18 Gift Ideas for Graduates

By Cat Overman and Jackie Turner

After the caps have been tossed, graduates are hit with major life changes — starting a job, commencing with a new life, relocating, perhaps even finding a home. Help the grads in your life begin their next life stage with a thoughtful gift to warm up their new home.

Dining

kitchen-basic-tool-set

Basic Kitchen Tool Set, West Elm, $89

Kitchen tool set

Solid teak utensils and a stylish marble holder will add elegance and function to your grad’s new kitchen. Chefs of all skill levels will find use in all of these pieces. $89

Coffee brewing system

Those school loans won’t pay themselves. New grads can save a few bucks by making their daily cup of joe at home. A Keurig coffeemaker provides lots of flavor options. $200

French cookbook

Having their own full-size fridge and oven means your grads can finally start refining their cooking skills. They say anyone can cook in the French manner … with the right instruction. Help them get started with a classic resource. $23

Entertaining

summer-blues-pitcher

Summer Blues Pitcher, Pier 1 Imports, $35

Pitcher

Upgrade your grad’s plastic pitcher with a vessel ideal for serving ice cold water or a hand-crafted concoction. And the cerulean-and-lime ombre coloration is on trend — citrus colors are trending for summer. $35

Flatware set

Hosting a small gathering of friends or a small dinner party will require some elegant basics. A 45-piece, mirror-finished set will flatter any table setting. $90

Basic bar glasses

Your grad can say goodbye to red plastic cups. A set of six classic glasses can do double the work — for daily meals or cocktail parties. $60

Decor

lamp

Lynwood Double Lamp, Rejuvenation, $175

Double lamp

They may not be up burning the midnight oil anymore, but grads still need a reliable light source. Equally at home on an end table or nightstand, this graceful lamp adds style to any room. $175

Cork globe

Stir fond memories of their semester abroad with this stylish globe, which comes with six red push pins for marking significant spots. $129

Floor mirror

That back-of-the-door mirror from the big-box store has been around since freshman year. Replace it with this elegant floor model for a more sophisticated morning routine. $161

Maintenance helpers

laundry hamper

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, West Elm, $149

Bamboo laundry hamper

Upgrade that worn-out laundry duffle to this stylish hamper made from rapidly-renewable bamboo and recycled plastic bottles. Bonus storage space makes it a great piece for small spaces. $149

Hammer screwdriver combination tool

Basic tools for making a new apartment feel like home: a claw hammer for hanging artwork and three screwdrivers for assembling furniture and making everyday fixes. The tempered steel and solid brass design makes this four-in-one tool attractive enough to leave on display. $22

Natural rubber lint brush

Handcrafted in Germany from natural rubber and oiled beech wood, this reusable brush whisks away lint, hair and dust to keep upholstery and clothing spotless. Grads will look polished and professional as they head out for job interviews. $30

Organization

trunk

Versus Mint Galvanized Trunk, CB2, $149

Galvanized trunk

The perfect spot to stash college mementos, this vintage-style trunk does double duty as a storage aid and coffee table. The mint hue will refresh any room. $149

Multicolor coat hook

The key to a tidy entryway or closet, this mid-century-inspired statement piece offers the ideal landing space for coats, scarves, dog leashes and shopping bags — without taking up floor space. $69

Utility baskets

Clutter control is a necessity in every busy life. Corral mail and takeout menus in small baskets by the door, and use larger ones to collect throw blankets, board games and books. $25-$39

Bed & bath

window-clip-frame

Window Clip Frame, Pier 1 Imports, $30

Window clip frame

A clip frame is an easy way to display treasures, memories and photographs. Your grad can create their own art with a distressed wood frame. Clips hold their favorite pictures, postcards and notes. $30

Bathroom accessories set

A clean-lined set of accessories adds a bit of sophistication to any bathroom. And it sure beats toting toiletries in a plastic caddy. $20-$100

Throw blanket

Is your grad looking to retire an alma mater blanket? A soft throw, available in a variety of color options, adds a pop of color — and warmth — to any bed. $30

And, if your grads already have everything they need, how about giving them a book full of real estate tips? They may be renters now, but it’s never too soon to begin planning for the future (or scouting out the neighborhoods that will appreciate!).

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