It’s that time of year when High School and College Seniors are saying goodbye to school and hello to the real world. They’ve finished their studies, threw their graduation caps in the air and are ready for the next chapter in their lives. It’s an exciting time and one that deserves to be celebrated.

I don’t know about you, but there have been several times I’ve received a graduation invitation and it leaves me thinking one thing. “What in the world do I get him for a gift?” I could stick cash in an envelope, which no graduating senior would complain about, but sometimes it’s fun to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to gift giving.

Here are 5 crafty and out of the box graduation gift ideas.

Congratulations Bottle

I love the idea of giving a graduate “100 Grand”.  Here’s an idea that only requires an empty soda bottle, a printed out label for the bottle, a tassel, small candy bars and one dollar bills.

You could also forego the cash and simply fill the bottle with “100 Grand” candy bars and get a little creative with the label. Maybe say “Congratulations! Here’s 100 Grand to celebrate.”

A Maze Bank for Money or Gift Cards

This graduation gift idea takes some brain power to unlock the cash. If you would like to give the graduate some money or a gift card to their favorite store, consider the Maze Bank. Just slide in the cash or gift card and close the lid. In order to retrieve their gift, they have to complete the maze. The maze consists of a small metal ball and some twists and turns.

A College Survival Kit

This is a fun idea for those of you who like to shop. It’s a college survival kit full of items every graduating high school senior needs to move into the dorms or their very first apartment. From Ramen Noodle and Fabric Freshener to plastic utensils and Easy Mac, this is a gift you can really get creative with.

This graduation gift would work well for any graduate. Just fill up a laundry basket with some essentials and you are good to go. You could even add a list describing the inspiration for each of the items. For example, put in some Extra gum with the message “For that EXTRA motivation”.

A Cash Lei

How amazing is this cash lei? It also makes for one great picture. And it is actually quite simple to make. You tie several one dollar bills together in a bundle and then attach them to a piece of ribbon. They also tied little bags of Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses to the lei.

As you can see from the photo above, this college graduate is actually wearing three leis. One is the traditional flower lei, the money lei and a candy lei.

Bullhorn Speaker

This Bullhorn Speaker from CWonder can be used to pump up the music or possibly even the alarm on the iPhone. This portable amplifier can blast up to 13 decibels of volume and there’s no external power needed.

I’m thinking this would be perfect for the graduate who uses their iPhone as their alarm for waking up in the morning. Maybe 13 decibels of sound will get them out of bed after a late night study session. Because we all know they are going to be up late at night studying and not socializing.

As you can see, getting creative when it comes to graduation gift ideas isn’t difficult. You can really wow your graduate with a very fun gift. It can either be something to make them laugh, something to help them with their finances or something they’ll want to hold on to forever as a keepsake.