Some Cool Graduation Gift Ideas - 2 Dads with Baggage
man helps daughter with graduation cap and robe

Some Cool Graduation Gift Ideas

Graduation. A time of celebration to honor all the hard work that went into completing high school and college. Of course, graduation usually means parties and lots of fun. But for our daughter Sophia and so many others during these uncertain times, traditional celebrations are being canceled. We can still celebrate our favorite graduates, and we put together some cool graduation gift ideas to show you’re thinking about them.

So much to celebrate, and so many disappoints for our seniors. As a graduating high school senior, Sophia is missing her prom, grad night, walking to Pomp and Circumstance at her graduation ceremony and more. As parents, it’s our job to comfort our graduating senior. Yet we’re missing the opportunity to celebrate her for receiving her diploma after so many years of hard work. So even as budgets tighten, gifts are in order!

A happy 18 year old graduate holding her diploma outdoors.
Posing for grad photos may be a solo event this year. (photo by iStock: sdominick)

Cool Graduation Gift Ideas

Here are some useful graduation gift ideas for your favorite high school or college grad. Just be sure to place orders a little earlier than usual. Some sites are experiencing slight delays during the pandemic.

Favorite Shirt Quilt

If your grad is someone who was on a lot of teams or participated in lots of events, they probably have lots of t-shirts. Don’t toss those shirts. Don’t give them away. Have them made into a quilt.

Project Repat was created when the founder was doing non-profit work in Kenya. He discovered that shirts donated in the US are often sold and shipped overseas. To help keep clothes out of landfills while also having minimal carbon impact, he founded Project Repat.

Project Repat reuses favorite tshirts to make quilts for loved ones and special occasions
Reusing favorite old tshirts, Project Repat makes quilts from them.

Here’s how it works. Customers send their t-shirts to the company. The shirts are cut up and sewn at factories in the United States. As a result, the grad gets a gift that reminds them of times past. The number of shirts needed depends on the size of the quilt. There are five sizes available and runs from 16 shirts for a lap quilt to 42 for a queen-sized quilt.

Car Help

New college and high school graduates often hop into their cars to start their next adventure. College could be hundreds of miles away and new jobs may be across the country. One of the graduation gift ideas that will come in handy is a roadside emergency kit. Loaded with things like jumper cables, reflective triangles and a seat belt cutter, it will help with almost any situation encountered on the road.

emergency roadside kit
A graduate will always be prepared with a roadside emergency kit in their trunk.

Another gift for the grad who uses their car a lot is a AAA membership. AAA will replace car batteries, change flats and provide towing based on the level of membership. It’s a great way to give the grad some future assistance while giving their parents a little peace of mind.

The Gift of Food 

Many graduates aren’t used to cooking for themselves. Some are moving straight out of their parent’s house. Others who were in college might have eaten in the cafeteria or ordered lots of pizza. Give those grads who are moving into a place with a kitchen a HelloFresh gift card.

screenshot from Hello Fresh website with menu options
A meal plan from Hello Fresh can be a lifesaver!

Recipients select meals based on what they’d like to eat and how many people to cook for. HelloFresh sends all the ingredients and the recipes so it’s easy to cook a healthy meal. HelloFresh helps save time shopping, prevents food waste and uses responsible ingredient sourcing. All perfect for graduates who have space to prep and cook their meals.

Artisan Gifts

Artisan goods are a great way to give while also supporting small artists. A family-owned, regenerative agriculture ranch, White Oak Pastures offers a variety of handmade leather gifts.

Among great college graduation gift ideas is a leather laptop case. Compatible with laptops 13” or smaller, it’s a way to protect a necessary tool and look stylish. Have a graduate who loves writing? A leather journal cover also includes a journal with recycled paper.

handmade laptop cover in leather
Handcrafted leather goods are fantastic gifts and keepsakes.

Or think about giving a leather wallet for the grad who’s gotten their first full-time job. Just don’t forget to put in some money inside the wallet before wrapping! In some cultures, it’s bad luck to gift an empty wallet.

Personalized Jewelry

Giving your favorite grad the gift of personalized jewelry is something that they’ll never forget. It’s a great way for the graduate to start a new life.

Think about a gift from Isabelle Grace. Handmade in the United States and worn by celebrities, Isabelle Grace jewelry comes in rose gold, gold and silver finishes. There is the Signature Initial Necklace. A disk with the wearer’s initial, it can be layered with other necklaces. Or made more unique by adding additional charms.

necklace from Isabella Grace jewelry
A customized and personalized necklace is a wonderful graduation keepsake.

If your grad is more into bracelets, Isabelle Grace has a Vintage ID Bracelet. With an antique style nameplate, chunky styled links and a large space for a name up to 11 characters, it will make a statement.

Amazon Prime

Graduates have a lot on their plates with their new schools or new careers. Consider gifting them an Amazon Prime membership to help them save time and provide them with lots of entertainment. Gifts of Amazon Prime are available in both 3-month and 12-month bundles.

screenshot from Amazon Prime gift certificate page
Gift certificates from Amazon always bring smiles.

Amazon Prime provides free 2-day shipping on millions of items. Prime members are also able to watch tv shows and movies, listen to music and read free books. There’s even access to exclusive sales at Whole Foods Market. A lot of bang in a gift they’ll use often.

First Aid Kit 

Headed to college is a trying time for some students. It’s their first time away from home and sometimes things happen. That’s why the College Student First Aid Kit is so great among graduation gift ideas.

Created by the mom of two college students, this first aid kit is packed with supplies for all situations. And the creator isn’t only a mom. She’s also a Certified Nurse Practitioner so you know all the remedies the kids will need are included.

The varieties of kits have been slightly adjusted since we reviewed it last but the quality and quantity of the products are still amazing. The kits now come in two levels: the Ultimate Kit and a Travel Kit. The Ultimate Kit comes in a multi-level holder and has every ointment, pill, bandage you can think of. It even has a digital thermometer and tweezers.

fully stocked First Aid Kit
In case of college dorm craziness, or zombie apocalypse, this kit will help students cope.

The Travel Kit comes in a zippered soft case that the student can keep in their room or their car. It contains fewer supplies than the Ultimate but is still full of plenty of items to keep the kids safe.

The Gift of Music 

Is the grad in your life a music lover? Consider the gift of music.

Apps such as Spotify and SiriusXM offer gift cards so the grad can create a personalized account. Spotify is perfect for the graduate who uses their phone a lot. And college students get a monthly discount on Spotify! SiriusXM is for a smartphone or a car radio. Just be sure to check to see if their car has a SiriusXM compatible radio.

spotify screenshot with signup details
The gift of music can be both memorable and powerful.

Gift For The Parent 

Even though we think of graduation being for the kids, it’s also a huge accomplishment for the parent. As a parent myself, it’s a proud moment to know that my girls will have completed many years of hard work and head to college. So think about getting something for their parents too.

gift card for 4everbound is the perfect parent gift. Dedicated to preserving memories, 4everbound takes children’s pictures and photos and transforms them into books. Parents just send in the items they want included. 3 weeks later they receive a hardbound book full of their child’s memories. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the child’s achievements while honoring the parents.

4ever Bound transforms sentimental items so you can showcase the memories! All those pictures, letters, notes, cards, and drawings can be turned into beautifully bound hardcover books.
4ever Bound transforms sentimental items into beautifully bound hardcover books.

Graduation Gift Ideas for Days

This is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to cool graduation gift ideas. We’re sure you’ve got some good ones to share as well! Please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion so we can keep sharing.

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