Divine Dinner Party

Ideas for Graduation Centerpieces to Make at Home

Think it's more or less impossible to make graduation centerpieces that are thematic, creative, inexpensive, and look great? Well... it's not! If you want to celebrate your grad with great decorations, making a centerpiece for a graduation party at home can be the perfect balance between personalized decorations and a budget friendly event.
Here, you'll find a few great ideas for some of my favorite graduation table centerpieces. Some of these centerpieces feature photos, others their past or future school, and others are all about the world and the future ahead. The perfect way to truly celebrate your graduate and send them off into a bright future!

Want more ideas to help you plan a party that your grad will never forget? When you're done here, head on over to Graduation Party central for more tips on graduation decorations, graduation cakes, graduation party games, and more.

1. Graduation Photo Memory Box

Table Centerpiece for a Graduation PartyI love the idea of this graduation centerpiece, either as a party favor made up for each individual guest (with treats and surprises inside!) or just a decorative centerpiece for your table.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: To make this centerpiece for graduation, you'll need to start off with a fun-printed (or plain... whatever you like!) novelty Chinese food container. Get some great photos of your graduate, and stick them to the container with Popsicle sticks. Add some fun captions, fill the box with some party favors to help weigh it down, and add some tissue paper or sparkly packaging for decoration.

To make this even more special, do these graduation party centerpieces in your grad's school colors!

2. Graduation Cake Centerpiece

Graduation Cake Centerpiece
If you've spent a lot of time and money on a special cake for a graduation party, then why keep it hidden away until it's time to eat it? Use it as a decoration, instead! Graduation cakes make fun and tempting centerpieces for a graduation dinner, and save you the trouble of making a separate one.

To get some ideas for graduation cakes for your centerpiece, take a look at this page. And don't forget, you can do this centerpiece with graduation cupcakes, too!

3. Lighted Graduation Photo Centerpieces

Photo Lanters for a Graduation CenterpieceI love the idea of these graduation photo lanterns! Run down the center of a long banquet table, or grouped in the middle of a round table, they make a great graduation centerpiece. Plus, you can still use them later on-- simply replace the photos, or keep 'em in there as a reminder of your special grad.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: This sort of centerpiece is easy to put together. First, get together some photos of your graduate's school career, some graduation photos, or photos of favorite childhood memories. Choose three or four good ones for each lantern. Print them onto plain paper (you don't want to use photo paper!) and place up against the glass in a series of frames (like the centerpieces pictured). Or you can make actual lanterns out of them, like in the tutorial here.

4. A "Bookish" Graduation Table Centerpiece

Table centerpiece with books for a graduation partyI think this fun and creative centerpiece for a graduation party is a great way to recognize and celebrate your grad's academic achievements. And all you need to put it together is a bunch of vintage books-- items you can probably find on your grad's shelf or at your local thrift store.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: The version of this centerpiece pictured here is a ring of vintage books surrounding a potted plant. But there are tons of ways you can do this! Put together a few unevenly-sized stacks of books, and add a vintage globe to the top. Or a basket of apples. Or a chalkboard and a pair of glasses. Use copies of your grad's favorite classic novels, or old textbooks from previous years' classes. Make it your own and have fun with it!

5. An Apple for the Grad

An apple for the teacher centerpiece for a graduation party
There's almost no symbol for "school" more popular than an apple for the teacher. Why don't you switch that tradition around and make an apple centerpiece for your graduate? These are cute, easy to put together, and really inexpensive... win, win, and win.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: This version of a graduation centerpiece uses green apples instead of red, but you can opt for either or both. In place of a real apple leaf, a small leaf-shaped cut out has been inserted with a straight pin into each apple. The fun part here? You can do anything you want with your cut-out! Make this graduation centerpiece your own by creating a special theme or message with your apple leaves, such as:

  • Favorite classic quotes
  • Inspirational quotes about the future
  • Pieces of advice from guests or family members
  • Things your grad said or wrote during his/her school career
  • Favorite subjects or activities during his or her school career
  • Messages to the graduate about different things they're good at or what makes them special

6. Show Off His or Her Next Step

College themed centerpiece for a graduation tableCelebrating a high school graduation and got a grad who's super excited about moving on to college? Celebrate that with fun college-themed graduation centerpieces.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: Creating this kind of centerpiece should be easy enough to do. Simply buy or pick up promotional materials from your grad's school of choice, and arrange them creatively in the middle of your table. As a bonus, these can act both as graduation centerpieces and party favors. Check and check. Add in some decorations in your grad's new school colors, and you have a festive centerpiece for graduation that's ready to go.

7. Celebrate a Sports Star

Sports Graduation Centerpiece with Baseball Theme
Was your grad's school career crowned with special accomplishments in sports? A sports-themed graduation centerpiece can be a really great way to celebrate that. No matter what sport your grad liked best, there's a great way to incorporate it into your graduation decorations.

Putting Together this Centerpiece: This particular sports themed graduation table centerpiece is all about baseball... and consists of nothing more complicated than a large, clear fishbowl full of baseballs and some colored grass (opt for his or her school colors!). There's a way to do this with most sports: grow a tray of wheat grass, paint with lines, and add a football or a soccer ball (or use a tray filled with shredded green paper, or use astro-turf). Stretch a net onto a star-shaped (or whatever!) frame and place a basketball on top. Get creative and have fun with it!


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