7 Thrifty Ways to Throw a Graduation Party



There are so many affordable options for party locations: your backyard, a local park, a pool, a campground, and the beach are all great choices.

Think of how much money you will save by choosing a cheap or free locale instead of renting a private room or restaurant. With decorations, you can spruce up any place to look festive and beautiful.

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You have tons of inexpensive options for decorations. Pick a theme and comparison shop at dollar stores, big-box stores or online.

Cheap staples that transform a party space are: streamers, balloons, crepe paper, and party sets sold at discount stores like Target or Walmart.

Make classy centerpieces by using greenery, flowers, and candles. Hang garlands, stars, or lights from the ceiling. Coordinate your party colors for a classy effect.

Hang mementos such as baby pictures or diplomas around the space to reminisce and celebrate achievements.

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Etsy is a great place to look for graduation party invitations. There are a ton of DIY invitations you can print yourself, with a small price to receive the printout template from the buyer.

You can also do it yourself! Get crafty and make your own invitations. If you want to save money on stamps, simply pass them out to your friends at school, or opt for online invites.

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One great way to save money on food for your party is to have everyone bring something, potluck style.

Have a few great classics on hand that you know everyone will love, and let the other dishes serve as complimentary. Party staple cheap eats include chips, cookies, pretzels, fruit, party mix, crackers and cheese, pigs in a blanket, and ice cream.

If you are thinking of getting it catered, talk to the manager of a local restaurant you enjoy, and negotiate a deal.

Also, shopping in bulk from membership-only warehouses like Costco will help you save, as will buying disposable tableware.

Don't forget to check your local supermarket circulars for deals as well.

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Make your own cake! Bake it yourself or go the cupcake route, which makes for cute table arrangements and decor. Cupcakes are trendy this season (think shows like "Cupcake Wars," "DC Cupcakes," and "The Cupcake Girls"), so capitalize on the fad of the moment.

Use school colors for your cupcakes and arrange them in adorable little boxes tied with ribbons to match! It'll make for a great take home party favor.

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What's a party without music? Ask a talented friend or family member to perform at your graduation, or ask a friend to DJ.

You can even make a digital playlist of songs yourself and play them from your computer, or hook up speakers to amplify the sound.

Also, choose an area and turn it into a photo booth! Decorate with a background, balloons, graphics, hangings from the ceiling, and props. Fun props are a must-have and can add tons of quirk and laughter to your special day.

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Get Crafty: Thoughtful Touches


Decorate a shoebox with glitter, confetti, lace, and paint -- whatever it takes to make it look beautiful! This will serve as storage to keep all cards and gifts together in one place.

You can also design your own banner online with websites like Shindigz. You can personalize it with pictures and a message! Make your own individualized centerpieces by purchasing 3D letters of your initials and painting them.

Finally, have paper and pens/markers lying around for guests to write personal messages. After the party is over, bind all these messages together and you'll have your very own memory book.

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