20 Gift Ideas for Graduates Under $25!
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Celebrate your grad with these clever graduation gift ideas!
Need some inexpensive graduation gift ideas?
The end of the school year is upon us, and we’re getting ready to celebrate seniors and the class of 2023! We love celebrating all the graduates out there! 🎉 Here are 20 unique, useful, meaningful, fun, and affordable graduation gift ideas they’ll be sure to love.
The best part? Most of these graduation gift ideas are under $25! 👏
1. Gift a cute ID lanyard wallet that they’ll actually want to wear.
Leather Badge Holder $7.99
A stylish lanyard is a sure way for any young adult to keep track of their ID and other important stuff. Since this one is so cute, they won’t mind wearing it, either!
Looking for something a little more masculine? These retractable lanyards are super durable no matter what school, work, or life throws at your grad!
2. Gift a rolling laundry basket on wheels to make laundry trips easier.
While this gift may not seem very glamorous, your graduate will surely appreciate its practicality while they’re lugging their laundry around their future apartment or college dorm.
Pair it with some laundry detergent, fabric softener, and slimline hangers, and you’ll have a gift bundle that will definitely get used!
“I loved the wheeled hamper my mom gave me when I went off to college! I lived on the 3rd floor and the laundry was in the basement, so it was a life-saver!” – Chelsey
3. Make this easy money lei as a unique graduation gift idea!
DIY Money Lei – The final cost is up to you!
This cute money Lei is such a fun graduation gift idea and a really simple DIY project! It’s perfect for any graduating senior, because who doesn’t love getting money?!
Best of all, you can make it fit within any budget and easily customize it with your grad’s school colors.
4. Write a note of encouragement on a Lovepop 3D card.
Lovepop 3D cards $13+
If you like to send meaningful handwritten cards, Lovepop offers beautifully designed 3D graduation cards.
Just keep in mind that these cards feel very thick due to the intricate designs, so your recipient may assume that they’ll find a cash gift inside based on the weight of the card. 🤣 With this in mind, you may feel compelled to add money or a gift card as a little extra gift for a deserving graduate.
Stock up and save! When you buy 5 cards for $50, you’ll spend just $10 on each card (normally $13 EACH). Consider buying ahead for Father’s Day, birthdays, and other occations to take advantage of this deal!
5. Use a Dollar Tree hamper to create a DIY college survival kit.
College Survival Kit under $15
Have an old shoebox or hamper? You could decorate an old shoebox with some wrapping paper you have laying around or even pick up an affordable container/hamper from the Dollar Tree and fill it with some essentials that your senior will need on their next adventure.
Chances are, you already have some stuff laying around the house to fill it with, but if you need some ideas, we’re adding some Command strips, Band-Aids, an all-in-one tool, labels, stamps (to write home of course), super glue, and some baggie clips.
Here some additional fun ideas you can grab at Dollar Tree:
- Flip flops for shower shoes
- Earplugs and sleeping masks
- Laundry detergent/dryer sheets
- Laundry basket/laundry bags
- Food items like Ramen noodles & microwave popcorn
- Shower gel and a loofah
- Coffee mugs/cups and instant coffee
- Hand soap/hand sanitizer
- Personal care items like deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
“My mom gifted me a box of essentials when I went off to college, and it was such a cute and unexpected idea. It ended up being something that I actually used a lot!” – Amber R.
6. Send them off with a book full of wisdom.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss – $8.48
An inspirational book can make a great graduation gift for a young person who’s setting off to make their own way in the world. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a perfect choice for this momentous occasion, and it can double as a graduation card when you write your own words of wisdom inside the front cover.
Amazon has a ton of other great books to inspire graduates as they begin a new chapter of their lives. Browse them all and then choose the perfect title for your grad!
7. This fill-in-the-blank book makes it easy to send them off with a personalized gift.
I Wrote a Book About You $13.67
What’s better than a book written by Dr. Seuss? A book that was written about your graduate by you, of course!
If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of writing a book, don’t be! This highly-rated gift comes with fun, lighthearted prompts that make it easy to fill the pages with cherished memories of your grad.
8. Graduates with green thumbs will love this fun face planter.
Face Plant Holder – $14.98
Draw on it, express how you’re feeling, have a place to set your glasses, or just enjoy a unique way to display a plant! This little planter will be a cute addition to any graduate’s dorm room desk, and it can also double as a pencil holder!
While you’ll have to spend a little extra cash to put an actual plant in it, this would still make a great frugal gift idea! Consider choosing a succulent, so your grad can enjoy a little low-maintenance greenery in their life.
Hip Tip: Did you know that college students can score a FREE Amazon Prime membership for 6 months?!
9. Wish your grad a bright future with a light bulb gift!
Choose from one of three light bulb sizes for an out-of-the-box gift. Just unscrew the top and fill this light bulb decor item with some goodies. Whether it’s candy or cash, anything you put in this light bulb is sure to light up your grad’s face!
10. A college cookbook can be a lifesaver for hungry dorm-dwellers.
College Cookbooks $7.83+
Give your grad the gift of cheap, hassle-free, and delicious meals! When the dining hall just isn’t cutting it, your grad should know some simple meals they can whip up in their own dorm room.
Believe it or not, there are actually hundreds of awesome cookbooks like this to choose from on Amazon. They’re reasonably priced too, so consider grabbing one (or two) for your grad’s next chapter of life!
11. Order a photo book for your grad to preserve their fondest memories.
Walgreens Photo Books $9.99+
Surprise your grad with one of these adorable photo books from Walgreens. Watch for one of the Photo Center’s frequent sales, so you can get an amazing deal on this thoughtful gift! Your grad will be smiling ear to ear remembering all of their fondest pre-graduation moments. ❤️
If your grad has an Instax Mini camera, you might also consider buying them this Mini Photo Album. It’s perfect for storing photos, especially if any are displayed in their dorm room and have to be taken down at the end of each year.
12. Every grad could use a pair of sunglasses!
SUNGAIT Women’s Vintage Round Sunglasses $11.99 (regularly $19.99)
Clip the 5% coupon
Final cost just $11.39
You can’t go wrong by gifting your grad a stylish accessory like a pair of sunglasses! These frames are similar to Ray-Bans, at around just 10% of the price. 😂 With a universally flattering frame style, any grad would look amazing in them. And at this price, you can scoop up a pair for yourself too!
A few of our Hip teammates have these sunglasses, and they are seriously impressed by the quality of these sunglasses.
To really embrace a pair of sunnies as a graduation gift idea, include a fun saying in a card letting your grad know their “future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades”. Then, feel old when you have to explain this 80’s reference to them. 😎
13. Remind your grad of what’s important with this gratitude journal.
It’s so important for everyone to develop good self-care habits, and the sooner, the better! Keeping a journal can help your young adult practice gratitude, and they’ll only need to carve out one minute per day to develop a habit that will serve them well throughout their entire lifetime.
There are tons of different options and designs on Amazon, and virtually any one of them would make a frugal yet meaningful gift.
14. Help your grad establish an organized workspace.
Rose Gold Desk Organizer $13.97
If you’re looking for a practical graduation gift idea that will be used daily, look no further! Whether it’s high school or college graduation, this is a gift anyone can appreciate.
The Amazon Basics line of mesh desk organizers comes in black, if your grad would prefer that aesthetic over the rose gold.
15. Help your grad honor a loved one with a photo charm for their tassel.
If your grad will be missing someone special as they walk across the stage, this meaningful gift is such a beautiful way to help them remember their loved ones on their special day.
Etsy has a big selection of graduation photo charms that can be added to your graduate’s tassel. They come in a variety of styles and finishes, with the option to either upload a photo or have the charm shipped empty, so grads can add a photo of their own.
Some charms can even be strung together for multiple photo charms hanging with the tassel.
16. Gift a Tile Mate tag so they never lose anything again!
Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker $23 (regularly $24.99)
If your grad is constantly on the go, you can be sure they’ll misplace something from time to time. The sleek and functional Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker is an elegant solution to this problem! These trackers have over 20,000 five-star Amazon reviews with an overall 4.5-star rating!
Is your grad more of an Apple fanatic? Consider Apple Air Tags as a gift for them!
17. Order a customizable Graduation Metal Bucket to fill with your own goodies!
Order your graduate their very own personalized metal bucket! You can choose the color of the bucket from 15 options. You’ll also be able to add a special message, graduation year, and name.
Then, you can fill it with any goodies you’d like! Note that the contents of the bucket aren’t included, but this bucket serves as a great jumping-off point for a personalized gift. For fillers, think snacks, small toiletries, office supplies, and dollar bills. The possibilities are endless!
18. Fill your graduate’s world with music from this powerful little speaker.
Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker $27.99 (regularly $29.99)
Clip the $4 digital coupon
Final cost $23.99!
No matter what your young adult’s post-graduation plans are, they’re going to want to take their favorite tunes with them wherever they go!
With its astonishing sound, easy connectivity, and waterproof build, this Bluetooth speaker can keep the music playing for up tp 24 hours on one charge.
19. Give your grad a special place to display that hard-earned tassel.
Your graduate will love having a space to show off their graduation cap’s tassel! Rather than hiding away in a drawer or gathering dust on a rearview mirror, your graduate can display their tassel with pride in a keepsake frame that will preserve it for years to come!
20. Send them off into the world well-hydrated with a new tumbler.
A new reusable water bottle or tumbler makes a great gift, and you don’t have to spend $45+ dollars on one of the viral Stanely Tumblers to keep your grad hydrated! Five Below has one of the most inexpensive look-alikes we’ve seen, and there’s a beautiful selection of colors to choose from in-store.
At just $5, you’ll have plenty of room left in the budget to stow some goodies inside these big 40-oz. tumblers. You may consider adding electrolyte packets or other drink mixes, small snacks, or a gift card as an added surprise.