Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

So it’s that time of year: graduation time. Your four years of high school have culminated into these final moments, where your last weeks are spent worrying about prom, searching for roommates for college, signing yearbooks, and finding ways to say goodbye to all your friends.  And it seems that the last one is unsolvable. You’re trying to find ways to show your friends how much they have meant to you in these last few years, how lucky you are that they have put up with your mental breakdowns, your fan girl phases, and your occasional moments of stupidity. You want to find them something that is nice, personal–but getting them something from the store just doesn’t feel right. Well if that’s how you’re feeling, then you’ve come to the right place! Finding the perfect gifts for your friends is quite the struggle; I would know because I was going through it a few months ago. But never fear, after spending quite a few hours on Pinterest (more hours than I would like to admit), I have compiled a list of DIY gifts that are the perfect blend of personal and adorable.


First on the list is mugs. I know what you’re thinking… mugs? What could I even do with that? Well, if you’ve ever visited Pinterest, (or even Tumblr) you’ve probably seen quite a few pictures of personalized mugs floating around people’s pages. You see them with the quotes or the cute designs, and you wonder how people got these designs on their mugs, thinking to yourself that its probably some long hard process. Well in reality, it’s actually a very easy DIY Project. All you need is mug, a sharpie and an oven.

  1. First you need to buy your materials.The mug can be from anywhere: Target, Walmart, Marshall’s,  or even your local dollar store, as long as it is ceramic. WARNING: Please do not try any other materials.
  2. Draw your design with a Sharpie
  3. Once you finish designing, take your mug and place it in a dish. Then place it into the oven for 30 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit. Make sure that the mug is in the oven while you preheat, so that the preheat time will count towards the 30 minutes.
  4. Check on the mug occasionally to make sure that it has not cracked. Once 30 minutes have passed , turn off the oven.
  5. Do NOT try to touch the mug, leave it alone for approximately 24 hours, or until it has completely cooled.
  6. Ta-Da! You now have a perfect gift for one of your friends.

Not only is it super easy and cute, it’s a great way to personalize someone’s gift. You can draw your friends favorite quote, a quick sketch, or anything your heart desires.  Of course, it may seem a little strange to hand someone an empty mug, BUT, once you finish designing the mug you can fill it will all kinds of things that your friend loves: candy, gift cards, tea, makeup, chocolate, perfumes, etc.

So I tried my hand at this DIY(Picture Below), and it worked perfectly. I wrote song lyrics from mine, and some of my friends favorite songs on the mugs. Not only did the Sharpie not wash off, its actually holding up pretty well.


If you’re not into making mugs but  you love painting or drawing, then painting on canvases may be the best gift option for you. This option, like the mugs, offers so much variety. It allows you to really think about what your friend likes and allows you to make something that fits their personality and style. All you need is some paint, canvases and paintbrushes.  For the canvases, you can literally paint anything for your friend: their favorite quote from a movie or book, their university colors, or even something just for decoration. You can even make multiple canvases that they can use in their dorm room. If you need some idea’s for canvases, Pinterest has  a bunch of boards that are solely dedicated to the purpose of painting canvases. Here are some of my favorites:

Photo Memories

Over the span of high school, you’ve probably  amassed a bunch of pictures. From homecoming games to Friday night outings. There’s so many that you probably don’t even know what to do with them. So why not use them for some DIY projects. There are a bunch of different things you can do with photos for your friends, DIY wise, but these are two of my favorites. If you want more ideas Pinterest is great as is a regular Google search.

Option 1:

Materials: clothespins, cardboard (any type of sturdy board), paint, super glue, ribbon

  1. Cut a circle out of the cardboard
  2. Paint the cardboard with any design/quotes
  3. While you wait for that to dry, paint or design your clothespins however you want.
  4. Next begin to superglue the clothespins to the front part of the board, with the pinch part of the clothespin on the top so that you can place pictures.
  5. Once you have finished this part, it should look like the picture to the left. Turn around your piece and fasten the ribbon with super glue, so that you have created a way for it to hang on a hook.
  6. Select pictures of you and your friend and place it in your clothespin
  7. Enjoy!

Option 2:

So while I was trolling the Internet for gift ideas, I came across my favorite one so far (for pictures) by A Beautiful Mess. Most of us spend our lives on Instagram. That’s where we upload all our finest moments, from meeting Harry Styles to getting into UC Berkeley. Whatever it is, it’s on Instagram. So now the dilemma lies, what can you do with your favorite Instagram pictures? An Instagram Picture Canvas!

Materials: 12×12 canvas, 9, 4×4 Instagram pictures printed on photo paper, paintbrush and Modge Podge.


  1. Cover the canvas with the Modge Podge and arrange your photos.
  2. Once you have placed all 12 pictures, go over the whole canvas again with the Modge Podge.
  3. Let it dry completely, it may look streaky, but don’t worry it drys beautifully. 
  4. Present it to your friend!

If you don’t want to use Instagram pictures you can use any other pictures that you want, you can even buy an 8×10 canvas and cover it with an 8×10 picture that your friend loves.

Visit A Beautiful Mess if you need any clarifications or want to see more pictures.

Hopefully you enjoyed seeing all these DIY projects and have gotten some inspiration for your graduation gifts for your friends. Good luck and have fun crafting!

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  1. Pingback: 20 DIY Gifts For Friends Ideas - Guru Koala 7 Nov, 2014

    […] 13. DIY Graduation Gifts For Friends source […]

  2. marketing & comunicazione on April 10, 2015

    Thanks! Very interesting and helpful.

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