24 Personalized Graduation Gifts
There’s really nothing better than a gift personalized with someone’s name or initials to make them feel extra special. In fact, a monogram on something like a business card holder, handbag, or shaving kit, might make them feel even more grown-up. The graduate is onto an exciting new adventure—so why not send them off with a gift that was customized just for them? For the high school grad who’s heading off to college, gift them with personalized towels or throw blankets, so they’ll never get them mixed up in the laundry room. Or, since it’s likely the first time they’ll be away from home, a hand-drawn family portrait or drawing of their childhood house will help stave off the homesickness every time they look at it. For the college grad, they’re ready to face the “real world” and are getting their first jobs. Help them put their best foot forward when they head to a job interview or the first day at the office with sophisticated finds like a monogrammed business card holder, or a personalized briefcase or handbag. And chances are the college grad is moving into their first real apartment, so help them get their nesting started with some housewarming gifts, like a beautiful trays, wine glasses, or an eye-catching throw pillow with their initials. It might make the transition from dorm life go a little bit smoother. Now, you can personalize just about anything, so there are plenty of gifting opportunities no matter their interests, hobbies, or needs.
It’s all about a high-low balance when it comes to decorating a first apartment. Use this striped tray to upgrade a hand-me-down or IKEA table, or to corral glasses, stirrers, and a cocktail shaker on her first grown-up bar cart. Choose from a blue or red design—it comes with a vinyl decal monogram.
To buy: $89; markandgraham.com.
Monogrammed White Wine Glasses
No more plastic cups for the graduate as she moves from the dorm room to the real world. You can’t go wrong with these wine glasses, which will come in handy when she hosts her first dinner party. The set of four can be monogrammed with single or triple initials.
To buy: $60, williams-sonoma.com.
If the graduate’s brand new job involves plenty of work trips, she’ll need to travel in style. This durable canvas weekender bag is roomy enough for all the essentials. It has both leather handles and a shoulder strap so it’s easy to tote around. Choose from black, pink, gray, or navy trim.
To buy: $85; prettypersonalgifts.etsy.com.
Monogram Stainless Steel Tumbler
Whether he’s heading to an early morning class or prepping for his commute to the office, no doubt he’ll need some caffeine to energize him. This sleek stainless steel tumbler is double-walled so it will keep his coffee piping hot. Plus, the engraved initial will ensure no one snatches his cup.
To buy: $44; nordstrom.com.
Custom House Painting
The homesickness can hit hard during freshman year. Gift the college student this elegant reminder of home—it beats any cheesy dorm poster. Send an image of the student’s childhood home to the Etsy artist and it will be turned into a beautiful watercolor painting. This is the gift that will last—from dorm room to first apartment.
To buy: $98; pinkleavesarts.etsy.com.
Monogram Round Canvas Hamper
No mesh bags for your college student. This canvas hamper will stand out in the dorm’s laundry room. The sturdy handles make it easy to tote around when they finally get around to doing a month’s worth of laundry (or to stash in their car when they want to bring some dirty clothes home on their next visit).
To buy: $69; nordstrom.com.
Embroidered Border Monogram Pillow Covers
Bed need a finishing touch? An accent pillow will do the trick. Whether it’s a dorm bed or one in her first apartment, this brightly colored embroidered pillow with fun tassels will energize any blah space. It can also look right at home on a sofa or comfy arm chair, too. Choose from a green or red design.
To buy: $20; pbteen.com.
Art Deco Porcelain Tray
A little Art Deco pizzazz can elevate any surface—from a dorm desk to a hand-me-down coffee table in her first apartment. This porcelain tray acts as a catchall for jewelry, sunglasses, keys, and more. The unique lettering and gold accent are both eye-catching details.
To buy: $14; nordstrom.com.
Global Flor Notebook
Even with digital planners and calendars, there’s still something special about having a paper notebook to jot down appointment reminders, to-do lists, and contact information. This design can be customized as a journal, address book, monthly planner, or weekly planner. You can also choose from spiral binding or grommets.
To buy: From $16; minted.com.
Etched Mercury Glass Filled Candle With Cloche
When it’s time to unwind after a long day filled with meetings and tight deadlines, the warm glow of a candle will set the mood when she’s ready to veg out on the couch with a glass of wine. Use the mercury glass to hold pens, pencils, or other trinkets when the candle burns down.
To buy: $20; worldmarket.com.
Black Stainless Steel Growler
Gift this sleek matte black growler to the craft beer enthusiast for his new apartment. It can hold up to 64 ounces of his favorite brew. The stainless steel design and swing top lid ensures that his beer stays fresh and cold. And with the simple monogram, his roommates won’t try to pour themselves a glass.
To buy: $59; target.com.
That brand new (and expensive) coffee table or dining table that she bought for her new apartment needs to be protected from water rings. These elegant slate coasters will make sure it stays in pristine condition. Gift the set of four with some chalk—she can write on them, too.
To buy: $19; westelm.com.
Limited Edition Golden Monogram Mug
This gilded design will be the flashiest office mug in her department—or the communal kitchen on her dorm floor. Package the stylish stoneware mug with some coffee beans or tea bags and she’s all set. Just be sure to tell her it’s hand-wash only and not microwave safe.
To buy: $10; anthropologie.com.
Turkish Hydro Cotton Bathrobe
What’s more “grown-up” than a comfy bathrobe with his monogram on it? He might consider it an impractical gift, but he’ll thank you later after a long day at the office. This Turkish terry bathrobe is made from Aegean cotton and is both super plush and absorbent. Choose the monogram format (one initial, two, or three) and the embroidery color.
To buy: $99; markandgraham.com.
Stainless Steel Engravable Tie Bar
He probably already has a suit for special occasions, so gift him something that will add a finishing touch. For his next big interview or first day at work, this stainless steel tie bar will ensure that he makes a good impression. It’s a basic accessory that he’ll keep forever.
To buy: $25; brookstone.com.
My Family Cookbook
She can only have pizza or Chinese food so many times before it’s a home-cooked meal that she’s really craving. This completely customizable recipe book—complete with blank pages for conversion tables, photos, and notes—will help her recreate Dad’s special dish—even when he’s at home on the other coast.
To buy: $35, uncommongoods.com.
Personalized Mouse Pad
Does her 9 to 5 have her sitting in a four-walled cubicle without windows? This pretty desk accessory is the quickest way to bring a little color and personality to her workspace. Available in more than 100 designs—with and without personalization—to suit any style.
To buy: $19, hellodelicious.etsy.com.
Cozy Texture Throw
If graduation is taking her far from home, gift something cozy she can wrap around her shoulders when a twinge of homesickness settles in. When it’s not acting as a comfort blanket, the ultra-soft accessory looks great draped over a couch, ottoman, or the foot of her bed. Add a monogram or a name for $9.50.
To buy: $59, westelm.com.
Stretch Perfect Shirt
No matter how much she wants to rely on her T-shirt and yoga pants uniform in college, she’ll probably need something more tailored for that new office job. This button-down comes in eight colors—including a pure white—that’ll pair well with both weekday and weekend looks. Give this basic more personality with a monogram for $10 extra. Also available in men’s styles.
To buy: $69.50, jcrew.com.
Personalized Coloring Book
Whether the stress stems from a looming term paper or a tough boss, this personalized (you can include a name on the cover) coloring book will encourage unwinding. Make the gift a complete package by pairing this 100-page hardcover book with a nice set of colored pencils.
To buy: $35, uncommongoods.com.
Travel Shoe Shine Kit
Those nice shoes you bought him for Christmas will only stay shiny for so long. Even on that fresh-out-of-college budget, this kit will help ensure his interview style stays perfectly polished. Includes a brush, cloth, and two tins of polish (brown and black), plus a free foil debossed monogram.
To buy: $75, markandgraham.com.
Framed College Town Map
Personalized doesn’t have to mean her name is scrawled on the item. Instead, this mod frame is customized with the place that stole a little piece of her heart—the town in which she went to college. Choose a black or white frame, and then select a colored heart (her school color would be a good choice) to pinpoint the location of her alma mater.
To buy: $37.50, oakdalefarm.etsy.com.
Grand Embroidered 700-Gram Weight Bath Towels
Looking for a quick way to make a tired, white-walled apartment feel a little more like home? These plush bath towels will provide a little taste of luxury at the beginning or the end of a long day at work. Choose from eight different colors and add a monogram (for an extra $9) to personalize it.
To buy: From $18.50, potterybarn.com.
‘One in a Million’ Business Card Holder
You know what they say about networking: it’s the best way to get a job. This pretty and colorful enamel case is engraved with her initial, and tucks right into her purse, so she can collect contacts whether on an interview or serendipitously sitting next to the right person on the train.
To buy: $30, nordstrom.com.