Gifts for Grads

As the school year wraps up and you begin to say goodbye to your friends and teachers for the summer, consider leaving them with a memento to remember you by. We’ve collected some great ideas that we think you will enjoy and your friends and teachers will love.

Gifts for Everyone

C is for Cookies

These may not be the longest-lasting of gifts, but that doesn’t make a batch of cookies any less delicious! Consider asking your mom for the family recipe, or take to the Internet in search of the most creative, chunky, crispy cookie. Think about attaching a pun-derful thank you to your teacher’s batch for making you a very smart cookie!

Check out how Sonja at packaged her cookie tokens for some more ideas.

Summer Survival Kit

In Texas, we’re used to the simmering summers, and summer has taught us what things work best for surviving the heat. You could make a great gift basket based on summer survival: a nice water bottle, a beach towel, some sunscreen, and maybe a Frisbee or a beach read.

Check out one great tote idea at

Gifts for Teachers

Growing All Year

Does one of your favorite teachers have a green thumb? Consider getting your teacher a plant, plopping a pencil in it, and thanking them for helping you grow throughout the year. If you see them again in the fall, be sure to ask how the plant’s doing!

When it comes to choosing a plant, succulents are a safe bet because they require a little less care than a flowering plant and can last all year round. and have some great ideas for decorating flower pots and keeping your thank you special.

Countdown Calendar

Whether your teacher enjoys counting down to summer or to the start of school, you could make a countdown calendar to suit any teacher’s needs. Just print out a template like this one at eighteeen25, put it in a nice frame, and encourage your teacher to use a dry erase marker on the frame’s glass to change the count.

Gifts for Friends

A Collage for College

Now you know your friends best, but if you’re not sure where to start creating an awesome and memorable token of your high school years together, consider creating a photo collage of the best (and wildest) photos of you together. Your friends can hang them in their dorm rooms and recount the stories behind each photo to their college friends.

Bits of Everything has some easy directions for creating a large and striking collage.

College Spirit Collections

So one friend is headed to UT and another to Stanford, right? Consider making college-themed survival kits for your friends; throw in some highlighters and notebooks along with some ramen or instant mac and cheese, and bundle it all in your friends’ school colors.

You could even store those survival items inside a painted cooler, created following directions like these, that reflects your friends’ personalities and chosen colleges.

These are just a few ideas for treats and mementos for friends and teachers. What projects do you have going on? Be sure to post some pictures in the comments so we can ooh and aww over your invention and crafting skills! We’ve also collected some other DIY projects on our Pinterest page that you can check out, and be sure to tag us in any pins you think we’re missing!

– Mai M.

  • Brandon Michael Garcia

    While I always do enjoy plant gifts, I really like the framed personalized calendar to write on with dry erase markers. At home, I write on glass a lot with dry erase markers, but I never thought of buying a large frame and inserting some standard print of something.

  • Natalie

    Great ideas! Gifting is so much fun with personalized, DIY elements (for both parties!) 🙂