Graduating from high school or college is a big accomplishment and should be celebrated accordingly. Having a graduation party is a tradition almost as old as the graduation ceremony itself, but where do you start planning? To avoid being overwhelmed by the daunting process, check out our guide to creating the perfect decor, food, and activities for your graduation party:

Decor

Clothespin Photo Timeline

Forgo the typical scrapbook or slideshow showcase while also boosting the party's ~aesthetic~ by pinning photos to a makeshift clothesline. Take some old prints and secure them to twine or another type of string or rope with clothespins. You can make a timeline of your life up to graduation or just pin up your favorite pictures and memories.

polaroids on a clothes line

rangizzz/Shutterstock

Diploma Napkin Bundles

The key to great graduation party decor is consistent little nods acknowledging the accomplishment. An easy way to do that is with fashioning your napkins like little diplomas. It's easy to do, too -- just roll the silverware up into white napkins and tie together with a simple black ribbon.

Tassel Garland

Another easy way to evoke the graduation theme is with garlands shaped like tassels. They're simple to make on your own with fabric, and you can use your school colors or even just your favorite colors.

pink and purple garland

Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock

Push-Pin Map

If you have a severe case of wanderlust, a map is a great piece of decoration at your graduation party. Add different colored push pins marking where the graduate has been and where they plan to go -- don't forget a destination pin for their college town.

push pin map

Snacks

Oreo Balls

If you want impossibly sweet desserts that you and your guests won't be able to stop munching on, look no further. Oreo balls are a finger food favorite for anything from weddings to graduation parties and they're easy to make. They'll be a hit with your guests and elevate your grad party buffet to the next level.

close up of oreo balls

"Class Rings" Ring Pops

Everyone loves a good pun. An easy way to make your guests giggle at your graduation party is by supplying "class rings," aka Ring Pops. You can either throw them all in a bowl or display them in a more formal fashion, but make sure they're clearly labeled.

Graduation Popcorn Bags

Distribute everyone's favorite salty snack in cute, homemade bags. Just grab some popcorn bags at the store and cut out grad-themed designs such as caps and diplomas into construction paper and glue to the bag. It's a small and easy decorative touch that goes a long way.

popcorn on yellow background

virtu studio/Shutterstock

Graduation Cap S'mores Pops

Grab some s'mores supplies, but you're not going to roast them around a fire. Instead, melt some chocolate and dip the top of the jumbo marshmallow and stick a piece of graham cracker on it. Use some candy to finish the face on the marshmallow for a cute treat.

Activities

Photo Booth

Rent a photo booth to give your guests a souvenir to remember the day. But if you don't have the budget for an actual booth, substitute the machine with props such as hats, moustaches and giant polaroid cut-outs. Your guests will have a ton of fun playing around and taking selfies.

Party Games

If you have a lot of guests attending, you need to make sure they have access to entertainment. Scattering lawn games through the yard or even just supplying board games if your party is inside is a great way to occupy guests and insure they have a great time. Some popular ideas: volleyball, cornhole or Jenga.

cornhole game on a lawn

valbunny/Shutterstock

Create A Party Hashtag

Hashtags are most commonly used with weddings, but why not graduation parties? Come up with your own cute and clever slogan and make sure your guests use it when posting pictures to Instagram. A good way to make sure everyone knows what hashtag to use is by making a sign!

Guest Book

Have your guests write you a message in a book so you can look through it years later and remember your old friends. You can also put a creative spin on the traditional guest book -- instead of getting a blank book for guests to sign, make it a special book from your childhood or an inspiring one about your future. A popular choice is Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go.

guests signing a guest book

Subscribe to the Oola Newsletter