Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Graduation Gifts

What an incredibly busy week last week was. From finally moving my husbands shop to it's new location, to weeding the garden, to graduation parties galore. I guess I am at that stage in life where there are going to be non-stop graduation parties for the next three years. If you have been reading along with my blog, you know I can't just give a card with money like everybody else, I have to make it more special somehow.

Well, this past weekend we had two graduation parties for two very special girls in our families lives. They are both heading out of state for college next year, so I used that to my advantage when designing their graduation presents.

Going Away to College Graduation Gift


  • 1/2 gallon Ball jar
  • Half of a cereal box
  • 1/2 large bag of M&M's (plain)
  • Four envelopes
  • 8 quarters
  • $20 bill
  • Four notes, either hand written or computer generated
  • Ribbon 
  • Tape



First you will want to gather the pages that will be stuffed inside of the jar. You can use mine HERE and change some wording and pictures to make it work for your situation. Or, completely come up with your own to make it personal. Use inside jokes, family stories anything to make it personal.

Once the notes are done, attach the cash! I used duct tape to make sure they stayed put, but you can use regular scotch tape or even washi tape. Fold the notes up and put into envelopes marked for when they should be opening them. I used: Finals, Homesick, No Clean Clothes, and Need Chocolate.

Now rip apart a cereal box and cut off the edges to make one clean side to use. Roll it into a tube and stick it into the jar to make sure it will fit. You will need to take it out again, so this is just to see if it is too big. Remove out of the jar and cut if needed. Otherwise duct tape it into a tube, Tape both sides so that it is secure. You will now have to fold it a little to cram it back into the jar. Be careful to not crease the cardboard, just bend it enough to get it into the jar again.

The fun part is now trying to get all the M&M's into the outside of the jar between the jar and cardboard. The easiest way I found was to crease back the taped part of the cereal box, and kind of "cup" the M&M's in my hand and funnel them in. Be sure to wiggle the jar every so often so that they fill in all the space. Take your time, and if any fall and you happen to eat them, that is just part of the fun of making this gift.

I had an issue getting the M&M's all the way up to the top of the jar, which is why I used the ribbon at the top of the jar. I was trying to hide the cardboard so that they literally thought it was just a huge jar of M&Ms. You can tie ribbon, cloth or anything around the top to hide the cardboard and make the jar look a little prettier too.

Stuff the four envelopes with their notes, inside of the jar. I put a piece of paper over the lid and under the rim and wrote "Bring me to College" on it. Hopefully they will understand that this gift must be packed and brought along with them on their trip.

I also taped a card to the outside of the jar so that they would know who it was from. Side note: when bringing this to the party, if it is outside, make sure to not set it in direct sunlight or the M&Ms will melt!

Once delivered, sit back and wait for them to discover the inside of the jar. I am hoping to receive a regular thank you card for "the giant jar of M&Ms" and then once they actually get to college, a text when they actually open it. I am hoping for great reactions...I will let you know what happens.

Stay tuned for more graduation present ideas. I have two of my past daycare children coming to the University where I work next year, so their presents took on a different direction.

I am sharing this post with all of these lovely bloggers.


  1. What a cute idea! I like that they can open the cards when they need them. :)


  2. WHat a fun idea! Thanks so much for sharing at Monday Funday Link Party - pinned!

  3. Love this idea!
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre hop!

  4. What a sweet idea! (pun intended ;) I know any graduate would appreciate such a thoughtful and fun gift. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.