How to Make Your Own Graduation Centerpieces

Making your own graduation centerpieces is a great way to save money. With college expenses looming, many parents want to keep costs low while still giving their child a graduation party to remember. These festive ideas don't cost much, but still look really special.

Balloons are such a classic way to give your party a celebratory feel. You can make your own festive balloon centerpieces with a few items from the craft or party store.

For each centerpiece, you will need:

  • 3 helium-filled balloons
  • 1 small gift bag
  • Graduation-themed stickers (look in the scrapbooking section of your craft store)
  • A balloon weight or pebbles
  • Paper shreds

Begin by decorating each bag with the graduation-themed stickers. Next, place a balloon weight or some pebbles into each bag. Tie the three balloons to the bag, staggering the heights of the balloons. Be sure to keep them high enough that they won't block your guests' view across the table. Finish by tucking some paper shreds into the top of the bag. For a special treat for your guests, you can fill the bag with chocolate candies instead of weights or pebbles, then have a contest to pick someone at each table who will get to take the centerpiece home.

My How You've Grown
Graduation time is a major milestone in your child's life. Celebrate how far she's come with some cute photo centerpieces. These centerpieces are also appropriate for students who are homeschooled, as they do not feature the traditional cap-and-gown motif. Choose photos from throughout your child's life, from babyhood through high school.

For each centerpiece, you will need:

  • A flowering plant in a 6-inch pot
  • 6 photos of your child, 2x3 to 3x5 inches in size; make sure you have at least two of each size
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Glue stick
  • 2 foot length of 2-inch ribbon (optional)

Glue the photos together in pairs, back-to-back, with the end of a skewer sandwiched between. You should have three finished photo picks for each centerpiece. Arrange the picks in the plant, varying the heights for visual interest. If desired, tie the ribbon around each pot with a big bow.

Message-Bowl Centerpieces
These centerpieces give your guests a way to wish the graduate well. They become a nice gift for the graduate at the end of the party.

For each centerpiece, you will need:

  • A pretty glass bowl or wide, shallow vase
  • 10 5-1/2x8 pieces of paper
  • 10 6-inch lengths of narrow ribbon
  • One 4x6 piece of card stock
  • 10 pens

Roll each piece of paper up like a scroll and tie it with a piece of ribbon. Arrange the scrolls in the bowl along with the pens. On the card stock, write instructions for your guests, telling them to write a note to the graduate on a scroll, then roll it back up and place it back in the bowl.

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