During May and June, high school and college graduates walk across the stage in triumph and earn their diplomas. Afterwards, it’s time to celebrate! Since the weather is usually still pleasant this time of year, many families choose to host their graduation shindigs outside in backyards or on decks.

If you’re looking for inspiration for an outdoor bash for your graduate, here are our favorite ideas to make your party pop.

Image credit: Personal Creations via Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Top Outdoor Graduation Party Themes & Decoration Ideas

Chalkboard-themed photo booth

Nothing says school like a chalkboard, so why not put a playful spin on the classroom staple? Use chalkboard paint to create a backdrop and add a congratulatory caption or a “Class of 2017” banner across the top and you’re ready to say cheese! Be sure to provide plenty of themed props, like superlative signs and grad caps.

Ladder display for memorabilia or snacks

Grab a wooden ladder and some planks to set up a rustic-chic display. Add anything you like, from flowers and linens to treats and photos of your graduate. Set up a few around the yard and decorate them with a variety of items.

Pencil vases

There’s something so fresh and scholarly with the look of brand new pencils. Use a bunch of them to build a sharp centerpiece (no pun intended). Simply secure the pencils around a glass vase using a rubber band, and then cover the rubber band with a ribbon (in your school colors). Finish it off with fresh flowers and add it to your buffet tables!

Graduation yard signs

Welcome guests to your party with an array of yard signs shaped like grad caps. Line them up along your driveway and front walk, or arrange them in a path leading to your backyard.

Hanging memories 

Relive your graduate’s years of success with a clothesline holding photos and notable accomplishments. To make the pieces stand out, attach them to construction paper and then hang them on the clothesline using colorful pins.

Grad cap and diploma desserts

Get a little crafty and recreate grad caps and diplomas using sweet treats. Try these cap and gown pretzel pops, candy cup caps, and diploma cookies.

Keep away party crashers

Take a whimsical approach to warding off mosquitoes by hanging a basket of repellent for guests to use. Attach a sign that says “Warning: Look Out for Party Crashers” with a photo of the buzzing, biting culprit. Of course, if you hire a pest control company like Mosquito Squad to keep bugs from crashing your party, there’s no need for this extra prop and spritzing and slathering your guests in smelly repellents!

“Set Sail” Theme

Give your graduation party a nautical spin to help your grad sail away with pirate- and sailing-themed decorations and props. Include paddles and pennants featuring the school’s name, captain’s hats, fishing nets, and more.

Paper lanterns 

As a symbolic sendoff at the end of the party, give everyone biodegradable paper lanterns to release, representing a hopeful future for the guest of honor. Have your camera ready to capture the beautiful moment!

If you’re concerned about mosquitoes ruining your outdoor graduation celebration, contact DC Mosquito Squad today! We’ll help keep the biting bugs away, so you can focus on savoring time with family and loved ones, celebrating the accomplishments of your graduate.

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