Graduation Party - An Easy Open House

Having an easy open house graduation party is a great way to accommodate all of your family and friends without all the hassle. Just follow these simple directions and your graduation open house will get an A+!
1. Send Your Graduation Party Invitation
  • Personalize Your Party! Send a fantastic Personalized Graduation Invitation to get everyone excited about the party. Or check out these photo ticket invitations - they're sure to be a hit! Backstage passes and semi-custom caricatures for a boy or a girl are always popular.
  • Keep it simple by sending your graduation announcements and invitations in the same envelope. (Saves a stamp!)
  • A great way to make the invitation stand out from the rest is to include a little graduation confetti in each envelope. A no-hassle addition that packs a punch!
2. decorate your home
  • Welcome your guests with a Personalized Graduation Banner that lets you add a picture of your grad as well as a message!
  • The grad may not be able to greet every guest at the door, so have a graduation photo cutout of the guest of honor waiting near your entrance.  Also makes a great photo op!
  • Set up a sign-in table with mementos and pictures of the graduate. This is a good place for scrapbooks, awards, senior projects, team photos and prom pictures! Why not have guests sign a matted picture of the grad or a personalized graduation sign-in board to keep as a reminder of this special day?
  • Scatter bunches of graduation balloons throughout the party area to tie it all together. Group them in odd numbers (it looks nicer) and add a bright balloon weight. School colors is a  great color scheme for balloon bouquets!
3. create a menu and decorate your tables
  • Don't serve a large sit down meal at this party since the idea of an open house is to let people come and go all day. Just set out a buffet of foods for guests to help themselves. Don't forget graduation theme paper goods - they're perfect for an easy graduation party (no dishes!)
  • Here are a few menu ideas that work well at graduation open house parties
    • Pizza
    • Pasta (baked ziti, lasagna, mac & cheese)
    • Baked Beans
    • Party Meatballs
    • Pasta Salad
    • Veggie Tray
    • Fruit Salad
    • Spinach Artichoke Dip (great in a crock pot)
    • Taco/Burrito/Nacho Bar
    • Baked Potatoes and Toppings Bar
    • Dessert Buffet (cookies, brownies, cupcakes)
  • Serve foods in large disposable foil roasting pans. The lids will keep the bugs out. You can layer two pans together with a bit of ice in between to keep foods cool (like the fruit), and buy stands and sterno to keep the rest warm. Do not set your buffet up in a sunny area! In the house is best, or at the very least in the shade. 
  • Instead of open bowls of chips on the tables, fill bowls with snack size bags of chips and pretzels. It will keep the bugs away, and you won't have dozens of hands in the food :)
  • For drinks, fill an inflatable cooler with several 12 packs of your family's favorite sodas. Don't forget water with personalized graduation water bottle labels. Offer a variety; a cola (Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper), a clear soda (7-Up, Sprite, Squirt), a diet option, a non-caffeinated beverage or two (root beer, fruit punch, lemonade, sports drink, juice boxes), and bottled water. If you serve alcohol, place the beer in a separate cooler to keep out the kids.
  • Use Grad Cap Serving Trays for grab and go foods like veggie and fruit trays.
  • Since everyone will be eating on the go, make silverware bundles by wrapping plastic utensils with a napkin and some colorful party beads in the grad's school colors.

Don't forget to decorate your tables! These ideas will take almost no time to set up:

  • Layer two plastic tablecovers (in the grad's school colors) to add some interest to your tables.
  • High school or college pennants arranged in mason jars make an easy decoration or centerpiece. Plus, guests can take them home as favors after the party is over!
4. decorate your guests
  • When your guests walk in, hand them a graduation wearable to get them in the mood to party! Here are a few of our favorites:
    • Flower leis in the grad's school colors
    • Party beads in the grad's school colors
    • Novelty sunglasses are always a hit, especially at an outdoor grad party.
5. handout favors saying "thanks for coming!"
Your grad will never forget such a fantastic party! Make sure your guests don't either by sending them home with a fun party favor:

Have fun planning your easy grad party, and congratulations from the Party Girl!