A Nostalgic Graduation Party

This graduation party was special to me for a couple reasons. This grad party was not only for my best friend’s son– but he also graduated from my old high school (which made it super nostalgic to plan). If you are looking for a theme for a graduation party, be inspired by the school itself. School colors, plus old class yearbooks (we were able to gather editions from 20 years back!), then throw in real “school” stuff like chalk boards and lunch sacs. Here are a few pictures:

theme for a graduation party

A chalk board else greeted guests at the door to introduce the “school” theme. My favorite DIY paper pennants decorated the party space– school colors of course (Go Big Red)! I LOVE paper pennant for a simple and inexpensive decoration. If you read this site regularly, you might have seen them here, here, or here.

graduation party decorations

Those old yearbooks came in handy as centerpieces. Placed in stacks of 3 on each table– the yearbooks offered not only nostalgic decor but a fun activity and converstaion starter.. By mid-party, guests just couldn’t resist opening up the old books a reliving old memories and laughing at long gone styles. I even got to read the message I left in my boyfriend of 5 months (now husband’s!) yearbook. TOO FUNNY! Placed on each stack of books was a simple red apple with a congratulatory message placed in it.

theme for a graduation party

Before leaving, each guest was asked to “Sign in.” The grad’s parents made a heartwarming book of photos from his school days. Each guest signed throughout the book just like signing a yearbook. This was my favorite element of the party.

Grad party ideas

Red velvet cupcakes (his favorite) for dessert and mini lunch sac favors offered as favors for the taking.

DIY favor bags

A close up of the favors. For the DIY instructions on these mini lunch sac treats, see this post.

Fonts used in this party:

School Script Dashed and Octin Sports Free

*School Script Dashed font and Octin Sports Free font are free to download from http://www.dafont.com/.

Tori Tait on Instagram

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24 Comments on A Nostalgic Graduation Party

  1. Kate Landers
    June 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm (4 years ago)

    FABULOUS party Tori, love it!!! I am esp impressed how your hanging planter even coordinated….you are TOO good with the details, it’s amazing!

    Reply
  2. Korinne @ Swank Sweets
    June 11, 2010 at 6:18 am (4 years ago)

    Love this old “skool” theme! Everything is so well done. (I noticed the hanging planter too!) :)

    Reply
  3. Bird
    June 11, 2010 at 7:50 am (4 years ago)

    Very good mention!! :)

    Loved the cookie bags!!! I want one, even though I graduated a few years back…. :)

    Oh and loved the apple touch!!

    Reply
  4. Alexis
    June 11, 2010 at 8:14 am (4 years ago)

    Love it! The chalkboards are such a nice touch. My daughter is graduating from 5th Grade today!

    Reply
  5. Dawn
    June 11, 2010 at 9:48 am (4 years ago)

    Oh, I love it all! So sweet with all the personal touches! Even though the year is up, I could see these details for a Back To School Party in the fall!

    Reply
  6. Brittany
    June 11, 2010 at 1:38 pm (4 years ago)

    I adore this theme!!! The yearbooks are my favorite!

    Reply
  7. Kims Kandy Kreations
    June 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm (4 years ago)

    I love the yearbook photobook for the guests to sign! What genius! My daughter starts high school this year and so I need to start collecting some ideas for an amazing party. Thanks for sharing them!

    Reply
  8. Mary Kay
    June 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for the great ideas Tori … and just in time for my son’s party later this month! For the pennent garland, is the cardstock just stapled to the ribbon??

    Reply
  9. Your Hostess
    June 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Mary Kay- Yes, it is just stapled. I am sure there is a much more fancier method (hot glue or something) but I just throw them together with 2 staples per flag. Simple!

    Reply
  10. Wendy
    June 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm (4 years ago)

    Great job Tori! The last minute lunch sacks turned out perfectly!

    Reply
  11. Melanie
    June 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm (4 years ago)

    “Old school” (yar, har) retro…I LOVE it…I particularly love the chalk board. What a cute touch.

    Gorgeous, and BTW…really good photography as well.

    Mel at shareholidays

    Reply
  12. Shannel
    June 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm (4 years ago)

    I adore your website. I’m throwing my husband an MBA grad party, and am going to use some of your ideas. I love the centerpiece idea! I’m going to use it, except use textbooks instead since they don’t have yearbooks… And I adore the DIY paper pennants too. I cut out a bunch of triangles last night in his school colors… now I just need to buy ribbon and staple it all together. Thanks for all the fabulous ideas. If you have any more graduation party decor ideas please do share. Thanks. :)

    Reply
  13. Dennis @ Wholesale Flowers
    June 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm (4 years ago)

    What a great graduation party. The stack of previous year books are a nice added touch.

    Reply
  14. Autumn
    June 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m pulling together a grad present this weekend and this post gave me so many great ideas! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  15. Giusa
    July 5, 2010 at 7:47 am (4 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this. I was lost on where to start for my son’s HS grad party – UNTIL – I saw this wonderful party theme!

    Used many of your ideas….placed my son’s old wood desk at the entrance of my back yard with a sign-in pic/frame, metal lunch box, small chalk board, and an apple with a Welcome and please sign-in sign. I used apples for signs throughout my back yard. Placed my son’s many yearbooks on any table surface. Hardcover books (covered with brown paper bags), metal lunch box, small chalk board, red bottles with a flower as centerpieces on my tables. And so much more, ALL because of your inspiration!! Thank you!!!!

    I’ve always enjoyed setting up for a party, but I’ve never met anyone else who I can share my thoughts with….UNTIL now, for that – thank you!

    Thoughtfully Simple is my FAV site!!

    Reply
  16. Kelsi @ Modern Mom Redefined
    April 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm (4 years ago)

    GORGEOUS! I’m graduating with my BA in Special Education… this totally fits. I’m using it for inspiration. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  17. Judy Lynn
    April 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm (3 years ago)

    These ideas are awesome and soooo personalized! Last year, I attended the high school graduation party of my niece that was so wonderful. They had put up a big-screen tv and played a musical show made with pictures of her growing up from childhood to now. It reminded us of the time she was born and it depicted the story of how she evolved into a beautiful young woman. Everything was perfectly synchronized to music and the results were awesome! They got the show custom made for them by Smiling Snaps and I had never seen anything like that before.

    Reply
  18. Wendy
    March 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm (2 years ago)

    I found these great ideas from perusing Pinterest. Would you please tell me where you made the photobook that your guests signed? This is a fabulous idea and I definitely want to implement it for my son’s graduation in a few months.

    Thank you, Wendy

    Reply
    • Your Hostess
      March 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Wendy! You can make a photo book like this one on sites like Snapfish.com and Shutterfly.com. They are pretty reasonably priced too. Happy planning!

      Reply
  19. Katie's Mom
    April 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm (2 years ago)

    I had to giggle. I was searching Pinterest for party ideas for my daughter’s up-coming graduation. When I stumbled upon a pin from your blog, I thought what amazing ideas and perfect they are her school colors. Then I saw your year books and had to do double take. My daughter is graduating from Elsinore High School!

    Reply
    • Your Hostess
      April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am (1 year ago)

      Katie, NO way! What a small world wide web :).

      Reply

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