How to Make an Amazing Virtual Graduation Card

Moira West


These days, graduation parties and milestones may be celebrated a little differently than pre-pandemic days. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recognize all they’ve accomplished with video, and bring people together from across the country. You can create your own graduation video in a matter of minutes, and we’re here to help.

Read on to find out how to make a video to celebrate an momentous achievement. Or if you’re ready to go right now, click on the link to be taken to the graduation template shown below.

Need to answer a specific question? Click on the links below to jump to that section.

What to include in your high school or college graduation video

Before you put together your video or slideshow, take some time to collect all the photos and video clips you’ll need to tell your grad’s story. You can reach out to friends and relatives, search through social media, or hunt down old photo albums to find them all. To help your search, here’s a list of a few types of photos or video clips you might want to include:

  • The early years: Show your grad how far they’ve come! Grab an image from the first day of school or a preschool graduation photo.
  • Extracurricular activities: School isn’t just about academics! Add in a few photos and video clips featuring teams and clubs your grad participated in to show their extracurricular accomplishments.
  • Family and friends: Share vacation or holiday photos to show your graduate happy and surrounded by those they love.
  • Big school moments: Include a few of your grad’s’ major school highlights—prom, homecoming games, or awards ceremonies all merit the cut.
  • What’s next: Is your grad off to college? Off to work? Include some shots of what’s to come or share wishes for their future.
  • Graduation day: Even if you can’t celebrate at an official ceremony, you can still snap a picture of your grad in their cap and gown and add it to your video. If your grad’s school is still having a graduation ceremony, you can quickly capture part of the ceremony and add it to your video.

What to say in your graduation video

When you add text to your video, think of it as telling a story. Talk about your grad’s journey towards their degree from the beginning through the present, and remind them of all they’ve accomplished. If you’re unsure of what to write, just speak from the heart—literally. Try talking out what you want to say and write down what you come up with.

When in doubt, visit our post on graduation quotes. We’ve got famous, funny, and heartfelt sayings to help you find the right words to say, including the ones below.

Ideas for making a graduation video while social distancing

If you want to send your grad a video celebration while you're far away, here are a few suggestions you can try:

  • Include messages from loved ones. Ask friends and family to shoot a few seconds of video on their phones wishing their congratulations to your grad. Have them send you all the videos and put them together in your video.
  • Show everyone at once. Use an online meeting platform, like Zoom, to get friends and family together. Set up Gallery View, so you can see everybody at once. Record the meeting and have everyone say, “Congratulations” or whatever greeting you wish at the same time. Then add the recording to your Animoto video. You can see what this looks like in the Graduation Message template above.
  • Do a graduation photo shoot. Put those graduation robes to use, even if your grad isn’t walking in a ceremony to get their diploma. Have your graduate wear their robes and take photos in front of a backdrop or in a pretty location. Add the photos together in an eye-catching photo burst for a stop-motion effect.
  • Make a video yearbook. Celebrate all they’ve achieved with a video recapping their year. Include any academic photos you have, plus extracurricular activities and out-of-school moments that they’ll want to remember. You can even ask friends to “sign” the yearbook with quotes you can include in your video.

How to make a graduation video in Animoto

1. Choose a graduation template

Starting with a template takes a lot of the work out of making a video. We recommend our Graduation Message and Graduation Memories templates for graduations, but you can pick and customize any template that you like.

2. Add in photos and video clips

Check out your social media accounts to find photos from your grad’s school years. If you can, add a few short video clips to add extra movement and energy to your graduation slideshow. Record a couple quick interviews with friends and family to elevate your video.

3. Drag and drop to make your video

When you’ve gotten all your material together, upload them into Animoto. Then drag the photo or video clip you want into your video. If you’re using one of our graduation templates, you can also change the text to fit your grad. Check out the section on what to say in your video up above for ideas.

4. Choose colors for your graduation video

Since it’s graduation, show your school pride one last time! Choose your graduate’s school colors to accent your video. If those don’t work for you, just pick out your grad’s favorite colors to customize the video just for them.

5. Graduation slideshows with music

Music can help amplify the mood you’re trying to create in your video. If you’re making a graduation video for your child, try a sweet instrumental track. Celebrating your own ceremony? Try a high-energy track to match the excitement of Graduation Day.

Animoto has a library of commercially licensed songs you can use in any of your videos. We’ve got a few favorites, shown below, but you can use our music filters to find one that fits your grad. You can also upload your own licensed music into your video if you have a favorite song you really want to use.

Sharing your graduation video

After you’ve finished your video, here are a few ways you can share it.

Post on social media

Let friends and family who can’t be there get in on the excitement of graduation day by sharing your video on social media. Just click on the share icon from any finished video project, and then select the social network(s) you’d like to share to!

Alternatively, you can always download your video and then upload it directly to the desired social destination.

Share Facebook or Instagram Stories

Celebrate school memories and achievements with a vertical video you can share as a Facebook or Instagram Story. Create the video using the Animoto’s Social Video Editor app for iOS devices or try Animoto 3, which lets you create vertical videos designed for Stories. Drop graduation photos and footage into video templates, customize, and share to Instagram.

Show a graduation video in an online meeting

If you’re social distancing, you can share your video through a Zoom meeting or Google Hangout. Both tools let you share your screen, so you can arrange a virtual party for your grad and show your graduation slideshow then. Watch a graduation slideshow at a party

What if social distancing has been eased in your area? It’s easy to set up a TV or projector so you can share a video at a graduation party. We cover how to set up your graduation video for an audience in this blog post.

Whether you’re an educator or a parent check out our graduation video page for even more inspiration. Then get started creating your own video slideshow to help your grad relive their journey to graduation day.