15 Unique 2016 Graduation Gifts That Are A Lot More Personal Than Cash

Take a look at any graduation party gift table, and you'll be sure to see a stack of plain envelopes holding cash and gift cards, at least one copy of Oh, the Places You'll Go, and probably more than one stuffed animal wearing a cap and gown. It really is the thought that counts when it comes to gift giving, so when you're picking out a present for a graduate in your life, go for a unique graduation gift instead of the traditional ones everyone else gets.

When you go to pick out a graduation gift, you're probably looking for something personal, sentimental, and even inspiring. You want something special that marks the occasion, something that says you're proud of your loved one's past accomplishments, and are excited for all the possibilities their future holds. You want the perfect gift, and you don't want it to be a plush toy holding a diploma, a 2016 charm, or anything else you might find in the seasonal section of the drugstore.

Because your loved ones deserve something as remarkable as they are on their big day, here are 15 unique graduation gifts that are more thoughtful and a whole lot more personal than an envelope of cash.

1. Personalized Map Coasters

Graduating usually means moving on, both figuratively and literally. Give your graduate something to remember their home town or college town by with personalized coasters engraved with a map of the place they will always love.

Personalized Map Coasters, $49, Etsy

2. You Earned It Bottle Opener

I think the inscription on this bottle opener says it all.

You Earned It Bottle Opener, $29, Owen & Fred

3. If This Isn't Nice, What Is? Advice to the Young by Kurt Vonnegut

Books may be a traditional graduation gift, but the advice in Kurt Vonnegut's If This Isn't Nice, What Is? is anything but. Instead of getting the same old picture book or essay collection about growing up, go for Vonnegut's unique collection of insightful, hilarious, and often inspiring words of wisdom.

'If This Isn't Nice, What Is? Advice to the Young' by Kurt Vonnegut, $9.50, Amazon

4. Scratch Map

Graduating is just the beginning, and who knows where life will take the graduate you're gifting. Give them a way to keep track of and display all of their new adventures.

Scratch Map, $28.95, UncommonGoods

5. Inspire Candle Set

Bright and colorful, these candles don't only look and smell great, but each one also comes with a surprise. A cute, inspiring silver charm waits at the bottom of each one.

Inspire Candle Set, $24.95, Papyrus

6. Graduation Celebration Kit

If you can't actually make it to your loved one's graduation to celebrate with them, send them everything they need for a good time. Complete with a "Pop the Bubbly" tote, a glitter candle, "You're a Gem" soap, confetti, and a personalized note, all this kit is missing is the actual champagne.

Graduation Celebration Kit, $37.52, Etsy

7. Home Tool Set

For the graduate who's packing up and making a new home for themselves after the ceremony, a tool set is the perfect gift. This practical kit with essential tools for basic home projects and repair is the kind of useful gift that every new "adult" needs to get at some point.

Great Neck Saw Essentials Home Tool Set, $16.51, Home Depot

8. "Concatulations" Mug

Since you know someone else is sure to get your graduate some kind of glassware with 2016 printed on it, go a completely different route with this adorable and hilarious cat-themed graduation mug. Who doesn't like a good pun, right?

'Concatulations' Mug, $18, Etsy

9. 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today? by Dan Zadra

Life is an open book after graduation, and 5 can help a graduate figure out how to fill it.

'5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today?' by Dan Zadra, $9.43, Amazon

10. Roman Numeral Bracelet Cuff

Instead of giving your graduate yet another trinket with "2016" on it, switch things up by commemorating the special year with a Roman numeral-printed piece of jewelry. Simple yet beautiful, it's a sentimental gift that isn't too gaudy, and one someone will actually wear beyond this year.

Roman Numeral Bracelet Cuff, $12, Etsy

11. The Carry-On Cocktail Kit

For the jet-setting graduate, this adorable champagne cocktail kit is perfect for their carry-on. Complete with elderflower syrup and a stirring spoon, it's a fun gift that makes that first flight after graduation, whether it's to a celebratory vacation or a new city for work, all the more exciting.

The Carry-On Cocktail Kit The Champagne Cocktail , $23.71, UncommonGoods

12. Personalized Makeup Bag

Great for makeup storage or travel, this personalized makeup bag is printed with not only a great empowering quote, but the graduate's initial on the outside and year on the inside, making it that much more special.

Personalized Makeup Bag, $36, Etsy

13. Wishing Ball

The year after graduating is full of ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, but the most important thing those 12 months are full of is dreams. Give your graduate a way to keep track of their hopes, wishes, and gratitude with this beautiful hand globe wishing ball, complete with 52 scrolls to write on, one for each week of the year.

Wishing Ball, $32, UncommonGoods

14. Monogrammed Bar Set

After graduating, the days of cheap boxed wine are (supposedly) behind you. If you're gifting a graduate who would like to start being a more sophisticated drinker, give them this personalized monogrammed bar tool set perfect for mixing classic cocktails. Every graduate deserves a stiff drink, after all.

Monogrammed Stainless Steel Bar Tools, $34.95, Williams-Sonoma

15. Weekender Bag

Graduating usually means saying goodbye, but it doesn't have to be forever. Give the special graduate in your life a weekender bag, so they will always have the perfect size luggage to come visit you for a mini reunion.

Floral Canvas Weekender, $27.99, Target

Images: UncommonGoods