20 Great Gifts Graduates are Sure to Love

A fan (ok, so it was my mom. But she totally counts!) recently asked me to put together a collection of gift ideas for graduates. Here are my top tips for picking great presents for graduates as well as gift ideas you can both purchase or make.

Tip 1: Decide what kind of gift you would like to give. 
Categories of gifts graduates will most appreciate:
  • Something they can use now. Money and giftcards are always welcome. Do they need something fixed or upgraded? Have they wanted something for a long time? Get them that.
  • Something they can use in post-graduate life. Are they going to college? Moving into their own apartment? Getting married? Get them something with their life to come in mind.
  • Something sentimental. Help them remember you, your group of friends or life back home (if they are moving away) with fondness.
  • Give them something "grown up." I got my first real grown up jewelry after I graduated from high school. My grandmother sent me shopping for "grown up clothes" I could wear to interviews or work.

Tip 2: Gifts without graduation years will be cherished longer. Trust me. I know it's hard to believe. I spent from 5th grade - 12th grade fixated on the fact that I was part of the class of 2000. I had all this sentimental attachment. Loved things with the number 2000 or '00. This only lasted, however, until about 6 months into college. And then I focused on college. I didn't really want to think about high school anymore. Of course it was always fun (still is) to find people who graduated the same year as you. But I haven't had any of my class of 2000 stuff on display since about 2001.

Tip 3: Don't over think the "graduation" part of "graduation present." Seriously. Presents with graduation caps are cute and popular on Pinterest but won't have the staying power in the life of a graduate like something from they will really love (see tip 1!). Get them a card that screams "graduation" but a present that doesn't. You can even print one for free! (See below)

"Congrats" Card from Creative Green Living

Printable money/check card from Thirty Handmade Days

(perfect for a party or to decorate a car!)

"Today is Your Day" printable from Blissful Roots
Available in yellow, pink and blue.

Money and Gift Cards:

"Your Hard Work Has Paid Off" Bucket of Money from Couponing as a Lifestyle

Money Tree from Poppies at Play

Gift Card Snow Globe from The Creative Mama

Give a gift card with a plant to bring to college or their next apartment (from Artsy Ants)

Things for Moving On:

Car Survival Kit from Creattive Try Alls

 These are great for bringing to dorms or new apartment for men and women alike.
(PRO TIP: Most college dorms do not allow open flames but do allow use of scented candles with a warmer. If your grad is headed for the dorms, get them a Mug Warmerto go with the candle)
Kindle Fire Tablet - They can bring TV, their book collection, pictures and more with them wherever they go.

A Cookbook. Whether you get one for beginners like: A Man, A Can, A Plan or Make your own cookbook by putting together a collection of family favorites your graduate will thank you when they can fend for themselves and eat more than just ramen.

A Kitchen Tools Gift Basket from Amy Giggles Design will help them get started in their first kitchen away from home.

If you have sewing skills, make them an awesome comforter (this one is from Simply Sadie Jane) or quilt to bring to college or their new apartment.
(PRO TIP: Most college dorm beds are Twin XL so make your 90" x 65" for a great fit)

Make them this giant lifesize Jenga game - it's prefect for playing with friends at the park or backyard BBQs!

Sentimental Gift Ideas:

(ignore the fact that this one is clearly for dad...personalize this baby however you want!)

Personalized ornament from Crafty Kitsune lets them keep friends close at hand

Home State String Art from The Harpster Home is perfect for the graduate who is moving away.

Now Celebrate Your Grad!

A big thanks to everyone on this list who shared their awesome projects with the world! If you like "featured on" swag, pick up a button here.

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