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Best DIY Graduation Gifts (2021 Guide)

From preschool to high school graduations, you happily look forward to the announcements from friends and family when the time comes.

Honoring the graduates in your life is important, but it can be difficult too. How can everyone be acknowledged without completely ruining your budget?

Celebrating every graduation this season can get expensive, so if you are looking for graduation gift ideas that won’t break the bank, why not make a gift yourself?

DIY graduation gifts are inexpensive, meaningful and easy to make. Here are some of the best DIY graduation gift ideas for every kind of graduate.

Top 7 Best DIY Graduation Gift Ideas in 2021

1. Mini Cork Globe

Mini cork globe with durable stainless steel base

Made for travelers, this mini cork globe, with 50 colored pushpins, makes a fine DIY gift graduation idea. Great for high school graduates, they can show their take on the dorm room corkboard, while college graduates can start using it to track the locations they’ve visited.

DIY gifts aren’t always about you tackling a DIY project; sometimes it’s about letting the recipient make of it what they will. This one can be repurposed throughout their life.

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2. Graduation Cap Decorating Kit

Graduation cap decorating kit

Tassel toppers are a great way to add personality to a graduation cap, so this DIY decorating kit is the perfect gift to help graduates stand out on their big day. Stickers, glitter glue pens, a bow, gemstones and stickers are included to decorate the tassel topper. On graduation day, the entire family will be able to spot the graduate’s handmade creation.

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3. Photo Frame

Picture frame in wall

Classically attractive, the photo frame will fit any décor, but what will really catch the graduate’s attention are the words surrounding the photo.

Designed to display a 5 x 7 photo and text or art, add a picture to the frame and then pass it around to be signed by other well-wishers and loved ones for an unforgettable DIY graduation gift they’ll proudly display forever.

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4. Engraver with Letter and Number Template

Dremel engraver includes letter and number template

This engraver is one of the best DIY gifts ideas for graduates who want their initials everywhere. It can engrave metal, wood, plastic, glass, leather and ceramic.

It makes a great DIY graduation gift for new college students; they can add security to their valuables in the dorm room. You can also buy it for yourself to engrave gifts on your very own, adding your own customization to any graduation gift.

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5. Mason Jars with Lids

Regular jar with lids and bands

For an inexpensive DIY graduation gift, considering using this set of four mason jars to create survival kits for the graduates in your life. A great graduation gift idea for elementary, middle, high school and college graduates, tailor the contents toward what they like, while adding staple pieces like pencils, gum and candy bars, confetti and a sweet note.

Receiving such a thoughtful DIY gift will put a huge smile on any graduate’s face.

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6. Hardcover Photo Album Scrapbook

Hardcover photo albums

Commemorate the big day with this DIY scrapbook which features a cool accordion style design and a tightening strap so nobody can peek. With 34 pages, you can fill the book with pictures, quotes, artwork or memorabilia and give this handmade scrapbook over to the thrilled graduate.

A set of two, make one scrapbook for them and give them the empty one so they can fill it on their next journey.

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7. Standing Lightbulb Vase

Glass vase flower plant container

When you aren’t able to give a gift card, giving a cash gift instead can feel crummy because many people want to have something to present. This lightbulb vase is a great DIY money graduation gift, however, that showcases your monetary gift in a fun and creative way.

Simply twist some bills inside and toss some confetti (or anything else) inside. A nice ribbon and a note around the top, and you have a fantastic present.

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How To Do DIY Graduation Gifts Right

DIY, or do it yourself, gifts are a way to add extra special meaning as handmade gifts signify an additional layer of love because it was made just for the recipient.

If you’re ready to spoil the graduate in your life and put some of your craftiness to work, here are some topnotch ideas that will also be fun!

Customized gifts

These graduation presents are about making the mundane personal. You can buy almost anything with their class year, name, school mascot, coordinates of the school, etc. It’s about finding something they like or may have always wanted and adding a personal touch.

To make gifts even more personal, use their nickname when having something engraved or use their name, mascot, etc. as printable decorations using an app to create unique wall décor, drink coasters or stationery, for instance.


This is where you really put those artistic skills to work. Grad gifts in this category include any unfinished gift that takes work on your part and includes scrapbooks, picture frames, t-shirt quilts, painted towels and even jewelry.

Don’t overlook what you know how to do well. You can handle the graduation party decorations as a gift or you can pick flowers from your garden for a gorgeous bouquet. Other DIY gift ideas can be making gift card holders or getting DIY kits for the graduates to use themselves, such as the decoration tassel topper kit.

Whatever your skill or talent is, don’t be afraid to share it; these makes for some of the best DIY graduation gifts for friends, romantic partners and close family members.

Other DIY gift ideas can be making gift card holders or getting DIY kits for the graduates to use themselves, such as the decoration tassel topper kit.

Baked goods

Absolutely baked goods are going to work here – bread, cookies, pretzels, brownies, etc. Arrange them nicely on a platter or in a gift box, and wrap them up.

If you don’t have time to bake, consider giving graduates the gift of a recipe in a mason jar. Put the ingredients needed to make the cookies or brownies in a jar and tie it with a nice bow, teddy bear or balloon.

Congratulate Graduates with DIY Gifts!

DIY graduation gifts don’t have to be difficult. In fact, they should be fun and are usually the most thoughtful. With the gift ideas in this article, you’ll find a sincere and inexpensive way to acknowledge every graduate’s accomplishments.

For more inspiration, be sure to check out graduation gift ideas for nursing graduates, pharmacy school graduates, law school graduates, police school graduates, college graduates, and pre-school graduates! Happy graduation gift giving!