How to Give a Great Graduation Gift When You’re a Broke Student

Recipes and Tutorials

Quick idea: Particularly after senior year, but all through high school, there are a lot of graduation parties. For friends, best friends, sort-of friends, family friends. And when you are also a high school kid or also graduating, the idea of graduation gifts for all those different degrees of friends is daunting, since the standard is a check.

Now, I really don’t think high school kids should feel or be obligated to give money to fellow graduates, buuuuut that’s just me. And I love my friends (and finding the perfect gift), so I don’t want to skip gift-giving altogether.

Compromise time!

I decided I would collages wooden initials with pictures from throughout high school for a few of my friends who had parties.

It’s meaningful, simple, inexpensive, and a perfect dorm decoration.

Wooden letters cost $3-5 in craft stores. Some come painted, but I bought plain ones and painted them with two layers of acrylic paint. Then, I went through the friend-in-question’s Facebook and Instagram profiles to find pictures (the number of pictures you need will vary greatly by letter). I then copied them onto a Word document so I could easily adjust them to the sizes I wanted, printed them, and cut them out. With a layer of modpodge, I pasted the photos onto the letter and used a pair of scissors to press the paper down in any tight places. You could do all colored pictures or all black and white for different effects.

Everyone has loved them and has told me immediately “I’m going to put this in my dorm!”

Mission accomplished.


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