to get them started.
Graduation day is a common time to surprise graduates with big-ticket gifts like a new car. If you’re about to make the big reveal, do it in a clever way by pairing a new personalized keychain with your graduation card. They’ll figure out the big surprise the moment they spot the keys.
Whether your grad is saying goodbye to dorm life or setting up a dorm room for the first time, it’s important to have a space that feels like home. Collect gifts that make a space feel special and cozy, such as a fleece blanket covered in family photos, a lush throw pillow, and a calming wind chime. Balance out their new space with a piece of mounted wall art that acts as the colorful focal point of the room.
Curate a wall for their dorm room or new apartment that greets them each day with motivation and enthusiasm. Include a large canvas print with an inspirational quote and include smaller prints, a photo wall calendar, and a magnetic white board to make notes for the day. Include instructions on how to design a photo wall and make a date to hang everything together after graduation.
Coffee and Teatime Set
Life can move pretty fast after graduation. Gift them a reminder to slow down with a large mug of coffee or their favorite brew of tea. Include fun teatime accessories like a teapot trivet and a coffee mug for caffeine on the go. Fill up the rest of the basket with locally roasted coffee beans and their favorite tea blends. Pair with a tumbler and water bottle so they’re always ready on the go.
Art Display Gift Set
If your graduate is a passionate artist, now’s the perfect time to surprise them with new supplies and tools for this next big step. Consider mounting a print of their favorite work of art on canvas so it can be displayed in the center of their home. Tuck a few gift cards into the set to encourage them to buy additional art supplies as they continue to create.
The Ultimate Care Package
Whether this is your first college care package or the grand finale, fill up a box with all of their favorite snacks, homemade treats, and a motivational card to cheer them through this amazing event. Be sure to include a thoughtful gift in there as well, such as a family photo book or a photo collage of all their first-day-of-school pictures.
Graduation day can be bittersweet — one ending leads to a big new beginning. When you mark this exciting time with a personalized gift, your grad will always relate the present to your support and love. Whether it’s a high school commencement or college graduation, you have plenty of opportunities to help them celebrate with the perfect gift. Deck out their new home, dorm room, office, or desk with grad gifts made just with them in mind.