Graduation season is in full swing, so odds are that you know someone who is about to make the transition from high school to college or from college to the real world (or even more schooling). Because we have some not so fond memories of receiving lots of oddly colored towels, stuffed animals, and expensive engraved pens back when we were on the receiving end of this transaction, we’ve decided to pull together a list of 20 totally affordable, and much more interesting gifts. Some of our suggestions might not necessarily be practical, but they’re definitely more memorable than a gift card.
“TRY TRY AGAIN” Banner, $50
It’s tough out there for a recent grad. This banner’s not only pretty, it also offers up positive reinforcement in a delightful font.
Bottle Opener Key, $8
A much classier way of cracking open a beer than a keychain that plays your alma mater’s fight song, don’t you think?
Mojave Picker’s Wallet, $30
While definitely not practical, this wallet is adorable — and could prove useful for lonely grads looking to pick up chicks with that whole “I’m a musician” routine.
Penguin Water Bottle, $16
In the real world, it can be hard to show people how well-read you are — especially in the age of the e-reader. One of these should do the trick.
Pantone: 100 Postcards, $20
Because postcards are so much more exciting to send and receive than emails. Especially when they look like this.
Vodka and Tequila Altered Teacup Set, $40
Pre-gaming is a necessary evil when you’re on a tight budget, but it looks a lot fancier when you’re drinking out of teacups.
Alarm Dock, $40
If you have to be woken up at an ungodly hour for your first 9 to 5 gig, at least this alarm clock makes the experience aesthetically pleasing.
USB Film Roll, $20
Have most of today’s grads even developed a roll of film? We have no idea, put they’d probably get a kick out of using this USB stick to hold their images.
Watercolor Sketchbook Kit, $25
Coloring can be a great de-stresser. This more adult version will ensure that your grad elicits the right kind of eyebrow raising.
ALLOTINABOX Limited Edition Grow Your Own Box, £13
In an ideal world, all new grads would get a little plot of land where they could grow the kind of food that’s good for them.
Bicycle Cufflinks, $59
We imagine that these creative cufflinks would be a good conversation starter in a job interview.
Natural Cork iPad Case, $50
This iPad case is not only stylish, it’s made from recycled natural cork — that kind of thing is important to today’s grad.
5 Year Diary, $25
This suggestion might seem a bit antiquated, but once you’re out of school, time really starts to go by so fast. This won’t slow it down, but at least your grad will be able to account for how it was spent.
No X in Espresso Print, $20
Because no matter how much larnin’ you’ve had, sometimes we all need a little reminder.
Index Chopping Board Set, $65
Most first jobs involve lots and lots of filing — better to master the art sooner rather than later.
LEGO Soap, 13 €
A colorful reminder to bathe regularly.
Bicycle Wine Rack, $32
If there’s one product that could keep a recent grad out of the hospital, it’s this.
Collection of Paris Metro Subway Sign Prints, $49
Most graduates’ first apartments could probably use a little bit of sophistication, oui?
How to Cook Everything, $20
This one’s pretty self explanatory; the real world doesn’t have a cafeteria. Note: There is also a version for vegetarians.
Graffiti Cocktail Shaker, $30
There’s something about anyone under the age of 25 wielding a real cocktail shaker that feels a bit like playing dress up. This version is probably more your recent graduate’s speed.