Candy Themed Graduation Party

I was so proud of my younger sister when she graduated college I decided to give her the theme party she always wanted - a candy theme!

Drawing from the round shape and bright colors of her favorites - Smarties, Nerds, Skittles, etc. I put together a dessert bar and decked our yard in bright round decorations.

Lauren, my sister, insisted we keep it a casual and low-key celebration, so we invited some family and friends over for a BBQ. Take a peek at the party and use our crafty DIY ideas to inspire a celebration of your own! They may be graduation themed, but these handmade paper decorations can be adapted to fit any party.


  • This was the dessert bar in all it's glory. I tried to get as many desserts on there as possible. Though it was essential we have tons of candy I also wanted to provide guests with a few other choices.

  • In addition to those labels I really got crafty with a bright backdrop. I was a bit hesitant to make this because I thought it'd be too time consuming but it turned out quite easy to do.

    Make this crafty backdrop!

  • In addition to candy, we needed cupcakes! Here's a shot of the Cotton Candy ones I made. These cupcakes were a hit with the kids as well as the adults. At first I was nervous they'd be too sweet, but they were delish!

    Cotton Candy Cupcakes

    Graduation Themed Cupcake Toppers

  • For a less sugary option that I knew grandma would appreciate, I made these basic vanilla buttercream cupcakes. This cupcake recipe is super easy - keep it semi-homemade and follow our directions to make for your next party!

  • Cosmic Brownies were some of mine and my sister's favorite treats as kids. Though we're still fans, I made a homemade version. Couldn't have been easier and they looked fantastic on the table.

  • The final dessert on my table was a last-minute deal. The display was feeling a bit empty and I had a left-over platter to use, so I put together oatmeal whoopie cookies. Again, really easy.

  • I had a budget to stick to with this party, which meant I had to get creative but also shop smart. I found these clear plastic canisters at WalMart for just $6 - total! To dress them up for my dessert table I used Removable Glue Dots® to tack on handmade labels.

  • I also made a banner to hang over the buffet table we set up for food and drinks. This followed the bright circle candy theme as well!

  • Finally, no college graduation party is complete without cocktails! We served margaritas and sangria. This sangria recipe is cheap and easy, but so yummy. Try it at any summer party!

Find more party planning inspirations for Graduation Parties
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