One Smart Cookie! A Graduation Party Idea

Celebrate your favorite Graduate with this cute “One Smart Cookie” Graduation Party!

hand holding green graduation cookie

When my kids graduated High School, we wanted to invite our family and close friends to celebrate with them. Each time we hosted a graduation party, I knew I did not have time to make any complicated decorations, but I still wanted something fun to celebrate our graduates.

One Smart Cookie Party

After much thought, I settled on a Cookie Bar idea for her Graduation Party.  I hosted a Cookie Bar party for my oldest daughter’s graduation and have since hosted another “Cookie Party” when my twins graduated high school. I know I’m biased, and I think “Kari is One Smart Cookie”!

Photo Party Backdrop

How To Create a Party Backdrop

Showcase some of your graduate’s greatest accomplishments and take a quick trip down memory lane by creating a custom “graduate spotlight” backdrop.

If you don’t have a blank wall in your home for a backdrop, this is the perfect solution, as it can be pushed up against the wall and covers what is already on the wall. For mine,  I pushed my dining room table up against the wall and then just propped the foam core against that.

Backdrop Supplies

  • 2-3 Foam Core Boards
  • Masking Tape
  • Roll of Wrapping Paper
  • Photos & other Memorbilia
  • Washi Tape or Push Pins


Tape 3 foam core pieces together, then cover them with a roll of paper (like cute wrapping paper).

Gather a collection of photos of the graduate and add them to the display you created. I gathered some of my favorite photos of our daughter and used washi tape to tape them up to the board (that way, they are removable).  After I finished, she promptly went and got different pictures that she liked better (she’s the independent sort).

Graduation Party Idea

Ideas to Personalize the Display

Does your child participate in sports or have a favorite movie or animal? Set things out on the table that represent them and what they like.

My daughter has been a collector of elephants since she was little. When I saw the poster, I knew it would be a fun touch to the party.  I just attached it with pins to the foam core.

One Smart Cookie graduation party

I recommend using a reusable surface to create your sign. Adding a sign to your party table will help to communicate your party theme to your guests! I painted a frame to use a chalkboard.

The bonus is that she can take it to her dorm room to use as it’s light, and we can hang it up easily. If you don’t want to paint your frame, you can use a purchased chalkboard. If you don’t like your handwriting, you can cut out the lettering with a Cricut machine.

What Food to Serve at a Graduation Party

Since this is a One Smart Cookie Party, hosting a Cookie Bar is perfect! Not only are cookies easy to serve (they don’t require any utensils), but you can also easily mix and match homemade and purchased cookies on your cookie bar.

For our party treats, my Mom came and baked cookies for days!  She was so sweet to do that we also had a few good friends donate cookies.  

We ended up with a fun combination of sweets! I’ve linked up a few of my favorite cookie recipes at the bottom of the post.

Cookie Bar for Party

Serving & Display Tip!

One great idea my Mom had was to place some cookies in liners; this made them more accessible to eat, and they looked pretty sitting on the table.

table with cookies

Place the cookies on a variety of plates and stands. Adding height will give visual interest to your party table.

Party Favor Ideas

Cookie Party

A few years ago my sister ordered Jones Soda’s for us for Christmas and I thought it was the cutest gift! I ordered a few to have out at the party.

How to Decorate the Party Table

Pick one table in your home to use as the “party table.” It can be a kitchen, dining room, or even a plastic folding table. I recommend keeping all of your “party items” in one spot in your home.

However, if you’d like your guests to move out of the kitchen (or wherever the treats are!), place your drink station in another part of your house (or backyard if the weather permits)

graduation napkin on table
cookies with food labels

A Few Tips & Ideas

  1. Use Wrapping Paper as a Tablecloth. Forget using fabric tablecloths that need to be laundered later. Instead, pick out wrapping paper in a simple design in your party colors and tape it to the tabletop. You can even layer multiple layers of paper.
  2. Add toothpick “decorations.” Buy a set of graduation stickers and attach them to toothpicks to create custom “cookie picks.”
  3. Label the Cookies. Use squares of scrapbook paper and toothpicks to create “labels” for the cookies on the cookie bar. Just attach the toothpicks to the back of the paper using washi tape.
  4. Buy Number Candles. Buy THE number of candles with the graduation year. Add them to cookies or cupcakes on the table.
  5. TIP: Buy the numbered New Year’s decorations when they are on sale in January and save them for graduation!
cake with 2019 lettering
Graduation Party

More Graduation Ideas:

How to Decorate Graduation Caps & Create a Shadow Box

DIY Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Graduation Sugar CookiesCookie Cutter purchased on Amazon

Family Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Pecan Cookie Recipe

A hint of Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Malted Milk Crispy M&M Cookie Recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Collage image of graduation party ideas

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  1. Such a simple, sweet way to celebrate a milestone. I can’t believe your daughter has graduated. I’ve watched her grow up the last 4 years…amazing! Congratulations. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 20 Graduation Party Ideas | Yesterday On Tuesday
  3. This is absolutely adorable! I have been searching for unique graduation party ideas- and this one is tops!

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