Stroll Down Memory Lane with this Graduation Banner (Easy)

Graduation banner showcasing 1st day of school pictures mounted on white and gold cardstock hanging from twine by mini clothespins

Recall memories of the annual First Day of School with this nostalgic graduation banner. It’s an easy and beautiful way to display pictures of your graduate.

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Graduation Banner Project Overview

With only a few supplies and tools, you can whip up this nostalgic graduation banner. The hardest part of this project (at least for me) was finding all the first day of school pictures because I had saved them in many different places over the years. Fortunately, I located one from every year and was able to create this banner for my daughter’s high school graduation.

How to Make the Graduation Banner

Here’s What I Used:



  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Optional: Electronic cutting machine, like a Cricut Maker

Project Steps

1 – Print Pictures

Print out 5” x 7” copies of the 1st Day of School pictures. In addition, include a graduation photo to complete the series. For convenience, I uploaded my digital pictures to Walgreens Photo Service and ordered 18 5x7s prints. However, if you have a printer at home, you could easily print them out yourself.

2 – Select Cardstock

I selected white with gold foil cardstock to create the flags for the graduation banner. I chose these colors and patterns because they would not detract from the photos. Here is the cardstock I used: DCWV Gold + White Premium Stack.

3 – Cut Banner Shapes

I used swallowtail-shaped flags for my graduation banner. Each flag was 11.25″ by 5.5″. That size provided a wide-enough border to display some of the pretty cardstock, but also allowed me to cut two flags from each 12″ x 12″ piece of cardstock. Cut one flag for each picture you want to display, plus two extra (to serve as end caps for the banner). I cut out 18 flags for my banner (preschool, pre-K, kindergarten – 12th grade, a graduation picture, and two extra flags).

I used my Cricut Maker to cut the swallowtail shapes. However, you could easily cut the shapes by hand. See the pattern below. First cut an 11.25” x 5.5” rectangle from the cardstock. To make the swallowtails, mark the center point 2.75″ from the edge and 3.5” from the bottom of the rectangle. Draw a straight line from the bottom right corner of the rectangle to the center point you just marked. Draw another line from the bottom left corner to that same center point. Cut along those lines. 

4 – Glue 1st Day of School Pictures to Banner Flags

Using plenty of photo-safe glue dots, I glued the pictures to the cardstock flags. I used ZOTS for this project.

5 – Hang Flags on Twine with Mini Clothespins

After glueing all the pictures onto the cardstock flags, all you need to do is clip them on the piece of twine using mini clothespins. I had a stash of mini orange clothespins at home and orange happened to be one of my daughter’s school colors. You can use unpainted clothespins or whatever color you desire. Your banner is now ready to display in your party space. 

Other Uses for this Banner

After the graduation parties are over, you can turn the banner into a keepsake for your graduate. Simply punch a hole in the top center of each banner flag and secure them together using a ring or a short length of twine.

In addition to graduation parties, these photo banners also would make terrific decorations for milestone birthdays, rehearsal dinners, and retirement parties.

Enjoy your walk down memory lane!

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