Whether you’re the grad’s proud parent or partner, supportive sibling, or that mega cool aunt that always turns up looking 10/10, you’re gonna want to check out this roundup. You may even be graduating yourself and wanna add some of these to your wishlist. I’m about to go Louis Armstrong on this thing and blow my own trumpet, but I know my way around the gift department.
Why am I such a gifting connoisseur, you ask? Two things about me: 1) I WILL celebrate just about any occasion, and, 2) it’s been ingrained in me from a young age to never turn up to a party empty-handed (comes from being part of a huge family with hosting in our veins). So, whether you're attending a housewarming or graduation, I’ll be your trusty source of gift ideas, ranging in budget and purpose but ultimately the best of the best!
If your graduate is moving into their own place ASAP, then don't miss our first apartment move-in checklist as you might be best getting them something from here instead.
The best graduation gifts for any kind of grad
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Let's kick things off, shall we? First, though, I did go out of my way to speak with an expert about graduation gifts, just so that you know I am taking this seriously! "When it comes to a gift for a graduate, you want to think about something that supports them during their life transitions." explained the Co-Founder of Fresh Starts Registry. So, take this into consideration when you’re shopping for your gift. Are they taking this opportunity to travel the world? Are they embarking on a new job? Or are they moving home to figure out their next steps?
I’m gonna’ go on the record and say that any graduate since ‘62, when Marshall was founded, would be grateful to receive pretty much anything from this brand as a gift. However, the Middleton Speaker? Weather resistant and iconically cool, this is THE gift for a grad with anything from a festival to a home office on the horizon. With 20+ hours of portable playtime and stunning audio quality, this is the kind of speaker you'll love for years to come.
Oh, and if you're on the go, this speaker is also a power bank, meaning it can charge your phone up, no bother! As if we needed another reason to add to basket.
Once you graduate, it's time to start building up a capsule wardrobe and a collection of trusty essential pieces. This, naturally, should include a weekend bag. I love brown and black leather models because they're timeless and just never go out of style. This one from Etsy has 290 reviews and is rated 5 stars so I'm kind of sold. Not to mention it comes in brown or black and can be personalized with your grad's initials in a choice of eight colors (or more if you message the seller!) Basically, this is a gift that will mean a lot, last the test of time, and will accompany them on many a post-graduation adventure.
Yeah, college is hard work but let's be honest... you get to enjoy frequent sleeping in (or at least, I did). Welcome your grad to the real world with the irresistible aroma of coffee beans. Yep, a rite of passage purchase, gifted by your nearest and dearest —the trusty Nespresso machine. A nice small coffee maker will make all the difference and if your graduate is a TikTok enthusiast, transfixed by the Iced Brown Sugar Oat Shaken Espresso, this will be the greatest gift they could receive to celebrate their arrival into the working world!
No Real Homes gifting lineup would be complete without a little nod to some home décor. It's no secret that leaving college is a little sad, partly because you grow so fond of your roommates and your room. Having a space that is your own is something a lot of graduates will miss when they first move home, so gifting some beautiful home décor is a really thoughtful touch! I've been obsessed with these cute little mushroom table lamps from Urban since they were launched. This one is a subtle sage green and glows with real charm and character. The perfect bedroom lamp to give your bedroom a warm ambiance.
This is the ultimate gift to make a graduation party one to truly remember. This gorgeous graduation guest book can be personalized from start to finish, available in cherry or maple wood, with gold, silver, or black screws and whatever words you choose engraved into its front. An incredibly personal touch that will ensure your grad never forgets their special day or any of the people who made their experience so wonderful. All I know is that I'd cry if I received this gift. Oh, and it has a five-star rating from everyone who has purchased one so it won't disappoint!
And in the words of every wedding photographer, "Let's do a silly one!" If you're gifting a partner or pal with a sense of humor, I'm loving this smart little scented candle from Etsy. It's the perfect bit of catharsis after a long degree and emotional graduation... let's lighten the mood, shall we?! Although it appears to be a novelty candle, it actually comes in a choice of three scents: White Sage & Lavender, Sea Salt & Orchid, and Clean Cotton.
Being gifted your first vinyl player at your graduation is a pretty special moment. It's the start of a new journey of collecting your favorite records and discovering music in a new way. Victrola is a trusted brand, promising retro vibes and seamless sound quality.
This model comes equipped with a built-in speaker, AUX input, RCA output, and built-in Bluetooth receiver and comes in 29 different colorways (but I've kind of fallen in love with this old-timey, effortless lambskin brown). Wow, the more I look at it... I'd love to have been gifted this beauty for my graduation!
What better way to celebrate a graduation than with a bottle of champagne?! These beautiful ornate champagne flutes from Anthropologie are crafted from hand-painted crystalline with a 24K gold etching providing stunning details to an already elegant shape. This design is also available in other styles. Check out the Remy Wine Glasses, Remy Coupe Glasses, and Remy Stemless Wine Glasses. Symbolic of celebration and the perfect beginning of a sophisticated glassware collection. Let's toast to the graduate!
Choosing the best graduation gift is all about finding something that will accompany your grad on their transition into the next chapter of their life. The best thing about this Polaroid printer is that it can transform your phone pics into tangible treasures, meaning that they never have to leave behind their school memories. A mini nostalgia machine, this lil' gadget will build the bridge between their old memories and their new adventures!
Ok, college may have been all about instant noodles and post-night-out pizza (don't judge), but entering the real world means it's time to cook up some mean meals! Half Baked Harvest, aka Tieghan Gerard, is the GOAT when it comes to turning simple ingredients into the most delicious damn meals you've ever eaten in your life! Trust me, they're like an explosion in your mouth... foodie heaven! Let this culinary guru take your grad under her wing (and then hope they cook for you in return!!)
It's all about manifesting and this calming and inspirational wall print does exactly that. With a recycled wooden frame, this brightly colored print is made from archival paper from cotton pressed in an Italian mill. Stocked in UO Home, this is made by California-based artist, Kira Cyan and aims to spread positivity and happiness! A daily reminder to embrace life's adventures and go with the flow. Just what any graduate needs.
How much should you spend on a graduation gift?
This is a tricky one, but how much you should spend on a graduation gift is one of the most asked questions relating to the topic! This obviously is going to vary greatly, depending on what kind of graduation it is, your relationship with the graduate, and what you can afford. Basically, it's not a one size fits all solution but one thing is for sure, it's the thought that counts! When I opened the question of graduate gift budget up to the experts, the numbers I received varied from $25 to $1000 but one sentiment remained constant — a gift that shows the graduate you know them and you care about the next step in their life will make the most impact, no matter the price tag.
How we chose these graduation gifts
When putting together this roundup of graduation gifts we did extensive research into the things that graduates right now are searching for and what their plans post-graduation are! Naturally varied responses informed our decision to cover all bases from travel-related gifts to home décor and jewelry. Everything included has been super highly rated by buyers and offers something for everyone.