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!

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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

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Adult Easter Basket Ideas

adult Easter basket ideas

Easter is coming soon and it’s time to start thinking about putting together your Easter baskets! It always seems easy to find ideas for the kids at Easter time, but what about something for your husband, wife, or other special someone?

When I start assembling things at Easter, I always start by thinking of a person’s interests. That can usually spark a few ideas about what small gifts could go along with those themes. Sometimes I need a little more inspiration, so last year I started making a list of adult Easter basket ideas. Here is what I’ve come up with… our top 10 adult Easter basket ideas for gifts that go beyond the traditional jelly beans and chocolate bunnies (plus some creative ideas of how to display everything)!

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Adult Easter Basket Ideas for Men:

  • Airplane size liquor bottles
  • Lottery scratchers
  • Some favorite snacks like sunflower seeds, beef jerky, nuts, chips, etc.
  • Cologne
  • DVDs
  • Small electronic accessories like earbuds, car chargers, or aux cords
  • Cigars
  • Small tools
  • Travel mug
  • Tickets to a game, concert, or movie

Instead of using a basket to arrange your Easter goodies, think about what your gift recipient’s interests are. You could put everything in a baseball cap, a tool box or fishing tackle box, an ice cooler or a six-pack bottle carrier.

Adult Easter Basket Ideas for Women:

  • Nail Polish, lipstick, or other small cosmetics
  • Brandy Filled Easter Eggs
  • Magazines or books
  • Wine and 2 nice wine glasses
  • Gift card to a favorite restaurant or shop
  • Seeds for the garden and gardening gloves or tools
  • Jewelry
  • Flip flops
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Bubble bath

Some fun ideas to use for holding your Easter gifts might include a large bowl, a pretty watering can, an upside down open umbrella, a beach bag, a large travel cosmetics case, a sun hat, or some colorful rain boots.

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thumb-easter-party1For more Easter party ideas and inspirations (plus some free Easter printables), be sure to check out our Easter party page!

Valentine Lunch Box Notes

free printable valentine lunch box notes to cut, print and send off!

Valentine’s Day is coming soon — time for hearts, flowers, and special surprises! One of my own kids’ very favorite treats has always been getting a special love note from home tucked into their lunch boxes (or as they got older hidden in their backpacks, gym clothes, or computer cases.) We thought it would be fun to create some free printable Valentine lunch box notes for you to give to your own kiddos in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. You might also use them as a little surprise for your sweetheart, because really, who ever outgrows the fun of a special love note!

We made two separate sheets of Valentine lunch box printables for you to choose from. One has pre-printed messages and one has blank hearts so you can write your own notes. Just click on the images below to access the downloadable pdf. file for each set of printables.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Valentine Lunch Box Notes

Free printable Valentine lunch box notes Free printable Valentine lunch box notes

Click on either picture to print!


Valentine's Day party ideasIf you are looking for even more ideas to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day, hop on over to our Valentine’s Day party ideas page for lots of inspirations!