Graduation Party Ideas

Perfect Graduation Party

Last year was our big year for graduation parties when our baby graduated from high school.  With four kids graduated from high school I have done my share of graduation parties.  In fact we had two different parties for Tessa last year (I’ll explain later.)

Today I am sharing with you some of my best graduation party ideas.

I think my best tip is to combine your party with one of your children’s good friends.  One party – two people.  Not only does it make the work load easier but it makes everyone’s party schedule easier too.  I lost count of how many graduation party invitations my daughter received last year.  Both of my girls had a party with one of their best friends and it was great.  Tessa had to make out a schedule some days to make sure she could fit all the parties in and which ones were at which time.

Because there were two different groups of people we wanted to include in our party and they were both rather large groups of people we decided to host two different parties for Tessa’s graduation.  One was a party for her high school friends, this was the joint party.  The other party we had was for family, neighbors and church friends.  It worked out great.

I love a themed party so I let Tessa and Rachel brainstorm theme ideas for their party.  With a little help from me they decided on Sail Away since they would soon be sailing away to college.  It was so much fun to plan around.

Since I have already blogged about the party I will just be linking to past posts where you can read more.

We started with the invitation and had a fun little photo shoot for the invite.

Graduation Party Ideas

Fun ideas for a memorable graduation party

I am a big believer in invitations – the paper kind, not the email kind and not the Facebook event kind.  I think an invitation really sets the stage for a party so of course we had a cute graduation party invitation.

Graduation Party InviteGraduation Party Invite

The next step was the decorations.  We of course went with a nautical look for our Sail Away Theme.  It was about everything red, white and blue!

Sail Away Graduation Party

Cost was kept to a minimum and things were created out of cardboard, chalkboards, shipping palettes, balloons and things I already had.  I did make a fun nautical colored pennant banner for the party.

No party would be complete without food. To keep costs down a bit we did not serve a full meal but no one went hungry.  We had a mixture of sweet and savory with a fun selection of cupcakes and then several different appetizers.  Go here for the complete menu for our graduation party.

Sail Away Graduation Party

The biggest hit of the evening was the Italian Soda Bar.


We also had a s’more bar which was fun too.

The kids had a fun time just visiting, playing badminton, roasting marshmallows, making Italian sodas and taking photos at the photo booth.

For our second party, the one for church friends, family and neighbors we went with a Smart Cookie theme.  I had seen the idea of a milk & cookie party on a blog and thought it would be a fun idea for a graduation party as well as fairly inexpensive.  Since I was doing two parties I really tried to keep the costs down.

Of course there had to be another cute invitation.

Graduation Party InviteGraduation Party Invite

We did this party on a Sunday evening and kept the menu simple – cookies and milk!  With the help of a few friends we made over 400 cookies and had 100 guests.  I think I had ten cookies left at the end of the evening.  The favorite cookie of the evening was the Compost Cookie.

Chocolate milk was definitely the biggest hit. I set up a fun cookie bar in the kitchen and people loved it.  Fortunately the weather was good and people had fun milling around in the garden visiting.

Smart Cookie Party

People loved drinking out of the little milk bottles with a straw!
Smart Cookie PartyI used the Starbucks Frappuccino bottles!  They are perfect.

I used some of my vintage suitcases and other pieces for decoration so set up was easy.  I found some fun graduation quotes to put on my chalkboards.

Both parties were so much fun and I had a blast planning them.  I’m kind of sad there won’t be any more high school graduation parties at my house.

But I’ve got two more college graduations to go and a law school graduation!  Oh and then there is that wedding we are having this summer….

Are you planning a graduation party this year?

For more graduation party ideas check out these:

Graduation Party Theme and Photo Shoot

Tips and Ideas for planning the perfect graduation party @yourhomebasedmomGraduation Party Decor Ideas

Graduation Party Food Ideas for the perfect graduation party

Graduation Party Food Ideas

Graduation Party Food Ideas for the perfect graduation party

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. Carmie says

    Leigh Anne, Where do you find all of your chalk boards? Have you made them with chalk board paint? I am having trouble finding some for dinner parties.

  2. Paulette says

    I am having a high school graduation party for my daugher. I don’t have any special theme just the colors of her school (green). Your ideas for decorating are wonderful. If you have any other ideas (not specific to a theme) I would love to hear. Thank you!

  3. says

    Love your ideas… have actually pinned them on pinterest! I’m having a lemonade stand graduation party for my daughter. I looked on your blog to get instructions for a banner and I’m inspired!

  4. Lee Ann says

    I stumbled upon your site from a Pinterest pin and just LOVE it! Thanks for the wonderful ideas and simple instructions. I want to be like you when I grow up! :) (I’ve got 3 kids to get out of the house still. LOL!)

  5. Lisa says

    Going to throw a graduation party for my daughter and her best friend this summer. How do you suggest phrasing the invite so guests don’t think they have to bring two gifts? Some of my relatives are already confused by my save the date notice. Any suggestions?

    • says

      That’s a tough one. I went to a grad party a few years ago that was a joint one for four kids and they just had a designated area with each grads name on it where you could leave gifts. I don’t think anyone felt like they had to bring a gift for everyone. My daughter shared her grad party with a good friend and we didn’t put anything on the invite about gifts. If people are confused by it they will probably ask and then you could clarify.


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