40 Thoughtful DIY Graduation Gifts to Start Making NOW
With graduation only weeks away, you’re probably scouring the corners of Pinterest and the like for gifts that are both creative and meaningful. To take your present to the next level, try DIYing something that is way better (and more personal!) than any plain old card and cash. Besides, they deserve a graduation gift as unique and adventurous as them, right? Featuring goodies like a leather stamped keychain and a DIY no-sew tablet case, these DIY graduation gift ideas are chock-full of all things practical and stylish for whatever the “real world” throws their way.
1. DIY Faux Macaron Photo Holders: Make those captured moments a little sweeter with faux macaron photo holders. Use an array of colored polymer clay to create a similar rainbow of photo holders, or stick to just a few hues for some color-block action. (via A Kailo Chic Life)
2. DIY Surprise Money Confetti Poppers: You can’t go wrong with confetti and money. Just repurpose some push pops and get ready to confetti bomb that new grad. (via Studio DIY)
3. DIY Fringed Flower Bouquet Wrap: Create this fun bouquet wrap that’s reminiscent of a piñata. It’s like you brought the party to them! (via Squirrelly Minds)
4. DIY “Sail Away” Travel Pouch: It might not be the cruise they wished for, but this cruise-inspired pouch is the next best thing. Plus, if they do have future adventures planned, it is the perfect one to take on their next trip. (via Lovely Indeed)
5. DIY Color Dipped Letter Keychain: Personalize your friend’s grad gift with a monogram leather keychain. Just add a little color using acrylic leather paint. To create the color-dipped effect, tape off a diagonal strip with washi tape. (via Damask Love)
6. DIY Brass Earring Pyramid: If your friend is no stranger to clutter, this gift idea might just be the best thing to have ever happened to her. It’ll bring some much-needed organization to her space. While it might look intimidating to make, it’s actually super simple! (via A Beautiful Mess)
7. DIY Laser-Cut Pendant Necklace: Bright and bold, these laser-cut necklaces are a colorful way to instantly upgrade any of your friend’s outfits. They’re great for layering with other dainty gold pieces or as a stand-alone piece. Get started by picking up a laser-cut pendant necklace kit. (via Brit + Co)
8. DIY Leather-Stamped Keychains: Your friend won’t ever lose their keys again with a cute tasseled leather-stamped keychain like this one. Once you get the steps down, it’ll be a simple gift idea to repeat for everyone in your crew. (via Brit + Co)
9. DIY Beaded Bracelets: Create two unique takes on the classic beaded friendship bracelet using either paracord and artistic wire or embroidery floss and artistic wire. Design your own looks by adding various colored seed beads. Modern friendship bracelets have never looked this good. (via Brit + Co)
10. DIY Floral Patterned Notebooks: These pretty black-and-white floral patterned notebooks double as personal journals, work planners, or school notebooks. To make, you’ll need Silhouette Studio (there is a free version available) and mini Moleskine notebooks. (via Maritza Lisa)
11. DIY Origami Money Graduation Caps: Money is always a safe bet when it comes to the perfect graduation gift. Throw in a couple of origami money graduation caps along with the money confetti poppers, and you’ve really got a party. (via Sugar and Charm)
12. DIY Painted Clutch: Dress up a basic leather clutch or purse with paint markers. Whether you choose to go for a polka dot pattern or a calligraphic phrase, the possibilities are endless. Pro tip: Practice your lettering/drawing and get your placement down by first practicing on a sheet of paper the same size as the item you’re lettering. (via Paper & Stitch)
13. DIY No-Sew Tablet Case: Don’t let your friend scratch up their tablet in their bag any longer. Believe it or not, this handy case can be made in 10 minutes or less. Choose their favorite color or a fun print that’s totally them, use iron-on hemming tape and fasten using snap buttons and pliers. (via Brit + Co)
14. Adventure Awaits Cut File: Use permanent vinyl to decorate a plain mug or heat transfer vinyl to personalize a tote bag. Whatever you decide, your friend will love the handmade travel-themed gift. (via Dawn Nicole Designs)
15. DIY Marbled Notebook: This marbled notebook DIY is a must-have for the stylish modernista in your life. The marble print is both minimalistic and glam, making it a versatile gift that they can take to their new job or leave at home for their journal sessions. (via Brit + Co)
16. DIY Typographical Wall Art: Give your friend a little something to make their dorm room or first apartment feel a bit homier. Choose an inspirational message and they’ll have a smile on their face every time they take a look. (via Brit + Co)
17. DIY Photo Magnets: Special and practical, these photo magnets are the thoughtful DIY every grad will love. Find your favorite Instagram shots and get to printing. (via Sundae Sins)
18. Oh the Places You’ll Go Printable: Surprise your wanderlust-stricken graduate with this travel-friendly print. Though this one’s technically a printable, it’s up to you how you’ll frame it. Visit your local thrift store for a vintage frame or decorate a plain one from your local craft store. (via Eighteen 25)
19. RetroViewer Set ($30): You can share hilarious and touching moments by building a reel of images on your computer or even directly in Instagram. Customize the reel and viewer to best capture your friend’s personality and then add 3D text or captions to each image.
20. DIY Splatter Paint Vases/Votives: You don’t need much to master this easy DIY. If you can splatter paint, you’ve basically got this DIY down. Decide on how many colors you want to use, dip your paintbrushes into the acrylic paints, and then splatter away. (via The Sassy Life)
21. DIY Stamped Gold Bar Necklace: This stamped gold bar necklace makes a great personalized gift for your minimalist friend. Make two and stamp both of your first initials for a sweet and unique pair of bestie necklaces. (via Brit + Co)
22. Tinybook ($15, Set of 3): Put a fun spin on the traditional photo album by making a teeny-tiny one for each of your friends. Not only will it be an adorable gift idea, but each Tinybook holds 24 photos, which means it’ll be stuffed with amazing memories they can look through for years to come.
23. DIY Wooden Wall Clocks: Whether your friend is moving into a new dorm or apartment, this DIY wall clock is a thoughtful gift to help them make their new space feel a bit more like home. Choose their fave color (or color combo) to make it totally them. (via Brit + Co)
24. Wine Charms Printable: If rosé is the quickest way to your friend’s heart, these wine charms are the DIYs to make for them. Using Shrinky Dinks paper, print out the fresh fruit wine charms, and then loop wire hoop earrings through. Pair with a bottle of wine for the ultimate gift. (via Twine & Table)
25. DIY Typography Vase: Inspired by the OK vase from Oh Joy! for Target line, this bold and colorful typography vase is a fun way to brighten up your friend’s space. Go for a celebratory YAY, or come up with your own word that best describes your friend. Think: CRAY, LOL, or BFF. (via A Kailo Chic Life)
26. DIY Felt Board: Chances are good a new grad does not have a bunch of spare cash laying around for a fancy design like this. Make one for them instead! Just don’t forget the letters they’ll need as well. (via The Sassy Life)
27. DIY Upcycled Luggage: Are they going to travel for a bit? Spend some time abroad? Help them upgrade from their ratty duffel bag and travel in style. (via The House That Lars Built)
28. DIY Painted Cork Board with Barbie Push-pins: Keeping business cards in an easy-to-find place is important when they’re on the job hunt. (via Party HarDIY)
29. DIY Polka Dot Mouse Pad: They’re about to need some profesh-looking office gear, but you can sneak in some fun with this painted treat. (via Make and Tell)
30. DIY Desk Organizer: This can start in their home office, but once they get their first job, it will be perfect for their new workspace. Hide a little “good luck” note inside for some extra good vibes. (via Lovely Indeed)
31. DIY Holographic Laptop Case: Now that they’re an adult, they can fully proclaim their love of disco. (via Club Crafted)
32. Printable Welcome to Adulthood Cards: They thought university was hard? Just wait until they figure out that ignorance isn’t an excuse. Set them up for a night out when things get rough, or help contribute to their first month’s rent with these cards. (via Studio DIY)
33. DIY Painted Magnetic Letters: The fridge (or the mini fridge) or even the cocktail tray will look much less tragic with some adorable magnets. (via A Little Craft In Your Day)
34. DIY Scented Wax Melts: That first apartment after college is notorious for having a weird smell. While you can’t do much about the apartment, you can give them the gift of a fresh scent with these. (via Purely Katie)
35. DIY Gold Bow Stationery: Go ahead and address one of those to yourself, because they’ll need to send out thank- you cards for all the lovely gifts. (via Damask Love)
36. DIY Party Koozies: Because no one likes warm beer. (via PMQ for two)
37. Printable Grad Gift Bottle Tags: A nice bottle goes a long way, but you might as well dress it up with a fun tag. (via Persia Lou)
38. DIY Wire Pineapple Post Card Holder: Dorm room style will always be in style, and these wire beauties are the perfect example of why. (via Blissmakes)
39. DIY Holographic Glitter Acrylic Calendar: Help them keep their life organized, especially now that they no longer have a course schedule to work off. (via A Beautiful Mess)
40. DIY Pipe Cleaner Garland: This may not get used past the big day, but you’d be surprised by how many people need a little motivation in their everyday. (via Handmade Charlotte)
Which of these DIYs will you be making for your friend? Follow us on Pinterest for more graduation ideas and inspo!
(Additional reporting by Ariel Garneau)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)