Grad centerpiece from Oatmeal boxA Unique and Personalized Table Topper

With a computer printer, a recycled oatmeal box and odds and ends of materials you probably already have around, you can make graduation centerpieces that are easy and quick but  extrememely personalized and unique.

ant grad materials for party plotz
Pieces Needed for Grad Centerpiece

For each centerpiece you will need:

A head shot of your grad, preferably sans cap

2 or 3 pieces of 9″ x 12″ construction paper or card stock in the color of your grad’s cap and gown

An empty large (9 1/2″ tall) oatmeal box

2 chenille stems for tassel

Scrap of cardboard


Enlarge and a crop the picture of your graduate  so that the head is approximately 7 inches from crown to chin.  Include a few inches of collar and gown so that the overall height of the picture is about  8”.  Be careful to keep the same ratio of height to width as the original so the image does not look distorted.

Print 2 copies of the picture centered on 8 ½”x11” copy paper in landscape position.

Trim 1 ½” off each side of one of the copies

Fold construction paper in half and cut 2 strip 2 ½ “ high that come down to a ½ “ point at the fold (see picture).  Leave one strip its full length and cut 2 inches off each end of the other.

From the other piece of colored paper, cut an 8” square and a circle approximately 3” in diameter.  Cut a 2 ½” circle from a scrap piece of cardboard.

Mark the center of each picture and the two midpoints of the circumference of the oatmeal box opening. (Easily done by cutting a string the length of the box’s circumference and folding it in half.)

Center and glue the longer picture and then the cap strip to one side of the oatmeal box, lining up the picture bottom to the box bottom and the top of the strip to the top of the box.   Repeat on the other side with the shorter picture and strip.  The seams should end up on the sides of the box.

Replace  cover on oatmeal box. (If the centerpiece is to be used outdoors, first put sand or rocks inside the box for weight.)  Center and secure the  7” square on the box top with point forward.  Cover cardboard circle with The construction paper circle and glue to center of cap.

Fold one of the chenille stems in eighths and cut open bottom folds (creating 4 pieces folded in half). Twist the center of the other chenille stem around the top of the tassel.  Glue the two ends under the cap button.

If you wish, sit the centerpiece of a square of colored paper and embellish with some sparkly shred.


Alternative Centerpiece

If you don’t have a picture of your grad or if you are not good with photo editing and printing, you can  make a version of this centerpiece that still has some personal touches.

Alternative centerpiece
Alternative Graduation Centerpiece

To make this version, cover the oatmeal box with brown craft paper (I used a recycled shopping bag). Make the cap using previous instructions. Glue on raffia or shred in the color and approximate style of your graduates hair. Fashion a nose out of a triangle of craft paper and cut a mouth out of red construction paper or draw one on with a red marker. I chose to glue on Dollar Store sunglasses (if doing the centerpiece 2 sided, you may need to cut the arms of the glasses where they meet on the side) but you can glue on google eyes from the craft store or draw eyes on. Glue a one inch strip of construction paper in the color of the cap to the bottom of the box to simulate the top of the gown.



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