Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Grad Gifts // Part I

*I know that this post is still very popular, 5 years later! I still use these tried and true gift ideas! Make sure to check out my Part II for even more graduation gift ideas! Happy gifting! XO - Alexandra*

This year, nearly everyone we know has graduated. 

Some are really close friends, others acquaintances and we even had some family members thrown in there. 

(me and my girlfriends at MY High School Graduation in 2008)

A year like this can really blow your budget... so Kyle and I came up with some (we think) good ideas for graduation gifts!

Here we go:

The Preschool Grad (my sister Olivia):

Something fun that will get them excited (not nervous) about elementary school. Olivia being a girl after my own heart, was very pleased with her school teacher Barbie complete with student Chelsea! 

It was cute and under $20.

The Middle School Grad:

Something fun to help them celebrate going to High School. My cousin Mallory graduated this year and she is majorly into music! Kyle and I love alternative music ourselves, so we made her a mix CD of our "Alternative Essentials" and gave her a $15 itunes card.

The High School Grad: Moving Out

My sister Jessica graduated from High School last year and moved out to live closer to her college. So Kyle and I decided to make her a move-out essentials kit. These were all things that I needed when I moved out. We numbered them and made a booklet with corresponding blurbs about why we chose the items. You can obviously tailor this based on relationship toward graduate, budget and interests. (ex. parents could include a microwave or coffee pot..) There are SO many options! Just have fun with it!

Items Included:

-a body pillow (making the dorm bed so much more comfy!)
-a laundry basket (for everything!)
-thank you cards (for grad gifts)
-Anastasia on DVD (essential! + a great way to bond with other girls in the dorm!)
-socks (because you always run out)
-hair bands (" ") 
-Hair clips (because I stole hers) 
-note cards (one of the best ways to study vocab, art history pieces, foreign language etc..)
-sticky wall calendars 

The High School Grad: Staying Home

My cousin Ellen also graduated from high school this year. She is commuting to a close by school next year and doesn't need "dorm" essentials. So I decided to make her a backpack essentials kit. It sounds silly, but college can make a long day (especially for a commuter!) and it can be a lot easier to have the right things in your bag! I decided to reuse an old ice cream bucket and a store gift bag to present this gift.

Items Included:

-mini kleenex
-chapstick (burt's bees!)
-a first aid kit (trekking across campus can lead to accidents, or rubbing shoes!)
-a notepad (eco, great for to-do lists and random thoughts)
-pens (the cheap kind tend to work the best)
-snacks (Annie's cheddar bunnies and gummies)
-a mini stapler (with staples)
-post its (recycled, so great for marking important passages or pages in textbooks, especially if you want to sell them back!) 
-nail clippers (nothing is more irritating than a hang nail... nothing.)
-3 mix cd's of different varieties (great for loading onto itunes to walk around campus / drive to campus to!)

I labelled those items with little letters and made an explanatory key that corresponded to explain my reasoning.

The College Grad:

I had two friends who I knew in high school graduate from KU this year. One of them I have been best friends with since 4th grade. So I really wanted to come up with a special present. This having been my first few months of marriage I decided to compile my favorite recipes, tips and tricks (so far) into notebooks for them. I typed and Printed my food recipes, DIY cleaner and Spa recipes and other tips and put them in an ordinary binder. I then created a pretty cover and tabs with scrapbooking supplies (that I have an abundance of since I began scrapbooking!) 

Kyle helped a lot with measuring and cutting and input. Then I wrote them each a heartfelt note for the front of the books. I was so happy with how they turned out! I think that they really liked them as well! I hope that they can use the knowledge that I have been compiling in the near future! 

The acquaintance grad who invited you to a party:

We chose to give a card with a meaningful note to people who fit this category. For the girls I stuck in a handmade piece of jewelry as well. This shows that you care, even if you can't attend the party or aren't super close to the person who graduated. Luckily we didn't have to "fake" any of our cards, but if for some reason you needed to... this is an easy way to do it. When in doubt: always send a card at least. If it is within your means, a small gift card or a bit of cash is a nice addition. Especially gift cards to places like Starbucks or Chipotle! College students love a break from dining hall food! :) Even just $5-$10 is appreciated! :)

I hope this idea helps you during all the graduation craziness this year, and the years to come!

See a more graduation gift ideas here.

What are your favorite graduation gift ideas?

All for now,


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