Make your own college survival kit to send them back to school with all the essentials!

Know a high school graduate heading off to college soon?

Consider making a fun DIY College Survival Kit gift basket and then attaching our free printable card! I went to Dollar Tree for filler items, but you can create a simple gift basket with items you think your recipient will both need and love. I remember how bummed I was in college to have to spend and budget for essentials like soap, detergent, toothpaste, and batteries for the first time. My freshmen college roommate received a gift basket like this, and I remember being kind of jealous at the time! 😂

This is such an exciting time in a young person¡¯s life, and receiving a thoughtful gift like this is special and also easy to accomplish at any price point.

Make a super affordable gift basket from Dollar Tree!

Dollar tree has inexpensive snacks and practical items to fill a gift basket for college students, including large baskets to use as containers! I scored everything pictured below at Dollar Tree for about $13!

Hip Tip: If you are wanting to make multiple baskets for graduation gifts, consider shopping for personal care, cleaning supplies, snacks, and more in bulk.

Here are some fun college survival kit ideas to consider:

    • flip flops for shower shoes
    • earplugs and sleeping masks
    • laundry detergent/dryer sheets
    • laundry basket/laundry bags
    • hangers
    • snack food items like Ramen noodles & microwave popcorn
    • shower gel and loofah
    • coffee mugs/cups and instant coffee
    • hand soap/hand sanitizer
    • personal care items like deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
    • tools, flashlight, batteries
    • First Aid kit with bandages and pain reliever

Click HERE to Print College Survival Kit Card

DIY College Survival Kit


Supplies Needed

  • free printable card

  • small laundry basket
  • tape and ribbon
  • collection of gift basket fillers
  • clear cellophane wrap



Print the card and attach it to the basket using tape.


Fill the basket with all your goodies.


Cover the basket with clear cellophane and attach a bow or ribbon.

This is such a thoughtful and practical gift idea!

Other than gift cards or cash, I honestly struggle with what to give as graduation gifts. A gift basket doesn¡¯t cost much, but it can mean so much to someone that you thought of them!

Check out 7 more frugal graduation gift ideas HERE!