5 DIY Going Away to College Gift Basket Ideas for Boys

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Graduation is coming up soon and that typically entails celebrations!

And celebrations often include gift giving, but what do you even give high school graduate boys??

If you give them something big, they may not be able to take it with them in college (i.e. small dorm space). Your giftee will be preparing to leave, and you don’t want to give them extra items to pack.

I think that the practical route is always a good choice when it comes to high school grads.

They are kids who are going into the world for the first time all on their own. So, even just basic essentials are more than appreciated.


It can be hard to decide on a gift that’s helpful, yet doesn’t cost hundreds.

That’s why I think gift baskets make great ‘going away to college’ gift ideas for guys at graduation! They are useful, practical and affordable – all the hallmarks of a great gift!

I have come up with five thoughtful and practical gift ideas that should solve these problems.

The best part is:

They are all super easy DIY gift baskets – no special Martha Stewart skills needed!

5 DIY Going Away to College Gift Basket Ideas for Boys

1. Laundry/Household Basket

Unfortunately, laundry and cleaning just can’t be avoided in life.


No one likes paying for those items, especially when on a limited young adult budget. From what I can tell, boys also tend to prioritize buying basic cleaning supplies less than girls.


A basket with just regular household items makes a nice gift idea for boys. The giftee won’t have to worry about buying these essential items for at least the first month of college and that can be a big relief!

Even the basket itself can be used for organization in a bathroom or kitchen.

For this ‘going away to college‘ gift basket theme:

Anything useful or trial sized can be added in in to get them started. This present will have what they need for one person.

Try not to overload it with things that might be difficult to pack or might go bad before they finish using them.

HINT: Almost all these items can be found at The Dollar Store!

I picked up everything here for only $13, and the Persil was a free sample I got in the mail.

Graduation Gift Ideas

Here’s what I included in my Laundry/Household Gift Basket:

  1. Persil Pro Clean Detergent (1 load sample pack)
  2. Air Wick Spray
  3. Downy Deodorizing Spray
  4. Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent, 5 loads
  5. Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, 5 loads
  6. Scrubbing sponges, 2 pk
  7. Small Garbage bags, 25 ct
  8. Gain Dryer Sheets, 15 ct
  9. Snack Cilp, 3 pk (they are clipped them around edges and one is used to hold the tag)
  10. Scented Crystal Beads (they can be put in dish to make a room smell nice.)
  11. Cascade Platinum Dishwasher Packs, 4 ct
  12. Lint Roller, 45 sheets
  13. Basket/Container (can be used under a sink or on top to hold personal belongings)

2. Shower Basket/Kit

Showering is another task that must done at some point in time, and that’s what makes a shower themed basket SO useful.

This would also be something a broke college student would love to get as a care package (? maybe save this idea for later). When you live on your own the first time you can sometimes forget everything you need and how much it all costs.


If you get the right type of basket it can be used to carry items to & from dorm showers, like this portable shower caddy. I was a little short on time when making mine, otherwise I would have gone for adding that in.

I think that little extra really elevates the gift. I say that the more usefulness you can pack in, the better!

Most of the items included in this basket I was able to pick up for very cheap using coupons and sales. My favorite site to check for the best deals is Hip2Save.

Here’s what I included in my Shower Basket/Kit:

  1. Flip Flops (shower flip flops are a must in communal showers)
  2. Shower Gel
  3. Shower Pouf
  4. Shaving Cream
  5. Razor
  6. Deodorant
  7. Trial size shampoo & conditioner
  8. Toothpaste
  9. Toothbrush
  10. Mouthwash
  11. Floss
  12. Waterproof Basket
  13. Portable Shower Caddy*

*Not included in mine, but I think it would be great to use as the basket part!

3. Car Care Gift Basket

This next gift basket idea for boys is great for those who take pride in their car! Most of graduates will be driving, so they can always use items to take care of their car.


Some (lucky guys) may have gotten a car for graduation, making this type of basket extra needed.

Besides the gift card in this basket, I bought everything else at The Dollar Store for $8.

Graduation Gift Ideas

Here’s what I included in my Car Care Gift Basket:

  1. $50 Jiffy Lube gift card (oil changes made easy)
  2. Armor All Wheel & Tire Shine
  3. Glass Wipes, 40 ct
  4. Microfiber Cleaning Towels, 2 ct
  5. Microfiber Drying Cloth, 1 ct
  6. Carpet & Upholstery Wipes, 20 ct
  7. Washing Sponge
  8. Car Air Freshener, 3 pk
  9. Latex Textured Grip Gloves

 4. Gift Card Bouquet

If you’re not sure what type of gift your grad would like best, gift cards are always appreciated. Gift Cards are easy and they don’t take up any extra room (for packing later).

Making a gift card bouquet is easy to do. Here how:

Start by getting a vase, then put rocks or marbles in the bottom. Next buy gift cards and tape them on to BBQ Skewers ($1 at The Dollar Store).

Arrange them and add some confetti or ribbon. I used ribbon that matched the high school colors of the graduate I was gifting it to.

And that’s it! Simple to make, but it provides tons of value.

You can put as many or as little gift cards as you like. Throwing a bunch of $5 gift cards from food places like Burger King, Subway, McDonalds, DQ or KFC would be a nice treat.

You can also mix it up by:

Putting in other cards like Jiffy Lube for oil changes. Gift cards for places like Target or Walmart, which will have sell a wide variety of items, are also a good idea.

And of course:

Including Amazon is a great bonus, as they can get just about anything they want delivered directly to them.

Graduation Gift Ideas

5. Money Bouquet

If all else fails, a graduate can always use money! Make it more thoughtful by creating a bouquet.

Layer decorative rocks ($1 at Dollar Store) in school colors and wrap with matching ribbon. Roll the bills onto BBQ skewers and tape on the bills onto them.

Another easy to make, yet awesome graduation gift idea for guys.


You can put in any amount and in any denomination you want.

I put (5) $5 Dollar bills and (5) $1 bills for a total of $30. It looks nice and those who heading to college can always use cash!

Graduation Gift Ideas

Free Printable Gift Tags

I’ve got a little extra something for you:

Free printable gift tags to use on your DIY ‘going away to college’ gift basket!

I suggest using one that corresponds to the gift type or one of the general candy ones. Hope you don’t mind that these tags are awfully corny! ?

To download them, simply click on the pictures.

High School College Graduation Gift Basket Ideas | For Girls, For Guys, For Her, For Him | How to Make, DIY | Free Printable, Printables Gift Tags | Budget Friendly


More gift ideas for students:


High School College Graduation Gift Basket Ideas | For Girls, For Guys, For Her, For Him | How to Make, DIY | Free Printable, Printables Gift Tags | Budget Friendly

Know a boy who is going away to college soon and looking for gift ideas? Check out these 5 DIY gift basket, they\'re like mini survival kits! Guy high school students who are graduating will really benefit from gifts like this. Click to see all 5 ideas!

I'm Jen, one of the co-founders of College Life Made Easy: a lifestyle blog that focuses on helping students navigate college life on topics of finance, organization, dorm living and more.

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