Too cool for school: Announcing graduation through nontraditional cards

As you can probably guess from my lack of posting, things have been… intense. I wrote for, edited, designed and completed my last fashion section for The University News (sob). I’ve been applying for jobs. I bought a graduation dress. I went out for my last college weekend and finally visited the near-campus bars and did other stereotypical college-gal things. I completed three of my four final exams/projects and have my last one due tomorrow afternoon. I graduate on Friday.

Considering how many times I’ve been asked this week alone “So, do you have a job lined up?” it’s a wonder I’m functional, at work on time, in real clothing, with mascara on, sober. No. I do not have a job lined up. YET.

To de-stress for a bit yesterday, I mailed out my graduation announcements. Although I’m becoming obnoxiously sentimental for anything “collegiate” right now (I hate that word, P.S., much like I hate when friends my age are already saying “my alma mater”… We’re 22, I remember which college you went to and you just left…) I decided to not order the traditional, double-enveloped, beige with a golden crest announcements. Why?

  • They are crazy expensive. Seriously, that’s close to what I’d assume wedding invitations are worth, and this is just to say I did go and finish that degree.
  • They’re kind of dull. Scratch that, they’re super dull. They make it look like I’m the kind of person who wears pearls that lay delicately over the top of my crew-neck Ann Taylor sweater that’s covered in a repeating pattern of something water- or bird-related. There’s nothing wrong with being the pearls-and-gulls girl, but I’m not. I’m the “She’d be so pretty if she took that thing out of her nose” girl with bright red hair who is currently wearing a hilarious t-shirt featuring a picture of Sid and Nancy as cats.

A while back, I started searching alternative graduation announcements up online (Pinterest, really) and somehow I ended up at Etsy. Every time a link leads to me Etsy, I always wonder why I didn’t think of it sooner. I’m familiar with the website, but I forget about it all the time.


Etsy introduced me to another forgotten idea– print yourself cards. For a fraction of a fraction of the cost to order the lackluster announcements, I could have a personalized PDF or JPEG that I could print anywhere and mail myself. It’s a brilliant, cost-efficient idea and I could not be happier with the results.

OhJuliaAnn (1) Graduation Announcement

I ordered the “Letterpress Printable Graduation Announcement” from the Etsy store Printastic Design and for a mere $15 I was quickly sent the above image. Isn’t it neat? I was able to customize the information, wording and colors to fit my school, degree and message. Better yet, the shop owner was quick to reply to emails and make changes as needed; honestly, it looked this great the first time, I just needed a PDF and a JPEG, because I’m needy (tee hee hee).

The blue looked slightly different printed, but I actually liked it more (also, I used my standard printer with an almost-empty ink cartridge, so any issues were on my end completely.) After printing on cardstock I already had I used a paper cuter to create perfect edges and mailed them off in standard card envelopes. Including stamps, I spent well under $30. I couldn’t recommend this method more for the unique, thrifty or hard-to-please grad who wants announcements with a little more pizzazz.

Back to work on this final exam so I really can graduate… Ta-ta!


  1. December 28, 2012 / 5:52 pm

    I am loving your blog! great advice, love it! x

    • December 28, 2012 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you! What a nice thing to say! 🙂

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