The 25 Best Graduation Party Ideas – Themes You Can DIY 2023 – House Beautiful

Celebrate the grad in your life with an A-list party.
Because a graduation party is a celebration of endings and beginnings, there’s something extra special—and challenging—about hosting one. It can feel bittersweet for high school and college grads and their loved ones to say goodbye even as they’re looking forward to the exciting next stage in their lives. A graduation is also a huge milestone that brings together people from different parts of a grad’s life: fellow students, friends, mentors, and all the family members who helped them along the way. For older guests, it can be a time to reflect on the past and share advice for a successful transition. That’s a lot of emotions and a lot of different people to please.
As the host, how do you plan a springtime party your grad will be proud to share on TikTok without spending a fortune? Well, it turns out the social media platform actually has some great ideas, including one of our current favorites. (Hint: It involves recent grads inviting their favorite celebs to attend.) Even if the star can’t accept, you never know what kind of advice or well wishes they might share instead. We’ve also sourced budget-friendly buys and DIY decorations you can pull together fast, including must-have picture walls and party favors. Whether you’re planning a small end-of-exams toast or a big sentimental sendoff, these 25 graduation party ideas will help you plan a celebration the graduate in your life will remember forever.
Take part in a time-honored yearbook tradition and give partygoers superlatives like Best Hair and Most Likely to Become Famous. For extra fun, use balloons in school colors and real yearbook photos.
Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.
A spirited gift for high school or college graduates, these acrylic keychains are easy to make on an electric cutting machine like a Cricut. Start with premade acrylic keychain bases, then add a glittery logo or mascot design.
Get the tutorial at The Homes I Have Made.
After the caps and gowns come off, adorn graduates with handmade ribbons covered in well wishes and congratulatory messages. You could also provide the materials and let party guests make personalized awards for your grad.
Get the tutorial from Lia Griffith.
Create a full-circle moment with party decorations inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s book Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Deck the room out in shades of blue and green, accessorize with globes and vintage luggage, and don’t forget to provide a map charting your recent grad’s next moves.
Get the tutorial at A Night Owl Blog.
Create a station where guests can help their grad grow. Group bare branches in a simple vase, then lay out small cards for guests to fill with words of wisdom and life advice. Provide mini clothespins for them to hang their card on the tree. It’s a festive centerpiece for a gift table or addition to a photo display.
Get the tutorial at Play Party Plan.
If you’ve been daydreaming about an A-List graduation party with celebrities like Selena Gomez, jump on the viral TikTok trend. Mail a few extra invitations to your favorite celebs. You can create custom design graduation invitations at home with an electric cutting machine, such as a Cricut. You never know, your invitation might look so amazing, Selena will pop in to say, "Congrats, grad!"
Get the tutorial at Idie H Design.
Elevate your dessert buffet with gilded picture frames. Spray paint an odd number of old ones, then hang them up on the wall behind it as a backdrop. The gold frames pick up gold accents on the sweets, tying the whole tablescape together.
Get the tutorial at Stay Glam.
After the graduation ceremony, set up a craft table with extra graduation caps for guests to decorate with motivational quotes. The graduate can hang it as wall art in their dorm room or in their first apartment.
Get the tutorial at Polka Dot Chair.

It wouldn’t be a party without disco balls, right? This year instead of 2023 balloons go for metallic stars, moons, and balls in a monochromatic color scheme to make the grad and your guests stand out in this photo opt.
Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.
You already know how much kids and teenagers alike love cereal. So give the graduate what they want—they earned it. Load the cereal station with all their favorites, like golden grahams and lucky charms.
Get the tutorial at Fun365.
At an underage party, champagne glasses don’t have to go to waste. Fill with candies and top them with cupcakes adorned with a buttercream graduation cap—yum! Everyone can toast these delicious treats.
Get the tutorial at Living Locurto.
During graduation season, you need a lot of cards to gift graduates some funds to help them on their way to adulthood. But buying all those cards can add up. The cheeky printable cards are free, so draw or paint them for a personal touch.
Get the tutorial at Studio DIY.
If you’re hosting a graduation party outside, consider making paper leis for the graduate and your guests to wear during the festivities. You can also mix and match your cardstock and spray paint the petals contrasting colors for a different look.
Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built.
You can have a graduation party with lots of vibrant colors and a taco station and cerveza bar. For floral arrangements, focus on desert plants like succulents, and instead of money balloons, get a money pinata.
Get the tutorial at Stay Glam.
You can create a signature drink with cute DIY graduation caps and custom labels at the graduation party. Your guests will want to keep them as a party favor at the end of the night too.
Get the tutorial at Stay Glam.
Candy anyone? No matter how young or old, a tube filled with candy will always be a hit with a grad. You add the personal touch with a paper graduation cap and printable tag they will love.
Get the tutorial at Fun365.

You’ll want to set this display up where guests have space to sit down and write down their wisdom for the graduate as they enter adulthood. You can also find old skeleton keys at your local thrift shop or here. The tutorial includes motivational words you can attach to each key, and your guests can take a skeleton key home as a party favor.
Get the tutorial at Celebrations at Home.
Re-purpose an old globe with a little bit of chalkboard paint and a chalk pen to write a motivational message for their future. During the party, you can use it as a prop, and later they can take it with them to display in their home.
Get the tutorial at Karas Party Ideas.
A homemade cookie is a hit every time. Make a batch of the graduate’s favorite cookies and create custom goodie bags your guests can fill up with baked goods from the festivities.
Get the tutorial at Hostessology.
A treasure hunt ages young and old can do together to solve the rhyming riddles at the party. The game includes eight clues and four blank cards to personalize to solve the graduation hunt.
Buy at Amazon.

Angela Belt is the contributing Assistant Shopping Editor at House Beautiful. She’s also an interior designer and is the host of her own podcast, The Mood Board. When it comes to design, she’s an esteemed expert with some of her work also appearing in HGTV, Better Homes & Gardens, The Washington Post, and more.
Kate McGregor is House Beautiful’s SEO Editor. She has covered everything from curated decor round-ups and shopping guides, to glimpses into the home lives of inspiring creatives, for publications such as ELLE Decor, Domino, and Architectural Digest’s Clever. 

The Best Fire Pits for a Cozy Backyard Oasis
Inside a Three-Year-Old’s IKEA Birthday Party
6 Signs Your Grill is About to Catch Fire
12 Bridal Shower Themes That Bring the Fun
Costco’s Viral Porch is the Ultimate Party Hack
Costco’s Giant Outdoor Chair is a Summer Must
Skip the Bar Cart and Invest in a Wet Bar Instead
25 Best Memorial Day Decorations for 2023
68 Chic Home Bar Ideas That Call for a Nightcap
What Does It Take to Build An Outdoor Fireplace?
Why This Woman Asked For Her Baby Shower Gift Back
40 Fun Summer Party Ideas
A Part of Hearst Digital Media
We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back.
©2023 Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.