25 Simple or Personalized Graduation Keepsake Ideas to Gift


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Graduating from high school, college, or graduate school is a huge accomplishment. Countless hours of study, reading, note-taking, testing, and more go into a diploma. 

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There’s no better way to celebrate than to get the happy grad in your life something extra special to commemorate their hard work and accomplishments. If you need a gift you know your grad will love, mix and match from these gift ideas below.

Tip: If you want to create a lasting keepsake from a loved one's ashes, you can transform the cremains into a diamond with Eterneva or into cremation stones with Parting Stone

High School Graduation Keepsake Gift ideas

When someone graduates from high school, it’s the culmination of an entire career in school up to that point. It’s an exciting time to celebrate with gifts that are fitting of such hard work.

1. Shadow box

You can fully customize a shadow box made for the grad in your life. Place things inside such as favorite pictures, memory items from football games or prom, tickets from sporting events, and other things that represent good times with friends at school.

2. Preserved graduation cap

A framed graduation cap preserved in a shadow box is deeply meaningful. This gift recognizes your grad’s accomplishments and offers a permanent reminder of graduation.

3. Photo album

Whether a physical album or a digital option, fill it with pictures from your grad’s high school years. Include pictures of sporting events, prom and homecoming, special events, projects, and even a few pictures you took of your grad studying.

4. Key chain

Give your grad a keychain commemorating the graduation year. Personalize it with your grad’s name or customize it with charms such as a cap, diploma, or tassel.

5. License plate surround

Give your grad something to show off. License plate surrounds are fully customizable so you can add wording like “Proud Grad 2020” or “Graduate 2020! Upward and onward!”

6. Graduation memory box

A memory box is like a time capsule. What better time to give one than on graduation? Include a few keepsakes you want them to have but leave room for them to add special items of their own.

7. Customized tumbler

Many high school grads go off to college, some get jobs right away, and others travel. Celebrate with something that can go anywhere — a customized tumbler. Include the graduation year and an extra word or two such as “Congrats!” to show how proud you are.

8. Custom docking station

Is the grad you know going off to college? Dorm rooms can be tight and a custom docking station is just the thing they need. The station offers a location to place a phone, wallet, keys, glasses, watch, and other miscellaneous items. Your personalized message engraved on the front will make it a treasured gift.

9. Keepsake trinket box

Know someone who is always losing track of items like keys, rings, and jewelry? Get a keepsake trinket box. Customize the top to a phrase of your choosing such as, “Congrats Grad!” or “Way to Go 2020 Graduate!” It’s a great place to put miscellaneous items.

10. Ornament

Get one of the most common keepsake gifts for graduates — ornaments. Personalize it with the school colors, a picture, or even fill a glass ball with the tassel for a forever keepsake.

11. Commemorative blanket

Customized blankets are easy to create and fun to receive. Include pictures from key moments from high school, friends, and other fun memories you know your grad wants to look back on, whatever happens in life.

College Graduation Keepsake Gift ideas

College graduation is a huge deal. It takes late nights, all-nighters, loads of caffeine, and hours upon hours of study to mark this momentous occasion. Get the grad in your life a gift that is fitting of this accomplishment. 

12. Engraved wallet

College students are notoriously short on cash. Gift your grad an engraved wallet with a special verse or quote on the inside. Make it extra special by placing cash inside for a little jump start on your grad’s future money-making career.

13. Custom Sweatshirt

Everyone loves sweatshirts — they’re comfortable and perfect for fall and winter weather. What better way to show off an accomplishment than a custom sweatshirt for your graduate? 

14. Framed diploma and tassel

As cool as receiving a high school diploma may be, getting your collegiate diploma is when you hit the big time. Give your grad a gift to treasure by framing the diploma and tassel and place it behind glass to ensure nothing can ever damage it. This gift makes a beautiful presentation for the wall or displayed on a desk.

15. Etched glass paperweight

If the collegiate grad you know is the studious type or is going on to grad school, get a personalized etched glass paperweight. It’s a beautiful and permanent reminder of all the hard work leading up to that point and something to help your grad keep pushing on in a career or graduate work.

16. Custom license plate

If getting a new car is on the college bucket list, give your grad the gift of a custom license plate. Don’t choose the customization — give the gift and let your grad pick it out. What better way to show how proud you are?

17. Custom graduate figurine

Does the grad you know enjoy little knickknacks? Get a customized graduate figurine to display. These figurines can be tailored to look like your grad and you can customize everything from cap and gown color to skin and hair color. Make it look just like your grad for a special gift.

18. Photograph on canvas

Everyone loves photographs on canvas. You can personalize canvas creations, making it possible to get your grad the perfect gift. Choose a picture or a collage of pictures that you know characterize your grad’s time in college. Include pictures of special events and their best friends.

Finally, add wording such as, “Congratulations on your accomplishment” or “Congrats Grad 2020!” You can choose to get it framed or leave it on unframed stretched canvas. Either way, these gifts look great on the wall and your grad is sure to love it.

19. Personalized mug

Most college students drink a lot of coffee. Most people entering into their careers do, too. What do collegiates and career-driven people that drink coffee have in common?

They all have a special mug to enjoy their steaming coffee. Personalize a mug for your graduate with the year of graduation, and words like, “Congratulations!” and “You did it!” 

Opt for a style that is slim and slender for those who appreciate smaller mugs or a mug that has a thicker handle and chunkier style for those who like larger, sturdier mugs.

20. Customized wall art

You can put wall art on nearly any medium from canvas and paper to wood and metal. These pieces are perfect for the wall or as a smaller desk piece. Whether you choose to stylize a graduation picture or simply stylize a graduation quote, it’s a thoughtful and extra special gift.

Graduation Keepsake Gift Ideas for Grad School and Beyond

Those who go through grad school have chosen a path few people take. These years require incredible amounts of study, dedication, learning, and contribution to the educational world at large. Graduating with a certificate or a doctorate takes tremendous work and should be recognized as such.

21. Personalized leather journal

A leather journal with the graduate’s name embossed on the outside makes an outstanding gift. Your grad can record memories of hard work and use the journal as a place to continue the discoveries, questions, and theories they continue to formulate as they advance that career.

22. Custom travel mug

Is the graduate planning to travel the world or pursue their career overseas? Get a customized travel mug and remind your grad of how far they've already come.

23. Engraved pen/pencil set

Nothing says achievement and studiousness like an engraved pen and pencil set. This set will serve as a permanent reminder of collegiate accomplishments.

24. Engraved pocket watch

An engraved pocket watch is an elegant and beautiful gift. It could make an excellent gift for the right person. Engrave the back with your grad’s name and year of graduation and the inside with a meaningful quote or verse.

Recognize and Celebrate Graduates

Graduating from high school, college, or postgraduate studies takes a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and good old-fashioned blood, sweat, and tears. Recognize those accomplishments and your grad will appreciate your thoughtful graduation keepsake.

infographic of high school graduation gift ideas

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