Graduation Party Decorations

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I hope to give you all the decorating ideas you need.

I have ideas on the overall decorations, great tips on decorating with balloons, preparation, table decorations, homemade decorations, guest ideas, bunting, lighting and ideas for your patio, driveway and rooms in your home.

Just imagine that perfect end result where the decorations truly enhance the party atmosphere.

I think the best solution is just to use as many decorations as you can and see if you get enough of an effect to really delight the graduate and guests.

Sign In Boards have the graduate's photo on them and add another personalized touch.

Guest Books - alternatively, set out a table with a guest book for guests to sign and leave a message. Add some confetti to the table for effect.

A really neat graduation party idea is personalized confetti with the graduates photo on it, plus stars and graduation themes.

Let's start with the photos!

Graduation Party Decorations - Photos

There is so much you can do with photos. That counts for existing photos of the graduate and friends, and also the photos you take at the party.

graduation party decorations
  • Posters - Simple yet meaningful posters can decorate the party. Simply use a photo of the graduate. Copy the photo to, say, Paint and add CONGRATULATIONS. Print some off and set them out at the party. Using Snapfish you can create excellent posters, life sized standees or wall graphics. Simply go to their site and upload the photos that you wish. Put one at the door to greet guests and one at a photo area as a backdrop.
  • Display family photos and also the family members’ own graduation photos. A photo tribute board and individual photos scattered around the party work well.

  • Project a photo of the graduate onto a wall of your home.

  • Add photos of the graduate to your car.

  • Take digital photos as the party progresses. Post those photos on a digital display board as you go along.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Balloons

graduation party decoration ideas
graduation party decorations

I hope to give you excellent, practical ways of using balloons.

  • Tie 2 or 3 balloons in contrasting colors together with some metallic curling ribbonand attach them to various places around your home or venue.

  • How about suspending a Balloon Bag from the ceiling and drop a whopping 100 balloons for a dramatic climax to your party!

  • Another lovely room decoration is a balloon cluster or cloud. This is great if you have the space for a large display. The cluster consists of 25 – 30 latex balloons that hover overhead. You still attach your cluster with curling ribbon to a balloon weighton the table but you also attach it to the ceiling paper streamers, twist them loosely, and drape them from the cluster of balloons to the wall at each corner of the room. This decoration makes a huge impression and works best if you have a serving table in the center of the room!

  • Yet another idea is to buy letter balloons - these are white balloons with individual bold black letters on them. Intersperse them with other colors to create a dazzling message.

  • Balloon tube – shower your guests with balloons by pulling on the attached cord to release the balloons. The plastic tube hold up to 300 9” balloons.

  • Laugh - you can make your guests laugh by having balloons with smiley faces, jokes and caricatures on them. Also an entertainer can make brilliant balloon shapes.

  • Invitations - inflate the graduation balloons and write the invitations on them. Deflate and send to guests. When they blow up the balloon they have a great graduation invitation

  • Homemade Decorations - draw and write on the balloons with messages for the graduate and welcome notes for the guests. Stick the graduates picture on some. These are good for the table too!

  • Tie a balloon with the graduate‘s photo on it to the favors bags.

  • Tie balloons along the railings to your stairs.

  • Arrange balloons like a flower arrangements as a centerpiece for the table. Different colors and shapes will improve the design.

  • Brighten up all the rooms in your home with balloons, not just for the party. Graduation is a very special time and you can decorate your home as part of your celebrations.

  • Tie balloons to the graduate‘s car. They can be filled with helium.

  • If you have a great display make sure to give it the right lighting to highlight it.

  • You can fix balloons to fencing, gates and shrubs to create a great party effect at the entrance to the graduation party.

  • Balloons can be tied together to look like a chandelier. The balloon can be fixed to the ceiling and streamers can be fixed between the balloons and the wall.

If you want to attempt any of the above graduation balloons ideas then I strongly recommend you purchase a Balloon Inflator and some balloon clips or holders

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Graduation Party Decorations - Streamers

graduation party decorations

To get the best from streamers, tie in loops along the wall and to light fittings. 

I created a really effective ceiling decoration by draping 4” wide streamers from the ceilings center to the rooms sides. I used 2 different colors and placed them back-to-back and twisted them – the effect was really stunning. 

Hang streamers around picture and door frames.

Also use streamers to surround pillars and decorate chairs.

Streamers can be paper or crepe paper and in any color you wish. 

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Graduation Party Decorations - Gossamer

graduation party decorations

Gossamer is a dreamlike fabric that comes in an array of colors and patterns and is very reasonably priced. It is ideal for decorating the inside of a tent. Here are some ideas that you can do:

  • It looks fantastic if you braid two colors together and then wrap them around supports and corner posts.

  • Streamers could be attached to a central point in the ceiling and then drape it out towards the walls to give a tent type effect.

  • It also makes a great table cover

  • Cover bare walls with gossamer adding a cooll color to your party.

  • Add bows to your gossamer for effect.

  • You can also use velvet coverings and seamless paper to cover walls.

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Simple Homemade Graduation Party Decorations

There are lots of great things you can do. Homemade graduation party decorations can make a stunning additions to your party and save a lot of money.

Great Ideas

Some great decoration ideas are:

  • Posters - Simple yet meaningful posters can decorate the party. Simply use a photo of the graduate. Copy the photo to, say, Paint and add CONGRATULATIONS. Print some off and set them out at the party. Using Snapfish you can create excellent posters, life sized standees or wall graphics. Simply go to their site and upload the photos that you wish. Put one at the door to greet guests and one at a photo area as a backdrop.

  • Garage Door - cover your garage door with seamless paper and add a giant congratulations message to it.

  • Decals - Using sticky back plastic cut out and color all kinds of decorations. They could be graduation caps, year numbers and graduate’s name letters. Stick them to walls, doors and windows.

  • Card - using card cut out graduation caps, numbers and name letters. Hang them up around the party.

  • Pinata

  • Use the natural advantages of the venue to best effect. For example if you are at the beach then there may be logs, trees and even beach huts which can be incorporated into your graduation party decorations and also be useful for hanging lights and defining your party area.

  • Windows can be used to help with the decorations. Whilst remembering to maintain the light you need you can consider adding congratulations to the graduate, a photo and even color one of the windows to create the effect you need inside the venue.

  • Kids love to decorate the party decorations. You can use butcher paper for a table cover, blank place mats and card signs. Let the kids decorate them for the party.

Homemade Banners

Every party should have banners announcing the celebrations: 

Cardstock Banners

Simple decorations can be made with cardstock. You can:

  • Cut out the letters of the Graduate‘s name

  • Cut out the numbers of the Class year

  • Cut out the letters of the School‘s name

  • Cut out the letters of signs like congratulations, well done, we love you.

  • Also you could arrange letters to signpost areas of the party like food, games and coat check.

Using different colors of cardstock you will be able to make the letters quite bright. You can decorate the cardstock letters with:

  • Glitter

  • Designs using colored pens

  • Tinsel

  • Photo of the graduate

You can vary the size of the letters, hang the letters up from walls and ceilings and also fix them to fences and doors. They can be arranged on string or clear elastic, for example, quite easily. Just use a hole punch to create a hole in the top of the card then string them putting a knot at the top so they hole their place.

Simple Banners

Using a bed sheet, for example, draw large block letters to create your congratulations message. You could use school colors alternately. Decorate the banner by drawing stars, caps and scrolls. You might create the decorations by drawing them with glue and adding glitter. 

To improve the effect of the banner you can arrange decorations around it. For example, complimenting the banner with balloons, streamers and tinsel. You can also ensure the lighting is effective.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Table

Table Cover

Particularly for younger family members you can create a table cover. Using a heat safe cover that can be drawn on and is white. The table cover can be drawn on with markers and decorate with stickers. 

Table Centrepieces

graduation party decorations

There are some very simple yet excellent centerpiece ideas you can create:

  • Fill a clear jar with candies, add your own label and tie off with a ribbon.

  • Make a flower arrangement with the graduate's photo at the center of it.
  • Use a mini chalkboard and write a congratulations message on it.

  • Make cupcakes and fill a cupcake stand with graduation cupcakes.

Place cards are good as they save any rushing to the table. Arrange the cards so that everyone meets new people.

Place a camera on each table for guests to take fun photos.

Graduation Table Decorations – table cover options, stunning centerpieces, metallic confetti, novel place setting ideas and tableware. 

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Graduation Party Decorations Colors

graduation party decorations

You can add school or favorite colors to so many areas of the graduation party decorations. Some creative thought for your own venue will give you lots of ideas:

  • Add the colors to your front fence and door by using paint, bunting and streamers.

  • Colors can be added to your driveway using chalk. You might even try to recreate a school shield.

  • Die areas of your grass in school colors, perhaps in the design of the school shield.

  • Chair covers can be in colors

  • Gossamers covering your walls can be in school colors, for example.

  • Flowers and plants can be chosen in school colors. If you are a keen gardener you may be able to grow your own.

  • All helpers to be dressed in school t-shirts and baseball caps if you use school colors or simply colored t-shirts.

  • Set out ornaments that are in school colors.

  • Use Gossamers and crepe paper in the graduate’s school or favorite colors. The colors could be the college they will attend.

  • Add ribbon wrapped around cloth napkins, perhaps in school colors.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Bunting

graduation party decorations

Make or buy bunting to add to your decorations.

To make bunting, cut out and decorate pieces of card. Using a hole punch make a hole at the top, tie them 12" apart on a ribbon.

Decorate the card pieces in keeping with the theme. Hang the bunting like streamers, in loops on the wall, fence and tied to the light fittings.

Fun Bunting, use patterned wrapping paper or newspaper. Cut out symmetrical diamond shapes of paper and fold them in half. Loop them over colored string and glue the sides together.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Lighting

Xmas tree lights are a great start both inside and outside. 

The lighting overall needs to reflect the atmosphere and theme you are creating.

Outside, hanging lights and lanterns are good. If it is cold, those outside heaters are great as they come with lighting.

Entertainers, speakers and the graduate will need some effective spot lighting on them as required.

Lighting along the driveway, at the entrance and surrounding your door work well.

Perhaps you have a stage to set up.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Patio

Make your patio a special space at the graduation party.

  • Set out a formal table and chairs (which could be covered).

  • Or, try an informal set up with chairs set up for socializing.

  • Use great lighting like Xmas tree lights or lights from a garden center.

  • Flowers and green plants can make the space beautiful

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Graduation Party Decorations - Driveway

A well decorated driveway is fun and can really add to the party atmosphere. 

  • Use sidewalk chalk to write things like the graduate's name, the party details, a message or draw decorations like a graduation scroll on your driveway.

  • Check the chalk out on a small area of your driveway first to make sure it does not leave a stain.

  • Decorate a car in the driveway with chalk, balloons and streamers.

  • After dark, use aquarium lighting plus normal pathway lighting to highlight and define the driveway.

  • You may also put glow in the dark items just outside of the lit area.

  • If you have trees, for example, over hanging the driveway you could hang hurricane lights up too.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Stairs

Decorate your stairs which can be very eye catching if your stair is a real centerpiece in your home

  • Start with ribbons and streamers wrapped around the spires.

  • Wrap safe lighting like aquarium lighting around the spires.

  • You can also use balloons and tinsel.

  • Remember to keep everything safe and make sure everyone can walk safely on the stairs.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Bathroom

Graduation party decorations for your bathroom are certainly a different touch. 

  • Use an IPOD to play music.

  • Put up posters with jokes and also hang up graduate photos.

  • You may be able to find graduation themed toilet paper.

  • Make the ambiance excellent with candles, soaps, scents, confetti and a colored light bulb.

  • You can even write a congratulations note to the graduate on the mirror.

  • Using something like butcher paper set up a fake toilet wall which you will decorate like a clean version of a school toilet wall. Guests can write their own messages on the wall. Perhaps you can start it off with fake “Jim loves Sarah” graffiti. Perhaps leaving a note asking guests to keep it clean and not to offend anyone would be required.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Kitchen

Many people stay in the kitchen at parties, even just to help the host prepare food. Consider having some safely placed graduation party decorations. 

  • As with other areas photos of the graduate work well.

  • Your fridge magnets can be arranged into a message of congratulations.

  • Also on your fridge you can have the graduate’s school drawings and those fun school certificates like “Best Writer” and “Best Mathematician”.

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Graduation Party Decorating Ideas - Walls

Use large bare walls to best effect. 

  • You can use Gossamers in great colors.

  • You can use lighting to good effect also.

  • One wall could even have a photo slide show beamed onto it.

  • Another wall could have the story of the graduate on it with a range of key photos from birth to now. You can add the story of the photo too.

  • You can make them a real focal point with entertainment and features on them, even beaming colors on it can be fun.

  • Display the graduate‘s home videos.

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Graduation Party Decorations - Backyard

Like all other areas of the party you can have great lighting to give your backyard a special look. You could also think about more graduation party decorations:

  • Silk flower lighting

  • Light columns or string lighting

  • A gazebo

  • Having a shaded area

  • Citronella candles or bug repellent

  • Providing suntan lotion and hats, which can be part of the graduation party favors.

  • If you have a pond you may also have safe floating candles

  • Bushes and lower trees can have ornaments, streamers, balloons and tinsel attached to them.

  • Try and make sure the lawn is freshly cut and the grass is lush.

  • Place seasonal flowers around your backyard in pails, vases and small buckets.

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Graduation Party Decorating Ideas - Pool

If you have a pool that may form a central part of the party. The pool area needs to be managed safely. The graduation party decorating ideas for the pool could be:

  • Underwater pool lighting

  • Float flowers in the pool

  • Clean the pool before the party

  • Tiki torches

  • Have an area with beach towels and lounge chairs set out

  • Beach balls

  • Pool toys

  • Play The Beach Boys music

  • Have a volleyball net

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Graduation Party Decorating - Ceilings

Ceilings - (only decorate your ceilings if you can do it safely)
You can make a feature of your ceilings in the theme you wish. 

  • This could be a great fun place to put images of the graduate.

  • You may wish to create a stars and planets scene. Here you could make the sky from a gossamer.

  • Cut out star and planet shapes from cardstock and decorate them. Fix the display to your ceiling. As always make sure there are no safety or fire risks.

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Party Decorating - Fragrances

graduation party decorations

Think about the fragrance which is most appropriate for the party. You might just require a neutral or pleasant smell. Simple tips like baking some vanilla on a baking tray in your oven can help.

Add Potpourri to each room plus scented candles.

Graduation Party Decorations - Interactive

Create some interactive party decorations for guests to enjoy too.

  • Invite guests to decorate the balloons you have on display by adding messages and drawings.

  • If you create a mural, for example, guests can draw and leave messages and also color in parts of the mural. This would become an excellent keepsake.

  • Show a live feed of the party video on a screen. Guests will play to the camera!

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Graduation Party Decorating - College

Adding a flavor of the graduate's chosen college can be fun. 

  • Display college pennants, jerseys and sweat shirts.

  • Display colorful college brochures for the graduate‘s chosen college. If they are undecided then you can include ones from Ivy League Universities.

  • If the graduate is good fun and has not yet decided on a college you can create fun college brochures on your computer for things like the Doodle college or whatever creative ideas you have.

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Graduation Party Decorations Considerations

graduation party decorations

Here are a few things you should consider before purchasing any graduation party decorations.

Involve the graduate in the choice. That way they can be involved in the actual decorating. 

Think about the graduate and their hobbies, passion and interests. They may love music, sports, dancing, painting, travel or even hill walking. For example, if they love sports hang up their sports jerseys and display their photos.

Budget - It is wise to set some kind of budget for this otherwise you'll keep adding bits here and there and it could easily spiral.

Venue - Kind of obvious but you must consider your venue and the size of it in order to decide what kind of graduation decorations you want and where to put them.

Bold or Discreet - Do you want to make a big impact or do you want something more subdued. It is most important that the graduate feels impressed and confident with the degree of decoration.

Themed or Not - If you have chosen a specific theme for your party then in addition to checking this page you should also check out the Theme Party page where you find even more decorating ideas.

Personal Touch - It's nice to have some personalized graduation party decorations, even if it's just a banner. It helps make the graduate feel special.

Party Feeling - Consider how you want your guests to feel when they enter your party. Do you want to impress your guests and quickly get them all into a party mood? If so then choose decorations to do precisely that. 

Reliable Suppliers - Check out their delivery timescales to ensure everything can be delivered in time. Also check out the returns policy to ensure it's easy to return anything your not 100% happy with. Look for testimonials on the site and contact previous customers directly if possible. 

Decoration List - After considering the above and reading the rest of this page make up an actual graduation decoration list of all the things that you would like to buy. Quite often you can save on delivery charges if your order is over a certain amount.

Overall, graduation party decorations should fit the environment, the people and complement one another. 

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Graduation Party Decorations - Preparation

graduation party decorations

It's a great idea to consider doing some preparatory work before putting up any graduation party decorations. I'm sure you have a list of jobs needing done to the house that you have been putting off for some time now. If you have allowed enough time to do these things, now is the best time ever because motivation is at its highest.

Write out a "to do list" and try to allocate the various jobs to family members or hire in the professionals if necessary.

Here are some things you could consider doing: 

  • Organize enough help to be sure the decorating can be completed on time

  • Fresh coat of paint here and there

  • Tidy up the garden and back yard

  • Buy some new plants for the garden

  • Make sure all your windows are sparkling clean

  • Arrange some new plants and fresh flowers (day before party) around your home

  • May also be a good idea to get the sofa and some carpets professionally cleaned

  • It's also a great time to give your house a good clean from top to bottom - if you don't have the time, hire in the professionals to give your house a quick blitz

  • Some new accessories like big plump cushions and new light shades can make an amazing difference

  • Make sure pets are taken somewhere safe for the duration of the party

  • Clear away furniture that is not required

  • Use cushions on the floor for extra seating if required

The Planning Page has a complete list of the preparations steps you need.

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Graduation Party Decorating - More Ideas

graduation party decorations

A few more ideas for you:

  • If you are having helpers to help with car parking they can have graduation party decorations too. They can have t-shirts with the graduate‘s photo on them, graduation caps and also 2018 glasses.

  • Use balloons and streamers to create fake lights
  • Rent Faux Stone god statues to place in flowering bushes.

  • Safely set up hanging decorations from trees. You can create giant caps and scrolls, for example, from say cardstock and hang them up with string.

  • If you can find safe garden paint you can Paint a graduation cap, for example, onto your front lawn. You may even be able to distort the image so it looks perfect from your front gate, for example.

  • If you are great friends with your neighbors perhaps they would agree to have a congratulations message to the graduate written in car chalk on their car. The cars can line the street on the way to the party.

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Be creative and have fun with your graduation party decorations. Click here for graduation party decorations ideas and supplies at Shindigz, the World's Largest Party Superstore.  

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