This post is all about throwing a DIY graduation party.
This year was huge for us, as our daughter, Jessica, graduated from high school in May.
The one thing Jes specifically asked for was a graduation party for all of her friends.
Basically, she wanted an “IT” party. So… we gave it to her!
In this post, I’m sharing my favorite tips and ideas for throwing the best graduation party.
Graduation Party Ideas
Graduation Party Decorations
Below are several great stores for purchasing your party supplies, in person or online.
Pier 1 Imports
Graduation Party Venue
This graduation party was for my daughter and all of her school friends.
We decided to have the party at our house, instead of renting a venue, to help save on expenses.
I did need to clean my entire house anyway so the party was great motivation to get busy washing down outdoor furniture and cleaning windows.
Graduation Party Supplies
Before you buy anything for your party, it’s a good idea to take stock of usable items that you already have on-hand.
Things to look for include platters and trays, utensils, buckets, pitchers, plates, cake stands, tablecloths, and serving utensils.
Additionally, you should check-out Pinterest for free, printable party signs, food signs, menus, water bottle labels, and cupcake toppers.
Instead of printed invitations, Jessica sent text invites to her friends.
Whether you use text or paper invites, they should be sent about a month in advance.
Below is an example of a really cute graduation party invite using punchbowl.com.
Next was purchasing the decorations — I bought a lot of them from Party City, Target, World Market, and Pier 1 Imports.
The theme was bright and tropical, so I used my outdoor summer throw pillows for easy decor, inexpensive leis for everyone to wear, lots of colorful hanging paper lanterns, and plastic tablecloths and paper goods for easy clean-up.
Incorporating Your Home Decor
I incorporated my own home decor by adding lemons to bowls, shells on the tables, etc.
Also, I borrowed a bunch of galvanized tubs from a friend and I filled them with ice and small water bottles and placed them all around the pool and patio.
That way if the kids are thirsty, there is water nearby.
Additionally, I filled up my glass drink dispenser/infuser with water and lemons and oranges.
Again, its cheap and everyone can always drink more water, especially on a hot, sunny day! : )
Outdoor Party Activities
For outdoor activities, we had the swimming pool and hot tub, and we rented a “ninja warrior” type blow-up obstacle course.
We also had water guns, floats, and pool toys that were a huge hit with the big kids.
Likewise, we had a fun, graduation-themed backdrop with props for taking pics and selfies.
During the celebration there was beachy, Caribbean music playing from the outdoor speakers.
Food and Fun
No party would be complete without lots of food!
You know how much kids love to eat! : )
We decided on BBQ as the main dish, and we had all the sides to go with it —
buns for sandwiches, chips, potato salad, dips with tortilla chips, baked beans, a vegetable and fruit tray, banana pudding, cookies, and of course, a candy table.
If you are having any meals outdoors, these Outdoor Mesh Food Covers are the best at keeping flies and bugs off of your food.
Graduation Party Success
All-in-all it was a phenomenal graduation party!
Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and the weather was fantastic!
For your graduation party success try to involve several adults/hosts in the planning process.
Also, keep a detailed checklist handy and plan early, designate specific jobs/responsibilities to each host, make a budget and stick to it, and loosen up and have fun!
The kids are going to have a great time no matter what happens.
Happy Graduation Party Planning!
Have you hosted or been to any fun graduation parties?
Are you planning a party any time soon?
What are your best tips for keeping costs down?
Let me know in the comments below! : )
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