Great Gift Ideas for Graduates

If your sibling or friend is graduating from High School or University this June, you can go the safe route of cash, or get them something they will cherish to help remember their accomplishments.

Diploma Frame

After they walk across that stage to pick up that expensive piece of paper, many people might leave it in a folder somewhere. A thoughtful gift for any grad would be to pick up a classic, solid wood frame with acid-free paper and anti UV glass to preserve their diploma from getting wrinkled and squashed (after a downpour at my graduation, mine has water stains!) You can also opt for a frame with a photograph insert, so they can add their graduation photo. While it might not hang in their first apartment or dorm room, mom and dad will cherish this gift too.


A freshwater pearl necklace, or a pair of pearl earrings are the perfect gift for a recent graduate. Great for job interviews, they are a versatile accessory that can add sophistication and polish to an inexpensive mall suit. The price of pearls have come down to alarmingly low levels, but they still have prestige and versatility.

Gift certificate

Handing out a gift card is a safe route, but you can get creative. Instead of doling out an iTunes card, give them a card with a homemade coupon offering to cover the cost of a good blazer or silk shirt. It might be hard to buy clothes for someone else, especially when fit is paramount, so offering to foot the bill for an afternoon of shopping is thoughtful, and will give you a chance to celebrate graduating together.


If you’ve known your grad for a while, scour facebook and family albums for old pictures of the first day of school and put them on a timeline. It will be an amazing gift and memory to see how far they’ve come!

Big Girl Heels

There is nothing more important in a wardrobe than a good pair of black or neutral heels. From going to interviews to the real workplace, a pair of closed-toed leather pumps are a must. Jump start their wardrobe with a stylish, classic, single-sole version. If they don’t like heels, pick up a pair of comfy wedges (J. Crew’s version have the perfect height/comfortable balance).

Personalized Jewelry

Whether your grad collects charm bracelets or layers necklaces, find a unique addition to her collection as a memento. Another idea is to go to a personalized necklace website, and have a piece commemorating the year (or another appropriate symbol) made. They may take six weeks to be made, but the unique element of this gift is very special.

Day Planner

Now that they’re done school, they won’t be tagging along a tattered paper planner. Give them a leather-bound journal or day planner where they can log interviews, appointments and addresses. While so much can be done on an iPhone, there’s something to be said for putting pen to paper. Bonus points if the planner is personalized with elegant, embossed initials.


Tags: gift ideas, grad gifts, graduation gift ideas, graduation gifts for your girlfriend, graduation gifts for your sister

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