Liza Utter's Top Grad Party Tips


  • Join Forces with 2-3 other grad families to throw the party. Keeps costs down, creates less work for everyone, and with 3 grads in one location, you'll be the party to go to!
  • Don't forget to include your grads in the party planning.
  • Pick a gender neutral party theme like "Picture Your Future!"
  • Host an "Open House," which gives friends and families ample time with each other and not feeling locked into a sit down dinner. Helps manage your parking situation as well!
  • Keep food simple & savvy - serve foods that don't need to be heated or chilled. Set up DIY stations to allow guests to feel at home and keep you free to enjoy the fun party.

DIY Photo Banner of the graduating class.

  • Paper Plates
  • Spray Paint
  • Tacky Spray (All Purpose Permanent Spray Adhesive)
  • Twine (jute works well)
  • Clothespins


  1. Spray paint regular paper plates in the grad's high school colors. Alternate plates (i.e. green and gold).
  2. Take a photo of your grad in cap and gown and print out on a color printer. Can use regular printer paper.
  3. Cut photo in the shape of a circle to be placed in the center of the paper plate.
  4. Spray a small spritz of Tacky Spray onto center of plate.
  5. Adhere photo to plate. Rub over photo lightly with your hand to secure.
  6. Hang twine then clip paper plate to twine with clothespin.

DIY Time Capsule

  • Have guests (fellow graduates) bring something that has to do with the years spent in school (i.e. friendship bracelets, school newspaper clippings, movie tickets, sports medals, report cards, etc.)
  • Have grads fill out an "end of year reflection" questionnaire with their favorite things, colors, movies and songs listed on it.
  • Put it all together in the time capsule (box, glass jar, plastic bin) and seal with a label that says, "Not to be opened until 10 year reunion!"

Grad Hat

  • Individual graduation hat treasure boxes can be picked up at a party store.
  • Guests can fill them with index cards that contain wishes, advice and money!

DIY CD & Tassel Party Favors

  • Blank CDs
  • Cellophane Wrap
  • Tassel Ribbon


  1. Burn a CD of your grad's top 3 songs for each year in school. Make copies.
  2. Wrap with cellophane.
  3. Tie with a tassel ribbon.

Step & Repeat
Create a photo backdrop for your grad by creating a "Step & Repeat" like those found on Hollywood red carpets. Have "paparazzi" take the photos.

  1. Buy a strip of red felt at fabric store for the "red carpet."
  2. Hang your backdrop with long swatches of fabric from the fabric store in the grad's school colors.
  3. Add streamers and grad caps as decoration.
  4. Rent velvet ropes (stanchions) from a party rental store and place over the red carpet.
  5. Photographer can be a designated family member, friend, or a paid photographer.
  6. Photograph away!

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