Whatever the milestone, it is fun to plan the perfect party for your graduate. This guide is about graduation party ideas.
After what will be five years of graduate school, I will finally earn my Master of Library Science degree next spring. I would like to host a graduation party to celebrate this achievement. I would like to tie in the idea of libraries and books as the main theme of the party. Does anyone have any ideas of how to do this in a fun, inexpensive way?
Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
December 31, 2008
At my grocery store, they've got a machine that will print any picture on a sheet of rice paper. They put the rice paper onto a frosted cake, so the cake now holds the picture of whatever the original was. If your store does a similar service, give them your favorite book jacket and have them use that as the 'base', then add a line at the bottom with your name on it. Or have them cut out part of the picture (where the author's name goes) and put your name there in icing, so that the picture is there but the name is all you.
I will be graduating from college next year (I like to plan early). I am a non-traditional student and majoring in elementary education. I am trying to come up with ideas for my graduation party to help my husband. I don't like the normal grad party decorations from party supply stores.
I would like to maybe decorate with things I could use in my classroom later (why use decorations that will be thrown away?) I'm not sure what grade I will be teaching yet. I need help with ideas that are UNIQUE and not too cheesy! We may do a BBQ, but since it will be early May, that's not for sure.
K.H. from Missouri
May 23, 2008
How about making a bulletin board of yourself? I am a substitute teacher. Today the teacher herself was the student of the month. She had photos of herself along with a questionaire. She had it on the bulletin board where the students were once students of the month. Don't forget you will need books to fill your classroom. For a game maybe the adults would have to guess to figure out what book goes along with story line, or compete who can read the best story.
By Pam 1
My son is graduating. We are serving BBQ and I'm looking for decorating ideas.
By Pam from Atlanta, GA
May 25, 2010
A great idea to have at a graduation party is to present the book (by Dr. Seuss) titled "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"...(this is actually the #1 recommended book gift to give). The idea is to have all the guests attending sign the pages as a keepsake for the graduate (no matter the age). The #2 book of choice is "The Meaning of Life", colorful green frog on the cover. Having frog bookmarks to pass out to the guests as a thank you.
Another idea is to create a slide-show on the computer highlighting favorite photo shots of grad with family, friends, or doing their activities. Can play it at the party and also email it to all guests to enjoy, it's timeless. Be sure to include captions and capture all moods.
A graduation party we attended had the cutest idea for decorating. The graduate was very athletic and had t-shirts from many activities she was involved in. Her t-shirts were hung on the fence like a clothes line in many sizes as she grew up. Lots of memories!
By Jeanne from Ohio
By Betty 1
We're having a open house for my daughter's graduation this June. She wants to have a Fairy theme for her party. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to decorate for the party? We'll be having it outside in our back yard. We'll be renting a tent for the party. We're having a taco bar for the food. Please help.
Betty from Flint, Michigan
March 7, 2009
Your daughter is my hero! My best friend and I are doing the same thing for our graduation! We thought we were the only people above ten who liked fairies! For our party we are going to cover everything in glitter and make food that has some form of fairy theme. We are also forcing everyone to dress up as a fairy or extreamly fancy. We are also using a book called "Are There Faeries at the Bottom of Your Garden?" by Betsy Williams. That's the reason we even came up with the idea for our party.
I have a graduation lunch to organise. Will the combination of the following colours be suitable: black, white, and silver?
By Nkefi R
May 16, 2012
Might want to incorporate school colors.
By bonita 1
Planning an outside party for a physician's assistant graduate in August. (in Texas) I have a pool and big backyard with trees. I haven't decided on menu for sure, I can cook smoked brisket and chicken ahead of time and I have a margarita machine. There will probably be about 50 people. Any "special" ideas from anyone out there?
By bonita from TX
January 29, 2011
Maryeruth, those are great ideas! :)
Do you have a child graduating in 2006? A clever money-saving party tip is to buy leftover New Year's decorations. I've seen New Year's eyeglasses (2006-eye holes in the 0's), year confetti, cups & napkins. As long as it only has the year printed it would work for a graduation party, too. Plus, they will be really cheap come January 2nd and your grad won't know the difference.
By Cheryl from Missouri from Peculiar, Missouri
Any suggestions for an outdoor party celebrating 2 sisters,- 1 graduating high school and the other graduating college?
By Elaine D.
August 23, 2013
Seriously? Two separate parties for each grad. You could have three with one for both girls (a potluck BBQ to bring together the extended family) then the two separate parties.
Each grad should be able to host their closest friends in their own individual way - high school and college aged people are just in different places and trying to combine those two age groups is not going to be as much fun for either group.
And Mom (and Dad)? You should have your own party to celebrate the monumental achievement of getting both your grads through to graduation! An all adult-been there done that party is in order for you:) Congratulations and well done!
My daughter is graduating in May with her Masters degree to be a CPA. I asked her what kind of theme she would like (I know she would think the graduation theme would not be for her (she's weird) She has a GPA of 4.0. She said jokingly she wanted a drunken theme. Of course, she knew I couldn't possibly come up with any ideas. She's right! Anyone have any ideas on this kind of theme. The beer and liquor will be flowing. I have arranged no one will drive that night. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
By Merci B from New Orleans, LA
March 31, 2012
What about making it more specific to one particular drink. Like a margarita party where you would serve all different kinds of margaritas For example you can have plain ones, frozen ones, flavored ones, frozen and flavored ones. This can be done with a lot of different drinks too. Ex. daiquiri's, coladas. Hope this helps!
By Lisa 1
I need ideas on how to host a college graduation party for my husband who will graduate in May with an Electrical Engineering degree. Any ideas on themes and favors will be greatly appreciated. The venue has been selected as well as the food and beverage. What does a host do in such celebrations? I want him and our guests to have fun.
By Lisa from CC, TX
April 19, 2010
Just had a thought, go to Radio Shack and choose a pretty large kit. Use the ingredients to decorate and have a table where the item can be assembled. See if they can get it done before the party is over, and don't lose the instructions!
Good luck and congrats to your grad!
I am looking for ides for a college graduation party for a travel major? Any ideas on centerpieces for a college graduate?
By Momma C
By Mike's Mom 2
Thanks to those of you who sent suggestions for my son's graduation venue. We're decided to rent a hall and now we were wondering if we could incorporate a "Las Vegas" theme, although his major is chemistry. We were thinking of things such as wheel of fortune and chug a lug dice for pretend money. Instead of a universal favor, the top money holder will choose from the favors displayed, the one with the next amount, etc. Any ideas? Thanks.
By Mike's Mom from Boston, MA
I'm planning my first graduation party for 2 daughters. One will be a college graduate and the other a high school graduate. I need ideas.
Andrea from Ellenwood, GA
At my graduation party (in 1989!) my parents had each of my guests (varying in ages from 5 to 85)stand and tell the one thing they remembered most about me during my first 18 years! My sister recorded this whole thing on tape and then later wrote down the responses in a Memory Book. They had planned this in advance so each guest knew what they wanted to say. I still have this book and it is so funny to read it now that I am 34. The best one? From my high school best friend "She taught me how to tease my bangs in 8th grade!" Gotta love the 80's!
By Reba Gayle Shurden
My cousin graduated last year. Her parents mailed out a request with each of her invitations for all invited to share their 'secrets' to their successes in life--marriage, education, child-rearing, etc. or just their best wishes for her future. They asked that each 'essay' be returned before the party day. They had them bound into a beautiful notebook and presented it to her at the party. Everyone had a wonderful time reading each others' entries and becoming more familiar with close family and friends than they might have otherwise been. It was a precious gift. Will do same for my daughter when she graduates in 2010!
Display lots of pictures of the graduate from when he or she was a baby up to the present day.
How about queen or king for a day. Present a crown, cape, flowers and scepter. Have people represent someone from the grads past by reading a vignette about that persons relationship with the grad and having him/her guess who it is.
At my daughters open house for decorations I used cardboard toothpick holders. Painted in school colors,had a square of poster board on top with embroidery thread for the mortarboard. I used another 1 for the diploma. I rolled up a piece of paper with "DIPLOMA" typed on it & tied with a ribbon. Turned out real cute. Hope this helps.
An activity idea that works for both high school and graduation parties is a time capsule. Place memorable items from the graduate s school years in the time capsule. Have guests place personal notes to the graduate as memorable keepsakes.
My son will be graduating in May from high school and I am wondering if anyone has any graduation party tips?
sweetpea32208 from Florida
Our daughter graduated in June of last year, and we had a family party at our local chinese restaurant. I reserved their party room months in advance (its free!). They offer a buffet for about 4.00 a person, and we had 18 there, so it was cost effective, and they set up and cleaned up!
I purchased items from www.orientaltrading.com... graduation mints, an autograph dog that everyone signed, and little bubble jars that had caps and tassels on them. I made her a scrapbook of items from kindergarten till graduation (we had the party the day after graduation, so I was working on the last page the night before the party!) and had pictures of her from Kindergarten till 12th grade. We decorated with graduation balloons as well. She was surprised and thrilled! (03/12/2006)
At my niece's HS graduation party, my sister in law, among other things, had disposable cameras on each table and encouraged the guests to take pictures of ea other. I thought that was a nice idea. The party was held outside in a backyard. Food however was set up in the kitchen buffet style. Most everything was homemade altho I believe they ordered Italian beef and fried chicken. (03/14/2006)
We home-school our boys and in 2004 our oldest son graduated from high school. His graduation was held at our church. He was the only graduate, but he asked that the graduates in our church join him as honorees at his party which we held in the church fellowship hall after his graduation. His graduation ceremony was so moving. Our pastor had church as usual but our family was the center on his sermon and the entire service. GOD was really the center. He used us as living examples. The entire church was invited, and all showed up to congratulate and support our son. It was a wonderful celebration! For his party I served lots of different finger foods. A huge Cake. Assorted drinks: coffee, sodas, Punch,and bottled water. We had veggie trays with dip, a large fruit bowl, nuts & mints. We plan on celebrating our younger son's graduation the same way. (03/14/2006)
If you have a fence and you are going to have it outside you could put little paper graduation caps on top of the fence posts. And little rolled up diplomas with ribbons around them on the side of the fence underneath the hats. (06/25/2006)
After thirteen years of being in school, I'm finally graduating from college. My husband and I just got married, so we can't really afford to throw a graduation party. However, if I can come up with an inexpensive site to have the party and inexpensive food, then maybe we could have a graduation party. I graduate in less than a month and a half, so prompt suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Party at the Park
What if you were to have it at a park? You can usually reserve shelters at parks for free, and they have tables, grills, etc. Turn the party into a potluck. You could supply burgers, and fixings, and perhaps something to drink. I don't know whether it is legal to have alcohol in parks, but you could probably get a half a keg fairly cheaply. Have everyone else bring something.
Create a signup sheet so that everyone is aware of what everyone else is bringing. That would involve your friends, and spare you some of the expense. If that doesn't work, what about having Pizza. Lots of places have party packages, and a deal like that would be ideal! Pizza and beer could be a lot of fun, and quite informal! Congratulations!
Post by skbeal
You deserve a graduation party! By all means, have a party, and invite everyone who cares about you. I agree that the park is a great location. Or, check out your local senior center or social center. They often have low rental fees. In this case, there's nothing wrong with asking friends to bring a covered dish. And, if you know someone who makes a dynamite recipe, ask them to bring enough for the whole crowd, as a graduation gift. Play a few games, bring your boombox and dance, or just kick back and relax. It's the people that make the fun!
Post by Patti (Guest Post)
have an open house at your home. Stagger the times that guests are invited if you want to invite more people than can comfortably fit in your home. (i.e. 2-4, 4-6,). Then have a dessert buffet that is inexpensive to set up and is easy to keep fresh looking for the whole party. have a friend help you out with each "shift" of the party to mind the food table and pick up plates from around the home. You will be able to focus on conversation and celebrating your big day. i can send you a detailed plan for food and decorations if you wish. One hint on the buffet table, cover boxes in paper to create a space of varied height for the desserts. My best, Tim.
Post by tim (Guest Post)
If you or any of your friends live in an apartment or condo with a rec room, these are usually free for tenants/owners and just a deposit for a cleaning fee. If you leave it clean you get your money back. Do the party as a potluck, anyone close enough to you that wants to come probably won't mind bringing food. Supply soft drinks, coffee or punch and if alcohol is allowed, BYOB.
Post by Linda (Guest Post)
Congratulations!! I don't know why you couldn't ask your pals and family members to have a potluck celebration party. Everyone loves a party and most of the time don't mind bringing a covered dish to share with others. If all brought their own drinks would be better, too, as it wouldn't land all on one person's wallet furnishing drinks for all.
You could furnish some sandwich spreads (ex: pimento cheese, tuna salad, ham salad) buy some bread, buns or rolls. You could go ahead and make up the sandwiches or have it where everyone could make their own. Maybe a plate of pickles, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, lettuce to accompany the sandwiches or sandwich materials.
Also, if you happened to know of a family member or someone who's good at making cakes. If they'd like to make one for your graduation as their gift to you, use this at your party. As far as a location, I liked the ideas about the parks. Find one that has a covered picnic area, just in case of a surprise rain shower. Best of Luck! Sounds like fun!
Post by badwater
BBQ at the Park
Congratulations, I know it's been hard work. As many others have said, if you live in a warm climate a BBQ in the park is a great one. Also, your church could have a room that might be big enough. Have a great day.
Post by Rose Mary (Guest Post)
Dollar Tree Ideas
Love those Dollar Tree stores! Last year my daughter graduated and she had about 9 other girls who had been the best of friends since kindergarten. I planned a big party after graduation and included them in it and their families. That was part of my gift to them. I went to the Dollar Tree and found the sweetest little books for graduates and also a little charm with a cap and tassel. Did a special table for the graduates and set the special little gifts at each persons place. By the way I wrote a little message inside to each one. It's not the value of the gift but the thought behind it.
Post by Sharon, KY
Cookout at a Local Park
I'm going to be graduating as well this year, but from high school and I was thinking about you needing help. Well, you could have the party at a local park and just have somewhat of a cook out, if you wanted to you could tell everyone on the invitations (which could be made on the computer to save money) that they should bring one dish of choice. I don't know if you like any of these, but thought I would help!
Post by Amanda (Guest Post)
Journal or Address Book
Perhaps a writing journal or pretty address book to keep track of friends who are going their separate ways?
Post by Liz (Guest Post)
I had a graduation party. I just graduated college and came back home (Read: I have no money or job). My parents were nice enough to let me use their backyard. We didn't have a tent, so I found 4 tarps in the garage and sewed them together on the sewing machine. Using old poles (an assorted mixture of metal and wood) and rope the tent was erected.
This made me think of the whole shipwrecked theme. So I found some sand and sprinkled that around almost everywhere (not near the food though). I found an old kiddy pool from when I was younger and filled that with ice and cans of pop. I found old xmas lights for lighting.
The decorations I made myself using construction paper and paint to make crabs, lobsters, and fish and hung them from the top of the tarp tent. I had to buy the fishing net (cost me all of $4.50) to hang around. Most stuff I borrowed, the tiki torches, coolers, etc.
I also made a sign in book for everyone to sign something to me. For this I actually found a unused kinda thrifty looking scrapbook at a yard sale. I just opened it up and gave them a marker. I also did a collage of various scanned pictures of me growing up which included my graduation pictures and gave that to my parents after the party.
The food was cook out style and all the salads (you know potato, coleslaw, etc..) was homemade. I also had a bond fire and we all slept around it camp style. All in all it was a great and cheap night! I hope this helps, although horribly belated.
Post by Monique (Guest Post)
thank you for the ideas they were good ones and from each one I benefitted from them. thanks again!
Post by Gayle Smith (Guest Post)
I need help with a graduation party. I have very limited income but it is for my son who is the light of my life and I am so proud of for getting to where he is at--college bound. He doesn't really want it at our home. It isn't the nicest place. I can get a hall for $50 an hour but he doesn't want the caterer that will give me a discount. I also would like to have it on graduation day which I don't like but family will be in from out of town that day. Any frugal suggestions would be welcome.
Karen from Port Clinton, OH
At my sons graduation party I decorated with balloons and got weenies and various chips and such and we spent most of the money on virgin cocktails and the kids said it was the best party they went to! We used fruit juices and ice along with some of the daiquiri mixes you buy at the store and set up the kitchen counter like a bar. The kids entertained themselves with music and video games and even found a small bike in the garage that they took turns riding down the street. I think they liked it cause they felt grown up. (01/27/2007)
How about your church or if you don't attend one, one in town? We had my sons party at our fellowship hall at church. I provided the food which was barbecue from a favorite place of his. Since I ordered in bulk it was about $2.50 per plate. I decorated with balloons and had a box decorated so people could put "wisdom" in there for him to read later. It was a big hit!! (01/30/2007)
We had a great graduation party at a town park, in a reserved picnic shelter. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, and provided drinks, and a cake. Many people asked, "Can we bring something?" and because they were sincere, I said, "Sure!" In that way, lots of good side dishes were provided. There was a volleyball net, a basketball court, and a couple other activities nearby. With a few lawn chairs, balloons, and friends, it was a really great party! Over a hundred people came. (01/30/2007)
Congratulations! I know you are proud. Just clean your house and go with it. That is where you live, do not let anything like that stand in your way. The guests are coming to see and congratulate you and your son, not to see your house. I wish you lived in Michigan because I could help you do it. I love open house graduation parties. I will offer one bit of advice on the food. Do not have too many choices! Two meats is enough. I had my husband cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and it was an instant hit. One tip if you can buy the buns on sale before you can freeze them IF you wrap them in foil! I know buns do not freeze well like bread does but if you will use foil they will freeze just fine. i do it all the time. (01/31/2007)
As a high school student I know how important moving on to college can be. If you are on a tight budget ask your guests to bring things like plates and drinks. Have a simple party and grill out. The party doesn't have to be fancy, just let him celebrate it with his family and friends. (01/31/2007)
I am planning to throw my mother a surprise graduation party. She will be graduating from Wake Forest University. We would like to use the school's colors black and gold to decorate. We have rented a recreation center. Does anyone have any decorating tips using those colors?
Tammy from Durham, NC
You could make a balloon arch with gold and black balloons. balloons also look great when tied together into garlands, columns and shapes!
Also, using gossamer in many ways - making swags, adding bows to chairs, etc. Can be made to look casual or very elegant, depending on your party!
What really looks great with black and gold is white twinkle (Christmas) lights. add these around the food and gift tables. Really dramatic effect.
Use black tableclothes and then add gold skirting. Use clusters of black and gold balloons for the centerpieces.
I am planning a graduation party for my husband. He is graduating with a masters of taxation degree. I could use any cool unique ideas. I have not started anything yet and would love any ideas.
Ebonyqueen3 from South Florida
Go to a dollar store and buy some play money. You can string it to hang as a garland. You can wrap one bill around a napkin as a napkin ring. Make photo copies of tax forms and use them as place mats. (05/10/2007)
I would like some ideas on a graduation party for my son. I don't have a lot of money, but was thinking of a cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs.
Rebecca from Smithville, TN
My oldest son graduated in 2004. I had a taco bar! It was a great hit! I went to Sam's club to buy most of the food in bulk. We did not have the nicest house at that time either, but don't let your kids forget where they come from!! (03/21/2007)
My son's grad party was all home made, from invitations ,( his art work! done off our computer) to food. We did subs which we made ahead of time and tons of salads, we had it set up buffet style and had his artwork and awards set up around the buffet table. We had over a hundred people from ages 1- 90. We had horse shoes and volleyball, bubbles for little ones, bottled water was a great hit too besides the other drinks. We froze the water ahead of time and it also served to keep other drinks cold . (04/03/2007)
You could play " Pin the tail on the teacher." All you need to do is blow up a teachers picture from the yearbook, and make a mustache out of construction paper. You could also have the graduates all wear a white tee shirt to be signed by each other. All you need to do is supply the permanent markers. That is something that they can keep for years. (05/10/2007)
By Nicole from Mc Minnville, Tn.
I'm planning a graduation party myself for my daughter who graduates in May. Explain the situation to your son about not having enough money for a huge party. Hopefully he will be happy with an outdoor barbecue. This will include BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cake and pop. If you have family close by, maybe they would be willing to help out in any way possible by making something to help you out. You could always bake a cake yourself and see if you have a family member or friend that would be willing to decorate the cake for you. Family and friends are always willing to help out in tough situations. Best of luck! (01/02/2008)
I don't know if I can do this because I am a business, but I will tell you all as a professional party decorator that a big colorful banner goes a very long ways towards decorating. You can spend a ton of money on little things to decorate a party and it still doesn't look decorated but if you hang and large (by large I mean 8-12') banner (I hand paint and personalize all of my banners) it will instantly make a room look very decorated! Big is always better than lots of small stuff. Another rule of thumb for big is do not try to hide the uglies in your hall, garage, back yard or whatever, draw attention away from them. Happy decorating from me to you! balloonsbanners (dot) com (02/12/2008)
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If you have a Super Walmart nearby, I highly recommend their fried chicken at the carry-our cafe section of their deli. I ordered 500 pieces of chicken for my son's graduation party for under $100 and fed the whole crew. It was outstanding! Better than KFC! What a deal. I could never have cooked all that food myself! Really a bargain! (03/11/2008)
I am graduating in May of this year and trying to decide on centerpieces and inexpensive food ideas. I rented a clubhouse for family and friends to come. Any ideas? My theme is school colors which are orange, black and white.
Jennifer from Franklin, IN
My daughter is graduating next Tuesday the 20th of May, and for her center piece we went to Dollar Tree and bought clear glass vases that were different looking. We are going to go with her school colors, and fill them with those marble looking things, I can't remember what they are called. Then we will be putting a tea light candle on the top of that (with one of her school colors). Then we have small graduation garland with 2008 and school color also we bought at Party America. We are going to wrap around the bottom of the vase which is kinda oval at the bottom. Hope this helps! (05/15/2008)
By Angie V
I was looking for more ideas but I wanted to post what I did for my daughter's college graduation. I sent pre-cut scrapbooking paper and asked each person to write a special memory they had of our daughter. I took each card I received and made a page for the album using pictures of that person and the letter they sent back. I made pages to go into an album. At the party I used them on the wall and then we put them into an album she can treasure. It is on her coffee table in her apartment. (02/18/2009)
My name is Ulissa. I'm 23 yrs old and about to graduate from college in two months (meaning May). Well I have a problem because my parents want to throw me a graduation party, but I have lots of family members that I want to invite. My parents don't want me to invite all because some don't come. What theme and what location should I have it held in? Does anyone have any advise or ideas?
Ulissa from McAllen, TX
What college did you go to?
What was your major?
This might help with brainstorming. (03/04/2008)
If you are in a sorority, then you could use that as the theme. Ex: If your sorority collects frogs, then you could have a frog theme. Or you could use your school colors, or if you studied music, you could have a music theme. I would send invitation to everyone even if they don't show up. They may send a gift card and depending on the amount of people, you could rent a hall or at a park or a hotel or even a nice cookout in the backyard. Hope this helps and congrats. (04/02/2008)
My son graduated last May in Mechanical Engineering. He got a job at the Caterpillar proving grounds so we had a cake made in the shape (3 D) of a big mining dozer thingy. It was so amazing and he was in awe. I just asked everyone I knew and finally found someone who would do what I had in mind. Good luck. (04/11/2008)
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We will be throwing my daughter a graduation party and I would like ideas on food, decorations, and entertainment for everyone. I really need help planning on food for at least 50 people. Thank you.
By PennieB from Algona, WA
A lot is going to depend on where you live. Here in SD some people get carried away having two kinds of sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad, jello salads, cake, cookies, etc., along with iced tea, punch, and coffee. Then there is the type of party like people had when I graduated (100 years ago) and like my kids had, where we served cake, coffee, and punch. Decorations can be whatever a person chooses. There again some are quite elaborate and then some are just a single bouquet of balloons, or a flower arrangement. I would say it depends on each person's budget and tastes. (05/24/2009)
As already posted, it depends on how much you want to spend and how elaborate you want to be. My son graduated 2 years ago. We had an open house. We set up a canopy (my parents have) or the ones you rent, in the back yard. We were able to use tables from friends and rented chairs. We got white plastic table cloths and put bowls of M and Ms on the table along with navy and silver curly ribbon. It looked really nice. We got regular M and Ms however you can order whatever colors you want if you are willing to spend the money.
People walked through the garage to get to the backyard. We hung cheap navy and white curtains around the garage. We had the guest book, pictures, and the card basket set up there. We had a cake with his picture on it and served the other cake until it was gone. The cake was also displayed until needed.
Our food was simple. We served wraps that can be bought at Sam's, chips, relish tray, cake, mints, and nuts. For drinks, we served punch and we had a keg of rootbeer. The rootbeer is something we have done for our kids on several different occasions. This was one thing my son really wanted at his party.
For entertainment, we did nothing special except have the radio/cds playing.
Our party was simple, but enjoyed by all. I hope this helps. (05/24/2009)
My daughter had a wienie roast with chili, chips, streamers, and balloons. Really simple and low toned. Very inexpensive. We had a wonderful time. (05/25/2009)
Dollar Tree always has grad decorations. I also bought a poster and went through the kids pics. I printed out a title "NAME....through the years" for the top of the poster and then made copies of all kinds of pics and glued them on the poster.
I had a special table set up with my child's diploma, senior picture. Over the years I saved special papers, awards from each school year and I put these out, too. I filled a binder for each school attended (elementary, middle, and high) and put them out as well. Those binders were a surprise to the kids they didn't know I was saving those memories. We served chicken wings, hotdogs, chips, beans, potato salad, soda, and usual stuff like that. The only thing I ordered was the cake. I had sent out invites only for close family/friends, so our party was about 1/2 the size of yours. All the best. (05/29/2009)