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Graduation! Time to Give the Best Gift Ever

By Olivia Harlow

It’s that time of year when college seniors pile into bars, social media floods with nostalgic stories of on-campus experiences, and cameras click at the site of caps and gowns, and tears flow as former high school students bid farewell to their hometowns. Time flies quickly, and most college grads agree that becoming
an alum is one of life’s most bittersweet transitions. Is a friend or family member of yours graduating this year? Treat them to a special gift, to celebrate this once in a lifetime milestone.


Money Wreath

Make a wreath out of dollar bills. One of the most common gifts around graduation is a check or wad of cash. And while money is great, it can sometimes feel like a cop out. Personalize your generosity by rolling dollar bills into little cylinders, tying them with a small bow of string, and gluing them side by side on a hoop, until you’ve filled an entire wreath. $50 never looked so good—or so sentimental! (https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/grad-gifts/)

T-Shirt Quilt

Make a quilt of high school or college shirts. Unless you are a seamstress, this might not be so DIY after all. Get your friend of family member to hand over some of their older shirts that maybe don’t fit anymore or are stained—shirts that once meant something to them but are no longer worn. If you can sew, you’ll cut the center of the shirts and stitch them together, making a blanket. But if you want high quality, it’s best to get this done professionally. In the end, it’s still your thought and creativity that makes this gift possible!


Photo Cork Board

Make a ribbon corkboard and fill it with photos. Print pictures that show your friend or family member with friends and at some of their favorite spots around campus. Grab some colorful fabric and fold it around a corkboard. Pull taut and staple the edges, so that the fabric stays in place. You’ll likely want staples every inch or so apart. Once the corkboard is covered in fabric, criss cross ribbons over the board, also pulling tightly and stapling them in the back. Where the ribbons cross, put a pin in the center of their overlap. Then, tuck the photos beneath the ribbons and fill the board. You can also place little college or high school memorabilia: pamphlets, handwritten letters, and newspaper clippings and other related finds. Whether their graduating high school or college, a frame full of memories is perfect to take with them wherever they go.


Survival Kit

Make a college or “real world” survival kit. Paint a bucket or get a basket and fill it with practical things like a mini First Aid Kit and Tic Tacs, but also with fun things like Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, a disposable camera, a gift card to their local coffee shop, and a bag of their favorite candy. You can also include a miniature scrapbook or a pile of photos that show them on their former campus.



Make a slideshow movie of digitized photographs. Save some of the best photos from their high school or college experience, and bring them to us at Southtree. We will digitize these unforgettable memories and make sure that they really do last a lifetime.


Integrate the school’s colors and mascot, include handwritten notes, and print at least one photo. The more tangible items that stir nostalgia, the better. Whether it’s a friend graduating high school or a sibling taking off for a “big girl/boy job,” creating a sentimental and personalized gift will make sure that their transition is even more special.

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