2020 Quarantined Grad Celebration

Though this year has unfolded differently for many of us, graduation is still an AMAZING milestone and it should be celebrated!

Here are quick and easy ways to celebrate with your family and friends while staying socially distant. These ideas are super flexible and affordable so you can put your own twist to it.

  • With 2 people you can complete all the steps below within 1.5-2 hours and be ready to celebrate!
  • These are things you’ll create by the end of this:
    • 2020 Grad Banner
    • Professional looking balloon garland
    • The perfect summer ALL fruit cake
    • Memorable fun and sweet graduation gift

Create your own Stage

You don’t need to replicate the moment of walking down the stage to celebrate (although you could!). But you can create a simple banner and take memorable pictures. I’ll show you how we did the below (isn’t she beautiful?):

#1) Gather your supplies – Costs less than $30!

  • Balloon Garland $20 with prime delivery from Amazon! It includes a garland strip which was super easy to use
  • Balloon Pump – $1 from the Dollar Store (grab 2 if you have someone to help you blow them up)
  • 2 Black Bristol Boards – $2 from the Dollar Store
  • Roll of Gold Adhesive Paper – $3 from the Dollar Store
  • Wired Twine – $1 from the Dollar Store or from Michaels
  • Small Clothespins – $1 from the Dollar Store (grab 2 packs) or one from Michaels
  • Scissors
  • 9 sheets of letter sized paper

#2) Set-Up: 2020 Grad Banner

  • Grab your 9 sheets of letter sized paper and open a Microsoft Word document
  • Set your font to Arial Black – Size 600 and zoom into 172%
    • You are going to trace each number/letter by placing the paper on your screen: 2 0 2 0 Grad Hat G R A D
    • For example, type in 2 and make sure it will fit your whole page letter size paper and trace it
    • TIP: You only need to trace 2 and 0 once, as you’ll create two of each in the next step
  • Grab your scissors and cut out the letters
  • The back of your gold adhesive roll is a white sheet of paper. Use the letters you just cut out to trace on and cut away!
  • Now grab your black bristol board and place a plain letter size paper and trace it to get the exact size each time – cut 9 pieces. (KEEP YOUR LEFTOVERS, we’ll use it for the gifts)
  • Now the fun part – take the adhesive off and stick each letter/number onto the black boards you just cut out.
  • Wherever you choose to set-up your banner, you can use the twine wire at a length that best fits your set-up. Then using the clothespins you can hang up the letters and space it out to make the best of your space.

#3) Set-Up: Balloon Garland

  • Start by pumping the white balloons. We didn’t need to use the whole pack – about 40. Make sure to pump different sizes. The pack above includes 5-inch, 10-inch & 12-inch balloons which are perfect to create a professional looking garland.
  • Then pump about 15-20 blue balloons, 10 gold balloons and 6-8 confetti balloons.
  • Next grab the garland strip, push through the knot of your balloon in the bigger hole on the garland strip. Continue until your garland reaches your desired length. You can alternate sides of the strip, if you like. This helps create a more full, balanced look
  • Here’s the pattern I used roughly:
    • 3 white balloons, 1 blue, 2 white balloons and then 1 gold, 3 white balloons and then 1 confetti balloon
    • Note: sometimes I mixed it up of having a blue and gold right after one another – do what you feel looks good!
  • Keep the smaller balloons on the side, you can add them on after you put up your garland.
  • We wanted to frame the side of our gazebo so once the garland was about half way done for each side, I would hold it up against the gazebo and improvise as needed
  • We used the wired twine to tie the garland to the gazebo
  • To finish it up, we used the glue dots that came with the garland package to place the smaller balloons and even added a couple bigger gold balloons.

ALL Fruit Cake – Looks & Tastes AMAZING

#1) Grab your Ingredients

  • 1 large watermelon and 1 medium watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mint leaves (you can use spinach, basil or parsley)
  • Platter, cutting board, heavy chef knife & toothpicks

#2) Set-up the Cake

  • Let’s start with the base – grab your watermelons and cut them as shown below. Then carefully cut the green edges off:
  • Now lay the largest melon section on a cutting board or platter. Make sure the widest part is at the bottom and trim the bottom as need to make sure its stable.
  • Grab 4 toothpicks and push them in about half-way into the middle of the base layer. Try to create a square with the four toothpicks and then place your middle layer on top. This will ensure your watermelon cake doesn’t end up sliding around. Repeat the same process for the top layer by sticking 4-5 toothpicks in the center of your middle layer and place your top layer.

#3) Decorate & Serve!

  • Now you are ready to decorate! Gather all your fruits together and start by skewering them with toothpicks.
  • Before you start poking the cake, just create with your eye a wavy line from the top to the bottom of the entire cake- it shouldn’t be straight.  You want it rather undulating, like a soft garland or ribbon.  Kind of like an S-curve.  This will guide you when you start placing the fruit.
  • I started from the top by adding a mint leaf at the bottom of my toothpick and then placing a fruit on top. You can follow the pattern I’ve done as shown above or mix it up as you wish.  If you find that for so reason a toothpick is exposed even though you pushed it all the way it, just hide it with another berry.
  • Any leftover watermelon and fruits can be juiced for a delicious summer drink! You can also slide this into your fridge if you’re celebrating a few hours later in the day.

Sweet Graduation Gifts: Grad Hat Jars full of Chocolate

#1) Grab your supplies

  • Black bristol board (use the left over from earlier!)
  • Mini-Pack of Colorful yarn – $1 from the Dollar Store or from Michaels (You might already have this at home)
  • Mason jars – $3 from the Dollar Store for pack of 3 or from Michaels
  • Lindor chocolates – grab colors to match your ran if you’d like or a bunch of gold ones (I did a mix of both)
  • Glitter tape – $1 from the Dollar Store or from Michaels
  • Glue gun
  • White paper
  • Highlighters to match the yarn colors
  • Thin Black Sharpie markers

#2) Prepare

  • Take the mason jar lid, place it down on the black bristol board and create a square a little bigger than the rim. Make as many squares you need for each graduate who will be receiving a jar.
  • Cover the edge of the mason jar lid with glitter tape.
  • Now make the tassels following the steps below:
  • Put it together: Poke a little hole in the middle of the black square and thread the tassel through and tie it securely. Use a dab of glue gun to line the tassel from the middle to a corner of the black square.
  • Glue gun the grad hat onto the lid of the mason jar and keep it facing down to let it dry securely
  • Now either write your personal graduation note or print and use one of these templates. And stick onto the jar using the glitter tape to give it a polished look.

#3) Put it Together

  • Toss in the chocolates to fill up the jar
  • Once your grad hat has dried onto the mason jar lid, twist it on
  • Surprise your new grad – take a picture and celebrate!

Please share your own versions, I would love to see how it turned out for you!!!

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