Last-Minute Graduation Decorations, Favors, and Activities

Graduation is rapidly approaching—not just for high school, but for college, too!  Many colleges are finishing up their spring semesters in early May, so whether you’re graduating in May or June, it’s probably sneaking up on you.  Are you at the point of planning a graduation party in a frantic, frenzied state of mind?  Here are some ideas to help you.

Graduation Decoration Ideas

You can always stick with the classic (no pun intended) “Class of 2012” decorations, either in your favorite colors or in your school colors.  Those are fail-safe graduation decorations to use as your fallback.  You’ll be able to find tableware in the various solid colors (or a neutral-colored eco-friendly version, if you wish), but then you can also get personalized napkins imprinted with “Class of 2012” or “Congratulations, Graduate!”  You should also stock up on 2012 balloons in the various colors—then you can integrate streamers and centerpieces, maybe even ceiling swirls.

If you want more unique graduation party, take some time to look for a pattern you really like, then buy tableware in that pattern.  Then pull certain colors from it.  For example, if you like a fun daisy pattern, buy plates and maybe napkins pull the colors of the petals on the pattern.  Use those colors when you look for streamers and balloons. You could even pull a color or two from the pattern and get personalized napkins in that color!  By not using the pattern for the decorations and the tableware, your guests will see a much cleaner, more put-together party that they’ll think you spent a great deal of time planning.

Graduation Favor Ideas

Typically, favors take a long time to plan and put together.  If you’re in a crunch for time and need a few quick favor ideas, however, you can make your own mini-swag bags for your guests!  Buy bags and some filler, and then plan what favors you want to use to fill your swag bags with.  Some ideas are:

  1. Bubbles!  A small bottle of bubbles will encourage your guests to have fun at your party—bubbles will also keep younger children very entertained throughout the day.
  2. Candy!  Everyone loves candy, it’s a great way to say “thank you for coming” and fill your guests’ need for sugary goodness throughout the party.
  3. Disposable camera: While most cameras nowadays are digital, it’s still possible to find 20-exposure disposable cameras for occasions such as weddings and parties.  Slip one in each swag bag and give your guests a way to remember the day they spent with you!  This also gives you a way to remember the day later, as you can ask them for the pictures after they take the camera to get developed.
  4. A Thank-You Card:  Your guests will be touched that you took a minute to personalize each swag bag with a note written directly to them.  While this may seem a little time-consuming, it will mean more to your guests than you know.

Graduation Party Activities

Because your graduation party is (probably) in the summer, you’ll have beautiful weather to be outside in!  What better summer activities can you think of than water balloon fight?  This is an activity to warn your guests of ahead of time, so they can wear clothes that they won’t mind ruining.  You could also (if you elect to not have a water balloon fight) have all your guests wear white t-shirts and everyone come armed with a different-colored permanent marker or highlighter.  Then you can all write messages on each other’s shirts.  If you use highlighters, you can buy a black light later and your shirt (and the messages written on it) will glow!  That’s another cute favor that everyone will be able to take from your party.  You can also take a roll of solid-colored table cover and hang a lot of it on a wall so your guests can sign it and leave you a note.  You could also have a white graduation cap ready for your guests to simply sign—save the notes for the table cover.  You’ll be able to go back through your high school and college stuff later in life and find the messages from all the guests at your graduation party—think now about the memories it will bring back to you.

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