Graduation is one of the biggest milestones one can experience. There’s nothing quite like celebrating your education and growth amongst your closest friends, family members, and academic mentors. Unfortunately, many 2020 grads aren’t getting the same celebratory experience as they normally would due to COVID-19.

That being said, graduating from high school, college, or even elementary or middle school is still a momentous occasion that should be honored and celebrated. As many states continue to advise residents to stay at home and limit their social interaction with others, you may have to get a little creative with how you celebrate 2020 graduation.

Graduate celebrating with face on a stick and standee.

Why Celebrate Graduation At Home or Virtually?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be required to say at home as much as possible, which may be preventing you from celebrating 2020 graduation in-person. Despite stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders being in place throughout the country, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate graduation.

You may also be wanting to celebrate graduation at home if you’re sick. No one likes being under the weather, but you can make things a little more enjoyable by throwing a creative at-home graduation celebration.

Cardboard cutout of mascot with graduate.

If you or your loved one is homeschooled and you live far away from other communities, you may find it easier to celebrate graduation from home. You can still make your grad feel special by throwing an at-home celebration and inviting friends and family to join via FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or Zoom.

Finally, you or your grad may simply want to celebrate graduation from home! Maybe your grad doesn’t like a ton of attention on themselves and they want to keep things low-key. You can still recognize your grad for all their hard work without throwing a huge bash.

Great Ways to Celebrate Your Graduation Day Remotely

At Home Drive By’s

If you can’t throw the big graduation bash that you’ve always dreamed of, you can still have friends drive by your house to give their congrats. Decorate your lawn for the occasion with graduation yard signs, banners, and cardboard cutouts honoring all the special grads in your life.

A drive by graduation celebration.

Here’s a clever way to have your friends snap a graduation pic with you, without having to get within six feet of each other: Create a cardboard cutout standee of yourself, along with a head-in-hole cutout of a person wearing a cap and gown. Place the two cardboard cutouts next to each other in the front yard and have friends drive by to snap a “graduation” photo! Alternatively, your friends can just stand next to your cardboard cutout and take a picture.

Class Video Party

Many students out there may be feeling sad that they can’t be with their classmates in person to celebrate graduation. Luckily, technology has really come in handy during this wild time, especially video chatting platforms like Zoom and FaceTime. Until you can safely get together with your friends in person, you can host an online graduation party over video. Order 2020 graduation signs and personalized wall decals to use as your background and wear a 2020 graduation shirt to make things extra festive. Once everyone’s settled into your virtual party room, you can play online games like trivia together, eat snacks together, or simply catch up with one another.

Make a Graduation Themed TikTok Video

Here’s a very creative virtual graduation idea that TikTok fans will love. Join forces with your closest friends to create a graduation TikTok video. Much like those “pass the brush” TikTok videos (below), you can take on a similar concept with a graduation gown or cap and show off your graduation look to all your friends and followers. For added commencement flair, you can incorporate graduation signs to hold up or carefully place 2020 graduation decorations in the background.

Tune into a Commencement Speech

Due to coronavirus, many schools all over the world have opted to move their commencement ceremonies online so that grads can still attend this milestone event. But if your school didn’t plan an online ceremony, don’t fret — there are plenty of meaningful graduation speeches you can watch online.

In the wake of COVID-19, many celebrities and noteworthy figures have taken it upon themselves to honor the class of 2020. You can watch the 2020 virtual graduation program online below, which features inspiring words from Barack Obama, LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai, and others.

Or, if you’re up for some throwback action, you can watch some past legendary graduation speeches. Some significant speeches include Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University speech, Steven Spielberg’s 2016 Harvard University speech, and Oprah Winfrey’s 2008 Stanford University speech.

Do Your Own Graduation Walk

One of the most noteworthy points in a student’s life occurs when they walk onstage to receive their diploma. You can mimic this epic moment at home with a little creativity and some help from your friends or family. Cue up music of your choice (or search for “graduation songs 2020” online for ideas), run a virtual fireworks display on a projector or TV behind you (the Disney fireworks display below is a great option!), and walk down a makeshift graduation aisle to collect your diploma from your family member or roommate of choice.

Host a Graduation Cookout (or Order Takeout)

Every grad deserves a special dinner in their honor. With warmer temps on the rise, it’s the perfect time to grill out and celebrate the occasion with the people who live with you. If you aren’t keen on cooking, you can order takeout from your favorite restaurant — they’ll appreciate your support during this time! Want to give your cookout a “backyard bash” feel, without having to actually invite people into your home? Create cardboard cutouts of your family and friends so they can attend in spirit!

Bighead with graduation cap.

Create a Celebratory Scavenger Hunt

People of all ages can have some fun with a scavenger hunt! Create a clever graduation-themed scavenger hunt to honor your grad. Have your grad travel back in time “throughout the years” and hunt for relics from their past such as old photos, report cards, memorabilia, and other mementos. Or, you can simply have them hunt for little gifts to celebrate the occasion!

Class of 2020 Graduation Gifts

While receiving that hard-earned diploma is a gift in and of itself, some extra graduation gifts never hurt anybody! From flowers to gift cards to appliances for college grads who may be venturing out to live on their own, there’s no shortage of gift options out there. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give a meaningful gift — even something like a handwritten card can mean a lot to a new grad. If there’s a grad in your life who may be feeling lonely these days, you can create a cardboard cutout of the two of you to send to them. To take things one step further, consider adding speech bubbles for inside jokes!

Celebrate “In Person” with Cardboard Cutouts

Can’t get together IRL with your besties to celebrate? That’s where cardboard cutouts come into play! Create cardboard cutouts of your classmates and friends to bring the party to your own home. You can create life-size cardboard cutouts of your favorite photos of your friends, or you can even add caps and gowns to your cutouts to give a more graduation feel.

Standee of graduate jumping for joy.

If you were a part of a club or an athletic team, you can create a group BigHead cutouts to honor your peers.

You can even create cardboard cutouts of your teachers or mentors who helped you on your academic journey and invite them to your “graduation party!”

Congratulations from Cardboard Cutouts

No matter how you choose to celebrate 2020 graduation, we hope that you and your loved ones get to recognize this important milestone. From all of us here at Cardboard Cutouts, congratulations on your major achievement!

Interested in creating a graduation cutout for someone special? Check out our graduation cutout reviews to see what our customers have to say about our products.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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