Graduation Card Ideas for High School and College: Sayings, Messages, Printables, and More

Updated on May 27, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Many people like to borrow the classic Dr. Seuss phrase for their graduation cards.
Many people like to borrow the classic Dr. Seuss phrase for their graduation cards. | Source

Whether you're giving a graduation gift or you're sending a card in the mail, a greeting card is a wonderful way to congratulate someone on a high school or college graduation.

Give your sentiment some extra personalization by creating a card yourself. There are a number of popular themes to choose from including owls, cap and gowns, the graduation year, and school colors. There are also classic "congrats" or "celebrate" cards as well as money cards. Finally, I've included some of the most popular graduation sayings and messages. Design something that will fit the graduate and the occasion perfectly. Happy creating!

Please respect the copyrights of the artists. Unless it is indicated otherwise, all of the ideas, tutorials, and printables here are for personal use only. If you're interested in selling your creations, please contact artists directly to work out agreements. Thank you!

Printables

One of the easiest ways to make a greeting card is to find a free printable card or printable image to include in your own card.

People have created these for almost any occasion imaginable. Graduations are no exception. Simply download and print the images onto the paper of your choosing

A high quality cardstock usually works well. Some printable cards include an envelope template. If not, you can easily make one on your own. Just make sure to size it correctly.

Owls

I was surprised how many owl cards I found while researching graduation card ideas. The owl wearing a graduation cap is a very popular image.

You can make an owl in any size that you want and with any color combination. Give it a bright spring look for a May graduation or put him in the graduate's school colors.

You can keep your card simple or pair it with a graduation saying or message.

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Of course I found some cards with buttons.I love the owl against the clouds.
Of course I found some cards with buttons.
Of course I found some cards with buttons. | Source
I love the owl against the clouds.
I love the owl against the clouds. | Source
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Use one of your owl designs to make a card with a gift card/money pocket.

Themes Like: Sky's the Limit, Let Your Dreams Take Flight, Follow or Chase Your Dreams

There are several variations on these messages, many of which can be paired with clouds, airplanes, hot air balloons, and/or butterflies. You can customize this any way that you like, using images and colors of your choosing. Keep it fun and whimsical.

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This card doesn't have a sky's the limit or let your dreams take flight message, but you could easily add one on your card.
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This card doesn't have a sky's the limit or let your dreams take flight message, but you could easily add one on your card.
This card doesn't have a sky's the limit or let your dreams take flight message, but you could easily add one on your card. | Source
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Cap and Gown

This theme is pretty self-explanatory. Some people choose to use the cap and gown for their cards while some choose one or the other.

There are also some card designs with a gown over a dress or dress shirt. As always, you can keep your cap and gown design simple, pairing it with a "congrats" message, or choose another graduation message to go with it.

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Cricut Tutorial

Graduation Year

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There are a number of options for making numbers on greeting cards including chipboard, stamps, die cuts, and hand lettering. Download a fun font that includes numbers and use a word processing program to type and then print your numbers.

If you use any type of personal cutting machine, such as Cricut, there are many ways to create the numbers of your choosing.

Popular embellishments for numbers include self-adhesive rhinestones, glitter glue, and buttons.


School Name and/or Colors

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One easy way to customize a graduation card is with the school name and/or colors. Have fun picking out coordinating scrapbook papers and then hunting for embellishments such as stickers, ribbon, and buttons.

If you use stamps, look for colored ink to match. Consider including additional details about the school such as the mascot and words from the fight song.

Money Card

Who doesn't enjoy getting the gift of money? Whether you are giving cash, a check, or some sort of gift certificate, consider making a card with a money pocket.

While there is nothing wrong with giving a simple card with a pocket, many of us have received really creative and/or funny money cards over the years. Think about how you can make a money card that will really touch the graduate in some way.

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This card design has a perfect hiding spot for a check.
This card design has a perfect hiding spot for a check.
This card design has a perfect hiding spot for a check. | Source
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Another graduation card tutorial that includes a gift pocket.

General Congrats

A graduation is a perfect occasion for a simple congratulations or celebrate card. You can pair your message with common graduation imagery, such as a cap and gown or owl, or you can pair it with a neutral theme, such as something geometric or spring-related.

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Other Inspirational Sayings and Messages

Some additional popular graduation sayings and messages that I found include:

  • "Oh the places you'll go..." from the Dr. Seuss book. Quotes from this book are frequently used, too.
  • "Graduation is not the end, it's the beginning."
  • "You did it!"
  • "Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." -Aristotle.
  • "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams."

If you are looking for additional card messages, consider quotes about education, general inspiration, and the future.

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Questions & Answers

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      • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

        Rose Clearfield 

        4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Thanks so much, Vicki!

      • Victoria Lynn profile image

        Victoria Lynn 

        4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

        All wonderful--and varied--ideas! Well done!

      • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

        Rose Clearfield 

        4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Thanks, Cyndi! That's awesome. :) Best of luck with it.

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 

        4 years ago from Western NC

        I like all of these ideas. :) My niece and I both graduate in December (her with a bachelor's and me with my master's) so of course I'm thinking about what I might do by way of a card in light of all these wonderful suggestions here!

      • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

        Rose Clearfield 

        4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Thanks, abbaelijah! That's great.

      • abbaelijah profile image

        Abba Elijah aka elijagod 

        4 years ago from Abuja - Nigeria

        well research and detailed hub!

        I love the video on graduation

      • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

        Rose Clearfield 

        5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        That's great, peachpurple! Thanks.

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        great hub. Gonna make one these days

      • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

        Rose Clearfield 

        6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Thanks northland!

      • northlandws profile image

        northlandws 

        6 years ago from Fargo, North Dakota

        The card ideas are unique and adorable. I especially like the one with the owl.

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