For a big college graduation party at a restaurant for 50, I need to come up with something cute to decorate a gift/cake table in the corner of the room. Would love lots of good ideas. Thanks!

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22 Answers

  1. E.D. Green wrote on :

    How about a Personalized Grad Guys Stand-in:

  2. Francesca Kranzberg wrote on :

    Green table cloth with yellow and/or white accents (can be the print of the cloth or whatever you use to attach it to the table or for draping effect). Or use a shear green (solid or print) cloth over a solid yellow or white cloth, showing the layers. Can even use three layers, showing each one. For behind the table “Google” “cityscapes” or “cityscape wallpapers”. Find one or more that you like and print them as large as you can. Paste to poster board (the two or three panel poster board used for science fairs is great for this) and display as a backdrop. Or if you really want a great photo, try a museum gift shop for a poster. The nice thing is this can part be done in advance, and simply placed in the corner on the table at the last minute.

  3. Marcia Robinson wrote on :

    The money tree sounds great. I know someone did it for me when I left a particular job. Only difference was that the tree was on a tremendous hand-made card. Loved it.

  4. Barbara Torris wrote on :

    I like the card tree a lot…how about a money tree. I know…it is kind of tacky but still what grad wouldn’t like to have a little cash to blow and not on books!!!

  5. Jyl Ferris wrote on :

    get a potted tree, small cards with ribbons through them. Have everyone write their best wishes for the graduate and hang them on the tree.

  6. Susan Jacobson wrote on :

    What is their sport, hobby something they enjoy in life? Favorite colors What are they like? Female or male?

  7. gerdi scheffler wrote on :

    Pictures of the graduate (and friends?) from different grades, Kindergarten through High School and College, maybe together with some of the early “art works” and writings.

  8. Debra Bachelder wrote on :

    Home dec dept for tassles the color of school he or she is leaving and going to; bowls of candy (vary heights on pedestals): order customized M&Ms; smarties; Laffy Taffy and then according to personality Hot Tamales? Sour Patch? or something with “Sweet” in the name. Digital photo frame would be great to display, too.

  9. Sara Wald wrote on :

    Photo cupcakes with a picture of the grad on cake stands (you can get these at Target or Home Goods) could be cute. Here’s how to make photo cupcakes: http://content.photojojo.com/diy/photo-cupcakes-howto/

    Amy Atlas is the world’s best dessert table decorator – I often look at her blog/website for inspiration: http://www.amyatlas.com/index.php/main/portfolio/

  10. DawnMarie Helin wrote on :

    Deb-If it’s available, I would take come photos of the grads earlier accomplishments; kindergarden, middle or high school events. I would frame them and place one at every table. Then I would have duplicates made of the photos and place them around the cake with the them “You’ve come a Long Way Baby”….if possible, edible reprints to decorate the cake…..be sure to tie the colors together with frame mats or small ribbons around flower vases at each table next to the photo.

  11. Sharon Kidd wrote on :


  12. Joan Ross wrote on :

    If you have a digital photo frame you can set one up near the cake and have ongoing photos of the graduate, ceremony, school days etc etc. Also you may want to scatter small glitter decorations on the table such as graduation caps, diplomas etc etc. I would not want to deter to much from the cake which if it is the main attraction on the table.
    You may also want a poster on a stand next to the table with a variety of photos of the graduate., with some helium balloons
    One can be as elaborate or a simple as one wants to be.

  13. Teri Newman wrote on :

    The cake is the star of the table. Use a glass pedestal and put some white or colored lights underneath it. Nicely wrapped gifts will be their own decoration so you don’t have to do much. Simplicity is much more tasteful than a lot of garish decorations that no on will notice.

  14. Barbara Luke wrote on :

    Pictures of the student, all sizes at different heights. Flowers the color of the school.

  15. debra geist wrote on :

    I have been using tall 5 foot free standing easels for height and interest. Cut out the college initial(s) out of foam board – or lightweight plywood and paint with school colors. Build them at least 3 – 4 foot wide and tall. Then for the party decorate the initial with the graduates fun pictures and place on easel. Even the easel can be decorated with ribbons, college testing books, notes, book pages etc. Place near the cake table. Then the actual cake table can be left for serving the fun desserts. Add various school themed containers filled with coordinated colored candy, or the grads favorite snacks around your cake. (ie megaphones, school crested coffee mugs or glassware etc) Place on different height cake plates, or use books under tablecloth to add varied heights for added interest. Depending on the college, you might be able to find your college themed fabric in a local fabric shop to top the cake table skirting. Honor the grad personalizing their big grad day. Have fun with it!
    PS We have used these easels for all kinds of different parties, even weddings to hold framed family/couple pics. Can also use easel in your home for art/painting when not using at a fun party! You will get your money’s worth!

  16. Jaki Scarcello wrote on :

    You could crr
    Eate levels on the table using textbooks from college or high school if you have them
    Or ,,,do a globe theme using whole earth balls of all sizes to decorate,the theme being…the world is now yours dear grduate, you have the whole world in your hands

  17. Sandra Rittenhouse wrote on :

    Since this is a new chapter of their life, you could do something of a spin on this is your life…Use a scrapbook bound with leather for a son or something more feminine for a daughter…use gold paint for edging…Glue chapter pages which show grade levels etc…but the page you really show has that serial story conclusion …and for the next…Or,…if they are one of the lucky ones to have a job as they graduate…do decor transitioning them…working in finance…mock up some stock certificates and download some reports…collage against the WSJ…Engineering…get some old fashioned grid paper and tools and use those…Keep in mind that the table decor should be elevated so that it isn’t flat…When you add height you create eye movement which makes the space more interesting…

  18. Barb Puhala wrote on :

    Buy some fabulous fabric cover the table with it…drape some soft scarf like material over the edges and secure with satin ribbons and small fresh nosegays..or silk nosegays…add a vase or two of fresh flowers…if it’s for a guy…switch to a masculine theme…think sports…or cars..even twinkle lights could be fun…good luck and have fun….

  19. Debbie Nye wrote on :

    just an idea, you could do a sheet cake with a rice paper picture of the honoree’s first day of school or a school picture from elementary school, etc. Many bakeries will decorate from a photo. I used this for a 50th birthday party for a friend and it was a big hit.

  20. deborah weed wrote on :

    I’d love to give you feedback. Here are some questions that would help make the process more creative. What are some of the favorite things of the person who is graduating? What is their passion? Where do they see themselves in the future? I’ve always done a theme and so that everything ties together. Yet, to make that work, one needs to understand what would bring a smile to the person who is being honored. Once I know that, I’d be happy to share great visual ideas to make your event shine!

    • Debbie Schrade wrote on :

      Interior Design, Baylor Bear, city dreams and aspirations, sophisticated, funny, and fun. Has to be green, yellow and white accents, whatever I do. Looking for some fun ideas that aren’t overly fussy, but have impact. This will be in a restaurant, with very limited time to set this up, between the day’s events and travel. Thanks for y

    • deborah weed wrote on :

      Deb, I am going to suggest a couple things that are a little fussy. It is only because I know how sentimental ideas go over. . .usually terrific! Here are a couple of suggestions: Get cut out’s of bears and create “BEAR HUGS!” Allow guests, either before or during the event to “write” their bear hug to the honoree. Then use the theme “Even Baylor Bear gets tender when he thinks about you!” You can still use the green, yellow and white color combo. Another one is to find his/her favorite designers and have them give designing advice about “The best way to DESIGN YOUR LIFE!” You can go through magazines for this one. If you want to keep the color theme, go to a KINKO’s or use your own printer to make them tinted in the colors of your choice. Finally, you can make the table look like an over-sized purse (assuming that this is a young lady) and then put in all the “sophisticated, funny and fun things” in/on the purse and make them really clever, i.e. “Magical blush when she falls in love or makes a mistake, that will clear away the doubt, etc. . .I hope this sparks some of your creative ideas. . .

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