9 hours ago
I have spent the last 18 years of my life on a college campus in one capacity or another. Just to be clear only 4 of those were as an undergraduate student. My current day job is all about helping students graduate. I'm an academic adviser and career-technical counselor. So graduation season is a very real part of the cycle of the year for me, whether I know someone personally who is graduating or not. I have always loved graduations, high school or college. So many kids don't want to go through with the ceremony and I tell them to do it for their parents. I know that it will be more meaningful to them than they can imagine at that moment. Even here at the community college, were for many it is just a stepping stone to the next degree, it gives the graduate that real sense of completion and recognition for their hard work. I think everyone deserves that. The print above, by theloveshop is perfect to be framed and given to your favorite grad, male or female.
I have put together a gift guide of handmade gifts for the graduate. If it is a special graduate that you want to recognize there are some very unique and creative ideas on Etsy. The Handmade t-shirt quilt is a personal way to honor where they have come from and is a useful item for the future. You send the shirts to WARM KEEPSAKES and she puts them together for the very reasonable price of $125. You can use shirts from the different sports and clubs they were a part of in high school and whatever else reflects who they are at that moment.
For the artist or wanderer this vintage train case by GetReadySetGO has been screen printed with the JRR Tolkein quote on the back "NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST", a black tree on the front, and a black skeleton key on the lid. It can be used as a carry on, to store artist supplies, makeup or whatever else they want to keep safe.
One of my favorite gifts to give a graduate is a journal. I will write something personal in the front to hopefully inspire them to record what they are thinking and feeling at this point in their life, because I know it will be gone before they can even imagine. The hand bound leather journal on the right is by Julie Boyles and can have personal monogramming added for no cost.
This journal by Elvie Studio is probably more appropriate for a girl and it has plain white paper inside with some decorate paper added that would be great to put pictures on. The VanGogh quote says "The way to know life is to love many things" which couldn't be more appropriate for the graduate.
If you are a teacher who has lots of graduates you would like to recognize there are some smaller handmade gift ideas as well. There are all kinds of buttons and magnets on Etsy that would be a good little gift that can be personalized to the grad's interests. I like these Smart Girls Are Cool buttons by Pure Vintage Gold. She also makes these Tiny Origami Blank Notebooks, a Set of 5 is only $5 so you could combine a button with a book for a great little gift.
There are tons of personal jewelry ideas on Etsy that would make good gifts for graduates but if you want to get something inexpensive yet meaningful you can find Scrabble pendants with just about anything on them. I like this little Fly pendant by LaVieIllustree. It is simple and direct with a great message.
For a boy you could give these Paperclip Bookmarks in neutral colors by RowdEClips
either with a card or your favorite author's book to introduce them to someone that could open their minds.
There are lots of other great personal handmade gifts to be had on-line or to be made by you. These will hopefully be around a lot longer than the $20 you could slip in their card that will be gone before they walk across the stage.