About Caroline Preble

I'm a gal who thinks that there is always a reason to celebrate! I am a wife and mom to two great girls, and a former elementary teacher who has turned my love for all things fun and creative into a website to share with friends everywhere.

5 Must Have Graduation Party Favors

It’s almost graduation time! Time to celebrate the completion of the time spent at school and get ready for the adventures ahead! If you are planning on hosting a party to honor a special graduate, or if you have lots of wonderful grads to remember, here are 5 must have graduation party favors that are sure to do the trick!

Graduation Favor Boxes

Graduation Hat Favor Boxes

I love these little hats! You can fill them with a note, candy, confetti, or other small gift. They would look great on a party table or they could be a perfect “special something” to give to all your grad’s friends to let them know you were thinking of them.
Personalized Round Party Labels

Personalized Party Labels

These fun labels come in an assortment of colors and styles to match any party theme. Then you can customize them even more with a name, a date, and a message. These would make great accents on your invitations, thank you notes, or party favors.
Class of 2018 Stadium Cups

Class of 2018 Stadium Cups

If you are hosting a graduation celebration, you are going to need cups. These Class of 2018 Stadium Cups are perfect because they go with classic graduation party décor, they are unique to your party theme, and best of all, they can be saved as a party souvenir (they make great pencil holders for college dorms)!

Class of 2018 Hershey's Kisses Box A Box of Kisses

I think this personalized Class of 2018 Hershey’s Kisses Box is an amazing idea for a graduation gift! I have so many kids that I would like to do something for, and not only are these candies delicious, they are also reasonably priced, which makes them perfect for party favors or small gifts for groups of grads. Who wouldn’t ant some kisses for graduation?

Great Books

I saved my favorites for last! Books are always a great gift for a graduate, and there are so many fun titles out there to choose from! Here are a few of my favorites:

1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know Oh The Places You'll Go Book Oh The Things You'll Need Book

If you are looking for even more pretty and unique graduation party favors, we really love our affiliate Beau-Coup. They have lots of great party supplies, gifts and more for Grads. Plus, hundreds of personalized options as well. Click here to check them out!


thumb_graduation_page1 For more graduation party ideas, be sure to check out our graduation party page, or follow us on Pinterest!

Follow Creative Party Themes’s board Graduation Party Ideas on Pinterest.

Graduation Gift Ideas

meaningful graduation gift ideas

So, graduation time is just around the corner. I have children in high school and college, and they have lots of friends, so that means thinking of clever gift ideas for all the special people in our lives.

My goal is to give something meaningful. In years past there have been a limited number of graduates to celebrate and I have found clever ways of gifting money or store gift cards to help get them ready for college life. This year there will be many more graduates who have been an important part of our family’s life for a lot of years. So I find myself endlessly searching for great graduation gift ideas. Gifts that go beyond money, gifts that they will actually use, or that will last, or that will tug at their heartstrings. Turns out this is harder than it seems.

Here are some of the ideas that I have gathered from friends, family, and endless online searches. Some are better for those closest to you, and some for friends and acquaintances. I hope this helps those of you who are also on your own quest for meaningful graduation gift ideas. If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please add your own comments at the bottom of the page!

Graduation Gift Ideas

Something Personalized

I love the idea of giving something with the graduate’s name or monogram. It shows that you took the time to make something unique to them.

  • Monogrammed frame
  • Monogrammed towels
  • Monogrammed jewelry for the girls or a money clip or cuff links for the boys

Something Sentimental

These  ideas are great for your own graduate or for those who are really close to you.graduation gift ideas

  • A scrapbook of school memories
  • A photo collage or framed special picture
  • A personal quilt made of school colors, old team tee shirts, quotes or other special memories
  • A family heirloom or gift with personal meaning to your family

Something Relating to the Graduate’s High School or College

Celebrate the graduate’s achievements with memories of high school or something significant to where they are headed.

  • School bannersgraduation gift ideas
  • A logo sweatshirt
  • A signet ring
  • A coffee table book about the grad’s school
  • Gifts with the school’s mascot or logo

A Good Book

I love the idea of giving books for graduation. They could be classic novels or college survival guides. Here are a few that I’ve found.

Gift Baskets

Filling a basket with must-haves for freshman year could be so much fun. If you are creative this is an amazing idea. Check out Pinterest for some great graduation gift basket inspirations.

Gifts that Keep Giving

Every student living away from home loves to get care packages. You could give your grad a voucher for home baked goods to be delivered at intervals, or there are a number of websites that will send themed care packages to a student once or regularly. Here are a few:

graduation gift ideas

Money or Gift Cards

Of course there is always the tried and true gift idea of money or a helpful gift card. If you decide to give a gift card, think about a student’s life on campus. Having cash to spend at local restaurants, shops or coffee houses would be great for any student. Here are a few ways to make this option more fun:

  • Put a gift card into a fun luggage tag or ID case.
  • Give money in the form of Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets
  • Fold money into a fun origami shape or make a money lei.

thumb_graduation_page For more ideas to make your graduation special, take a look at our graduation party page!

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Decorations

cinco de mayo fiesta decorations

Looking for a great excuse to throw a party that’s full of color and fun? How about a Cinco de Mayo fiesta? I love the bright colors, upbeat music, and yummy food and drinks that all come together to make a wonderful fiesta. You can find lots of great Cinco de Mayo theme party ideas on our fiesta party page, but here are some new inspirations for fiesta decorations, perfect for a Cinco de Mayo extravaganza!

Dark - 728x90

dot divider

Start with bright colors — Fiestas are all about bright. When you think about your fiesta decorations, keep color in mind every step of the way. Orange, lime, hot pink, turquoise, and bold yellow can come together to make a really vibrant color scheme. If you have fiesta ware serving pieces, these can be great. Silver toned serving pieces also can be a nice contrast to a colorful table. Another easy option is to purchase some paper fiesta themed tableware. (Best of all, this offers easy clean up at the end of your party.)

Hang some tissue paper decorations — Tissue paper fans, flags, and flowers can all add whimsy to a Cinco de Mayo party. Here is a tutorial we posted a while ago showing you how to easily make tissue paper pom poms.

Mini pinatas make fun table toppers

Include a Piñata —  Piñatas are great fun as both fiesta decorations and a party activity. You might hang a giant piñata over your party area or set mini piñatas on the table as a fun touch.

Think about the lighting — If your party is going to be held in the evening, white twinkle lights wrapped around trees or draped from above can help cast a magical glow.

Use traditional Mexican decorations — Some things that can be great additions to your décor are colorful traditional items such as serapes, sombreros, or painted maracas. You might use them as centerpieces or set them on the ends of your serving areas.

free fiesta printables

free fiesta printables

Add some flowers or cacti — Big, bold flowers such as dahlias or zinnias can be beautiful addition to your fiesta decorations. Or, you might try using cacti planted in painted pots or bright cans.  We found the fun picture above at a fiesta on Loves Food, Loves to Eat. These little gems also make great party souvenirs for your guests.

Personalize your party with free printables — We created these free fiesta party circles and a free printable fiesta invitation that you can download and use at your next event. Enjoy!

Include great music, food and drink — Of course, decorations can only take your party so far. For a truly memorable event, don’t forget to think about the atmosphere (i.e. music) and the menu. A delicious taco bar or signature drink can be great additions to a wonderful Cinco de Mayo party.

Be Sure to Take a Look at Amol’s!Amols’ is a vendor that we love who specializes in all things fiesta! Whatever you are looking for in the way of fiesta decorations, you can be sure to find it here! Here are a few of the amazing, colorful items they sell that can definitely help brighten up your Cinco de Mayo party!

Cornhusk Indita Doll
Cornhusk Dolls
Large Paper Picado Banner- Multicolor
Papel Picado Banner
Multicolor Pansy Cornhusk Flowers
Multicolor Mexican Flowers

dot divider


Softball Team Building Ideas

softball team building ideas

It’s springtime, and that means it’s time for all softball players to dust off their cleats and hit the diamond. My daughter has played softball since she was little and I have always been involved with her teams. I love these girls and I love having the opportunity to find lots of ways to make the season special. Here are some of the softball team building ideas that we’ve done so far to get things kicked off!


Team Photos  — Every year we hang both a team photo and individual player photos in a display case outside of the snack shack at the field.  This year we tried something a little different by using softballs to spell out the word “family” in the photo. If you gather enough softballs, you could also write out your school name, team name, or team motto. We are hoping to print this photo onto tee shirts for all of the players at the end of the season. If you have a parent who likes to take pictures, another great idea is to collect these and make a video at the end of the season with some snaps of the team and individual players set to music.

Varsity letter locker signs

Varsity letter locker signs

Locker Signs — At my daughter’s school one family volunteers to make a locker sign for each of the players on the team for every away game. The girls go into school early to put these up. These can be simple computer notes, or something a little more. Since I am the team mom, I like to try to make something that the girls can put in a scrapbook at the end of the season. Last year I made team pennants for each player. This year I had two shifts as locker mom. For the first one I traced a varsity letter onto poster board to make personalized team locker signs. For the second I cut the girls’ numbers using a cricut machine (I love that thing!)

no sew sports pennant

Team pennant softball locker signs

Great idea for varsity team locker signs!

Varsity team locker signs


Lucky softball hair bows

Lucky team hair bows

Lucky Hair Bows — Does your player have a lucky pair of socks, underwear, or other special something? For my girl it is her hair bow. This year she decided that she wanted everyone on the team to have their own lucky hair bow. We made these by cutting black ribbon and using sparkly puff paint to write JHS on one side and each player’s team number on the other.


Softball Team Bonding Activities — Throughout the season the softball team hosts a few team bonding activities. We usually start off the season with a team get together (for players), have a family barbecue around mid-season, and end with a Senior Night for all families where we honor graduating players. This year we gathered the girls for a night of laser tag and pizza, followed by a sundae party and sleepover at my house.  One of the highlights was the game where the coaches showed up and the girls got to compete with them in the laser tag arena. Another was, of course, staying up all night giggling. It was a lot of fun and a great way for all of the players to get to know each other better.
Here are a few pictures from the event. Best of luck to everyone this season!!

softball party banner

We converted a baseball banner into one for softball using yellow Sharpie pen


softball centerpiece idea

Softball centerpiece idea

One More Great Thing! — now I have finally found some great softball themed party accessories on Amazon! No more coloring baseballs yellow! here are some options that would be great for a softball party:

softball party table

softball team dinner