Divine Dinner Party

Graduation Party Decorating Ideas:
Party Themes, Decorations and More

It's time for a graduation! But be it family or friend, you're hunting for graduation party decorating ideas and coming up short. Don't feel too bad... it's hard to come up with original and creative ideas. Particularly when dozens of people in the neighborhood are trying to do the same thing!

The good news is that coming up with creative graduation party decorating ideas doesn't have to be so daunting. In fact, it can be a ton of fun!

Getting Started: Colors, Themes, and More

The easiest way to plan some easy graduation decorating? Start with something simple like colors. The two favorite approaches to colors for a graduation party are using school colors, or the graduate's favorite colors.

The only exception is when the party has a specific theme. Then, you'll need to focus your colors on how they tie into the theme. For example, a night at the movies (complete with home movies of the graduate) might have black, gold, silver and white to reflect the glitz of Hollywood. A Polynesian luau buffet, on the other hand, should be multi-colored with bright tropical hues. A 60's graduation party theme gets tie dye! Have fun with it.

Read on for some more great ideas for college and high school graduation themes.

Graduation Party Theme Ideas

One of the most important elements of coming up with good graduation party decorating ideas is, of course, the theme!. So your first step is to stop and think about whether or not you want to use a creative theme for a graduation party. Easy graduation decorating gets even easier when you have a decorative "hub" around which to plan.

Some great themes for a graduation party include:

Graduation Theme for Athletes: Be A Sport!

Football Cake Pan
If the graduate has a specific sport central to their school years, this makes for a great theme, and you can revolve all of your graduation party decorating ideas around it.

For instance, if your graduate was a high school or college football player, plan a football-themed party, with a green grass table cover, a football goal post drink cooler (doubles as a game!), and little footballs for party favors. Have fun with it!

A great bonus? It's easy! After all, you'll probably already have a ton of equipment you can use for decorations along with team colors and numbers. And don't forget pompoms!

Then and Now Grad Party

This is a good graduation party theme idea if you're looking to make do-it-yourself graduation decorations. Why? Because this party features photographs of the graduate at various ages (yep, you can use some of those embarrassing ones now!).

Along with the images, perhaps you can set out memorabilia from the year of the graduate's birth as table decorations. Consider someone born in 1990 - put out a plastic sheep, a container of orange juice, $1.34, etc. and have people guess what they mean in relation to the year (in this case, the first cloned sheep, OJ's run from the law, and the cost of a gallon of gas). If you want, make this into a contest!

Masked Ball Graduation Decorating Theme

Red Feather Mask with Sequin StickLooking to plan a more elegant graduation party? This masked ball graduation party theme idea would be for a more formal graduation party-- one where everyone gets to try to figure out which mystery person is the graduate. It's creative, it's elegant, it's easy to decorate for... and it's a ton of fun.

A variation on this idea? You can use the masked balls to surprise the graduate with guests they're not expecting, too! For example, say someone's sister says she won't be able to make it for X reason (note: this is a cover story). You then fly that sister in, have a costume ready and when everyone unmasks - SURPRISE!

To some graduation party decorating ideas for this theme might be black crepe paper and black tableware. Or lots of silver and gold. Or go for a Mardi Gras style masked ball with colors of purple, green, and gold. Or go for the school colors! You can also provide fancy masked ball masks or have the guests provide their own.

"Dancin' til Dawn" Graduation Party Theme Idea

Disco Party Prismatic CenterpieceDance parties are very popular particularly for High School graduations (though college grads will probably like them, too!). The genre of music you pick out will help you come up with the most appropriate graduation party decorating ideas for your theme. Make sure you set up your party space with a dance "floor." ANd check the attic for that disco ball (or use fake ones!), if you want a really authentic feel.

I love the idea of a 70s disco theme (though of course you should pick music the grad and guests will actually want to dance to!) complete with a disco dance floor and retro decorations.

Graduation Party Placeholders

At many graduation parties, it's the little decorative touches that often make the biggest difference. Using subtle add-ons provides ambiance without being overwhelming.

For example, if you like do-it-yourself graduation decorations, you can make graduation cap placeholders (people can take these home) using egg cartons, cardboard and colored string. Just take one cup from the egg carton, turn it over and paint it. Glue a square of cardboard on top, likewise painted. For the tassel, you can use food coloring to change the hue of white string to school colors. Knot the strands at one end neatly, and then glue them in the middle of the hat. You're done! You can't get much less expensive, but it looks really great.

Graduation Rubber Duckie

Or you can pick up simple graduation party favors and decorations, and personalize them for your graduation placeholders. Buy one of the little graduation cap rubber duckies pictured, and write each guests' name on the cap with a silver paint pen. Or place one of these full-sized cardboard graduation caps on each plate for a placeholder.

Card and Money Box for a Graduation Party

Another nice touch among graduation party decorating ideas is a special card box so guests can leave cards and cash for the grad. Any box that you can put a slot in the top of will do.

Making a card and check box into a do-it-yourself graduation decoration is easy. All you need is a little time and planning. Decorate the outside of it with personalize pictures and print outs. Do it all decoupage style with quotes, photocopies of school pictures, etc. People can leave their cards in the box, which you can gather up in one swoop later. Easy peasy.

Graduation Memory Board Decoration/Gift

Lastly, it's really nice to include a Memory Board in your decorations... it makes a wonderful graduation party decorating idea, but also a wonderful gift for your graduate-- even if he or she can only keep part of it. You can make a memory board in a couple of different ways.

Grad Party Memory Wall Decoration Idea

1. Create it On the Spot. The first way would be to get a roll of white paper and put it on one wall of the party space. Put out markers, paints, and crayons and let the guests leave messages or pictures. In effect, it becomes living art!

2. Request the Material. A second approach is to ask all your guests to send you pictures or stories about the graduate. You'll use these to assemble a memory wall that people can review at their leisure.

Definitely one of my favorite easy do-it-yourself graduation decorations, and one which will be guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of your graduate.

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Planning a grad party and looking for more graduation party decorating idea? Check out:

Inexpensive Party Centerpieces


Setting Up a Party Buffet

Decorative Graduation Cap

Coming Up...

Hippity, Hoppity,
Easter's on its Way

The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.


Share and share alike! If you have a great dinner party idea or tip, send it in!

After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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