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7 DIY Graduation Keepsakes to Make for Your Friends


The day that every pre-collegiette has been dreaming of is finally here: graduation. You can’t wait to put those days of calculus, cliques and cafeteria food behind you and experience your first taste of college freedom. But those long years were made better by the people who stood by you through it all: your friends. Cherish those memories and honor your friendships with these easy-to-make, personalized graduation gifts!

1. Spa in a Jar

This gift is perfect for that friend who’s always stressing over assignments and exams. This jar of pampering goodies has everything she needs to unwind after a long day of prepping for college. You can take a mason jar or old jelly jar and fill it with small toiletries, like body scrubs, a manicure set, bath salts and lip balm. You can purchase them at a dollar store or buy travel-size containers to put them in. Color-coordinate the items with cute labels on the outside of the jar. This gift will melt her pre-collegiette troubles away!

2. Picture Frame

Not sure what to get your high school sweetheart? A personalized picture frame is just what you need. Start with a plain wooden frame and paint it in his or her favorite colours. Add your graduating year, your sweetheart’s name or words of encouragement around the sides for a personal touch. Use stickers, rhinestones, feathers and gems to decorate to your liking.

3. College Survival Kit

Packed with collegiette essentials, this gift will be a lifesaver. Fill a shower caddy or tote bag with items that your friends will need in every aspect of their college lives. Load it up with stationery, toiletries, flip-flops, snacks, cleaning supplies and energy drinks. Add instant coffee for those all-nighters and pizza delivery coupons for lazy weekends.

4. Personalized Coasters

These personalized drink coasters are perfect for that friend who loves having people over. Take white tissue paper and print out the pictures you want to use. Using Mod Podge, stick the pictures onto 4-by-4-inch tiles and let them dry completely. Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the picture as a sealant and leave to dry. You can repeat this process two or three times. Finish off with an acrylic clear coat to seal it all in and add a nice shine. These trinkets will bring back memories while keeping your friend’s drinks from dripping on the table.

5.  Calendar

With assignments, exams, parties and clubs, days in college will be mayhem. Help your friend keep track of her commitments with this personalized calendar. It’s made from cardboard and paint chips and put into a glass picture frame that you can write on with a dry-erase marker. You’ll need enough paint chips and cardboard to make each month separately.

Take each piece of cardboard and apply 28, 30 or 31 paint chips depending on the month. As time passes, she can switch the cardboard inside the frame to the corresponding months. To keep it interesting, use paint chips in her favorite colors and add pictures to decorate the empty spaces on each piece of cardboard. Add a dry-erase marker and turn it into her daily planner.

6. Memory Jar

This idea is perfect for your best friends, especially if you won’t be going to the same college. Write your favorite memories from your years of friendship on colored pieces of paper and put them in a mason jar. Inside the jar, you can add jewels and stones in her favorite colors, and you can also decorate the outside with paint and ribbons. On a rainy day, she can open it up for smiles, giggles and a lot of your love.

7. Travel Inspiration

Not everyone heads to college right after graduating from high school. Some people may not be sure what they want to do what their lives and may take a year off to figure it out. If your friend is taking a year off to travel, make her this gift made from a shadow box that she can fill with tickets and souvenirs from her adventures. This encouraging keepsake is reminiscent of one of Dr. Seuss’s most famous books. Print out a map of the world or the country or state where your friend will be going. Write the quotation across the picture with a black marker to make it stand out. Decorate the picture frame with your friend’s favorite things, like stickers, rhinestones, beads and other trinkets. This gift will inspire to follow her passions no matter where they lead her.

You may not see your friends every day once you go to college, but don’t let your fun times together be forgotten. When you’re not there to be with them, these heartfelt gifts will bring a smile to their faces.

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