Grad Caps

Decorating a grad cap allows students to showoff their individuality and capture memories for years to come. (Cara Pedersen / Daily Titan)

A graduation cap is a meaningful piece of a student’s regalia. It symbolizes the end of the college experience, and it serves as a key to what’s in store on the other side of classes, study sessions, finals and papers. 

Once graduation comes around students want to personalize their cap with something meaningful that can be enjoyed for years to come. 

With graduation only a couple of weeks away, students should start thinking about how to decorate their cap in a way that encapsulates the last days of college. However, it may take more than a glue stick and some construction paper. Here are some tips on how to effectively find ideas, decorate and prepare your cap for commencement. 

The first step is figuring out what will be going onto the cap. Using Etsy or Pinterest can be a great way to find inspiration. Pinterest is filled with tons of ideas from past graduates. 

When looking for something more specific, Pinterest is bound to have cap inspiration from favorite movies, TV shows, books or artists. Etsy also has great inspiration for those who may want to get crafty. 

Great things to put onto caps include your major, interests, a quote from a show or movie, an appropriate meme or a monogram. Be sure that whatever is placed on your cap is something you’ll want to look at in pictures forever. 

In addition, be sure to pick a unique design. Pinterest is a great way to find designs because it has never-ending updates of pins added to the list every day. Using Google can also be helpful, but try to stay away from ideas on the first page of images. If you’ve seen it, many others have seen it too. 

Once the idea is set, it’s time to get some materials. Common tools for this job include a glue gun, scrapbook paper, stickers, ribbons and other decorations. Reference your image and make a shopping list of what you think you’ll need. This will help you spend less money and waste less materials. 

Try on the cap before you heat up the glue gun. Make sure that the design on your cap doesn’t face the wrong way or turn upside down when you put it on. Remember that one of the pointed corners should point toward the front, middle of the head. Create a design that fits in a diamond shape rather than a square. 

Make sure that the design doesn’t get in the way of the tassel attaching to the cap or dangling properly off the side. If you use puffy stickers or paint, make sure the tassel won't rub or knock off the decoration. 

When it’s time to start decorating, measure the cap and cut out a piece of scrapbook paper that fits over the top. Make sure to cut out the middle for the tassel. Before hot gluing the paper onto the cap, create the design on the piece of scrapbook paper. This way, you avoid damaging your cap during the creative process. 

Using scrapbook paper, as opposed to decorating right onto the cap, helps other embellishments like stickers, glitter and puff paint stick better. If you start decorating with the cap as the base, some pieces may fall off. 

Once, you’re done decorating, hot glue your masterpiece onto the cap, add the final touches and attach the tassel. 

The ultimate rule when creating the perfect cap design is to not wait until the last minute. Great cap ideas and decorating take time and patience. You’ll spend more time decorating your cap than actually wearing it, but this is a piece of personal history that will last for years to come.




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