It’s that exciting season – where summer is upon us, and a new class of graduates get ready to toss their caps and celebrate the completion of their higher education pursuits. If you have a graduate in your life that you want to spoil — without breaking the bank — look no further than these highly sought-after gifts. We’ve rounded up ten picks, from aesthetic home goods to practical home office must-haves that a new graduate will actually want, all for under $100. Read on for some of the best graduation gifts for friends this year.
What’s better than a gift that’s also a creative activity that can be shared? This air-dry pottery kit has everything to make four to six unique creations, no kiln required! The basic kit contains all the tools and clay you need, plus white paint and a choice of matte or gloss varnish to finish your work. Or opt for the starter bundle that comes with a selection of eight different paints in colours that range from jewel tones to pastels to floral tones. It’s an affordable at-home way for the 2023 grad in your life to explore a new artistic hobby and create some special one-of-a-kind pieces for their home.
Pottery Starter Kit, Sculpd, $99.
Graduation Gifts for Friends: A Mellow Morning Mug
Whether coffee or tea is the hot drink of choice for the graduate in your life, this aesthetic cloud mug will make starting their day a little dreamier (especially if they’re starting their first post-grad job and adjusting to early mornings).
Blume Cloud Mug, Indigo, $24.
Floral Wine Glasses
Graduation is a cause for celebration and this pair of embossed floral wine glasses are just the thing to start any party, whether filled with cocktails or alcohol-free mocktails. They add a colourful touch to any barware collection and will surely be treasured for years to come.
Embossed Floral Wine Glasses (Set of 2), Simons, $15.
Bold and Bougie
Aren’t high-end candles just the perfect gift? Who doesn’t enjoy lighting up a relaxing candle for a bath, teatime or simply relaxing on the couch? Even better when a friend has gifted you the perfect scent that perfectly captures your essence. We’re loving these ultra-trendy candles from Shrine that come in scents as bold as their packaging (because seriously, how cute will these look in shelfies?).
Shrine Topiary Candle, The Livery, $50.
Puffy Tech Protection
Graduation could mean new tech for your loved one, whether it’s a new work machine for their first post-grad job or their personal computer. Gift them a stylish way to protect their laptop with this puffy laptop case that comes in nine different colours and patterns. Sure, you might buy it for the aesthetic, but they’ll love it for how sturdy it is.
VANDEL Puffy Laptop Sleeve Laptop Sleeve, Amazon, From $38.
For the hardworking student who finally deserves a break: a cozy sherpa backrest to make sitting in bed or in an office chair so much more comfortable. It’s designed to relieve pressure on the lower back with its ergonomic shape. It’s cozy, functional and will look good in any space.
OUI Sherpa Backrest, Indigo, $88.
Graduation Gifts for Friends: Memorable Maps
Remind the outgoing grad of the time they spent studying at their school with a personalized print. These subtle art pieces are a heartfelt way to always keep the memories close to home without too much school spirit.
Personalized University Print, Etsy, $18.
The Cutest Camera
Perfect for summertime, this blush pink Instax camera will be the new graduate’s favourite way to capture memories. It has a selfie mirror and mode so that even if they’re flying solo, they can capture every moment on film.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, Amazon, $89.
A bouquet of flowers is always a welcome gift on any occasion, particularly a graduation and this LEGO building kit is one bouquet that will last forever in your home. These bouquets have been all over hobby TikTok and they’re beautifully impressive once put together (which is half the fun of the present!).
LEGO Icons Flower Bouquet, DeSerres, $80.
Peaceful Morning Wakeups
Give the gift of a peaceful morning wakeup with this sunrise-simulating clock from Urban Outfitters that emits a cozy rosy glow to begin the day. Adding to the extra zen vibe is the Himalayan salt base and wood-look top.
Mahli Himalayan Salt Sunrise Alarm Clock, Urban Outfitters, $49.