Make a College Survival Kit With Dollar Tree Items!

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

a college gift basket tied up with a ribbon

Know a high school graduate heading off to college soon?

Need graduation gift basket ideas? You’ve come to the right place! Consider making this 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 college 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 freshman college roommate received a college 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!

A Dollar Tree cart filled with dorm room essentials

Make a super affordable college survival kit from Dollar Tree!

When it comes to college gift baskets, Dollar Tree can help you make one cheap! This store 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 graduation gift baskets and need ideas, consider shopping for personal care, cleaning supplies, snacks, and more in bulk.

A DIY College Survival Kit spread out on a kitchen counter

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

College Survival Kit

Hand holding card with college survival kit gift needed items

DIY College Survival Kit


Supplies Needed



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.

diy college survival kit from dollar tree items

This is such a thoughtful and practical college gift idea!

Other than gift cards or cash, I honestly struggle with what to give as graduation gifts. College gift baskets don’t have to cost much as it can mean so much to someone that you thought enough of them to hand-pick every item in a large basket like this!

For more college survival kit ideas, try adding in items from our dorm room essentials checklist!

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