Making Your Own Graduation Announcements

You can save money while creating a uniquely personal message by making your own graduation announcements. This is a guide about making your own graduation announcements.
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April 25, 2015 Flag

Last year, I was given the task to send out 90 invitations for the 5th grade graduation ceremony. I was working with a $50 budget. After searching high and low, I realized that I would not be able to stay within budget if I ordered the cards, with the time I had. So, I made these up. I was able to make 90 invitations for about $30! It required more effort than just ordering them, but they were a big hit. The kids made me thank you notes and a lot of the pictures had the little diplomas and caps. It's something unique that they still talk about.

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Total Time: About 20 minutes. It goes faster when you are making multiples.

Yield: As many as you need.

Supplies:

  • 12 in by 12 inch cardstock. Pick paper that has color on both sides. Use school colors or any color you like!
  • white cardstock to print out the invitation
  • photo corners
  • plain, white copy paper
  • black cardstock
  • embroidery thread and needle
  • large ZOTs
  • some type of seal to keep the invitation closed
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • tape
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Steps:

  1. Cut your 12 X 12 inch cardstock in half. I used the school's paper cutter and it went pretty quickly. If you don't have access to one, use your trusty ruler and pencil to mark off the paper.
  2. Print out your invitation or announcement. (I blocked off our school name). Cut the invitation. This ended up being 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches.
  3. Time to add the photo corners. It's easiest to slide them on before adhering to the cardstock. Once you have them on, carefully place it in the middle of the large cardstock, making sure it's even before you set it down.
  4. For the diplomas, use your paper cutter or ruler to mark off strips of white paper. These were 4 1/2 inches long and a little over 1 inch wide. Before rolling up the diploma, cut a piece of embroidery thread that you will tie around the paper. I cut mine about 3 inches long. It's easiest to get the thread in a circle, ready to slide the diploma in. Otherwise, you are trying to hold the diploma shut and tying the thread.
  5. Once you have your thread ready, roll up the diploma as tightly as you can (you don't want it too thick because it will be inside the invitation). Tie on the thread and knot it. Cut the extra ends.
  6. For the graduation cap, cut a piece of black cardstock paper 2 x 2 inches. Thread your embroidery thread onto the needle. Pierce the needle through the front of the cap, in the center. Pull through. Cut the thread off of the needle. Tape down. (In case you are wondering, this paper is black on one side and red on the other!) Trim the "tassle" on the other side to the length you like.
  7. Create a little sign that says "Class of ____ " on plain paper. Cut it out and paste on black cardstock. This cardstock was 2 1/2 inches by 3/4 inch.
  8. Time to add your embellishments onto the invitation. Glue the "Class of ____" sign on the invitation. To stick the diploma and caps on, I used ZOTs, glue dots. I cut them in quarters, since they were a little large and I didn't want them sticking out from under the diploma.
  9. Fold your invitation at the top and the bottom of the announcement. There should be a small overlap. Place your seal on the back to keep it closed.
  10. Add a label on the front, if needed. Thankfully, these were just given to each student and I didn't need labels!
Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

March 28, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

(Originally Published in 2005) The cost of graduation announcements can be very steep, but I wanted to send out something nice to all our friends and extended family to let them know that my youngest child was graduating from college.

What I did is buy some graduation announcement kits at Office Depot. We needed about 50 announcements so I bought 2 kits with 25 each. The kits included 25 announcements (black and silver lines framing each section that folded into 4 panels after laser printing), 25 foil add-ons in the shape of a graduation cap, and 25 envelopes.

I picked out a picture of my daughter to include with each announcement. Many of our friends and relatives live a long way away so haven't seen her recently. The picture was taken with a digital camera and I was able to get a bunch of copies at a local store with a photo/electronics department.

On the front I did the normal "Graduation Annoucement for (name) from (name of school). I used one of the inside panels to talk about her future plans and the other to announce the date, time and location for the graduation ceremony and a barbecue that we are having after to celebrate.

The announcements look good, are unique, and cost just over $1.00 for each announcement including postage. The announcements were $13.95 a box. I printed the announcements on my own laser printer. If I had had more to do I may have printed one (on blank paper) and then photocopied the design onto the rest. The digital photo prints were $0.19 each. A grand total of about $58 for 50 invitations ($28/invitations, $10/photos, and $20/stamps).

Do you have any tips for making your own invitations? Share them below.

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May 19, 20050 found this helpful

My son is graduating from high school this year and I wanted something personalized and less expensive than the stock ones he could order through the school.

I took numerous pictures of him in the back yard with him to the side of the frame. Since I used my digital camera, we came into the house, looked at the pictures on the computer, decided if we liked any of them, deleted the ones we didn't want, and took more.

The next part I actually hired a friend to do, but I could have done it myself. I found wording online that I liked, so used Photoshop to fade the background around my son, then put the wording to the side of my son in the area we had allowed when taking the picture.

To print, the image was uploaded to one of the photo developing sites and printed in a 5 x 7 format. The back was printed with the name of the site, which I wasn't thrilled about, but I decided to send them that way. I could have mounted them on another piece of paper had I wanted to hide the back.

Even with what the friend charged for her labor, the cost was only about 80 cents each, including the envelope. And my son has an announcement that will not be the same as anyone else's and will let people see what a handome young man he has grown into

The attached picture was the last "working copy" before the final cutout was done around his body.

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May 17, 20060 found this helpful

Love, love, love this. I'm going to follow these suggestions for my daughter 2006. Thanks

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April 27, 20070 found this helpful

For my college graduation I'm using e-mail and a web adress to "advertise" my graduation. It's cheap and simple

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May 4, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you for this great tip! I am a college senior who is graduating and cannot afford the $150+ costs of buying invitations. This is awesome.

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May 6, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you! I am making my own invitations due to the expensive costs of purchasing pre-made annoucements. It is nice to know I'm not the only one venturing out to create my own... thanks for your directions!

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