Courtesy of Pexels
Courtesy of Pexels

Decorating graduation caps is a tradition that many students partake in to celebrate their years of undergraduate college education. If you’re wondering how to go about it, read on!

Gather supplies:

The first thing graduates should do is gather supplies to craft personalized graduation caps — this includes your graduation cap, of course. Make sure you buy your graduation cap rather than rent it to ensure that you can modify it the way that you want. You need glue that adheres to fabric like hot glue or fabric glue. Don’t forget the cardboard or cardstock which is needed to create a base for your decoration. The most important thing that you need is decoration materials, such as paint, stickers, fabric markers, glitter, ribbons and sequins. 

Decide on a theme: 

These themes could be based on your favorite shows, movies or books, other interests of yours or significant facets of your personality. It could be fun to decorate your cap focusing around a joke or pun, and you can always find inspiration on Pinterest or other social media platforms. You can concentrate on your hobbies and the things you love but you can also focus on UCR, making a cap full of school spirit to celebrate your undergrad years.

Plan out your decoration design:  

Sketching out your design in a notebook to have a clear idea of what you want to see is very important to avoid any mistakes when crafting your cap to avoid wasting any materials. Then for the decoration portion, you need to prepare the base of the decoration which you will later attach to the surface of the graduation cap. To do this, you will need to measure the square surface of the cap and apply those measurements to a piece of cardboard. You could always just trace around the cap with a pencil on the cardboard but this technique might be less accurate. Then you can cut out your base which will be the surface on which you decorate. It’s best to avoid ruining the only graduation cap you have with accidental paint splotches or misspelled words. Additionally, the cardboard or cardstock should have a circle cut out in the middle to fit the small button into the base. You can also choose not to add a base and to decorate directly on the cap, but keep in mind that it is your only shot!

Decorating with a base:

If you decide to decorate using a base, here’s how. First of all, you have as many tries as you would like so you can try out any vision or theme that you are hesitant about. If you can’t decide between two themes, you could always do both and choose once they’re done. The first thing you can do is sketch your vision on the base using the sketches you made previously. If you plan on adding pictures, you can sketch the shapes of the pictures you would like to add on the base to know exactly where to position them. This will also help you decorate around where you plan on adding pictures. By painting your base you can also add new colors to your cap and once it’s dry, you can begin decorating with sequins, glitter and ribbons.

Decorating directly on the cap:

For this type of decoration, you only have one shot so be extremely careful. A great tool to be sure that you don’t mess up drawings is using chalk. Chalk is commonly used on fabric to mark where to cut or sew because it erases easily and does not leave marks. So begin by tracing your design on the cap and then get started. Using hot glue or fabric glue, you can begin to attach sequins, glitter and the rest of your decorating material. 

Once you are finished, the only thing left to do is graduate. Display your cap proudly and go get your diploma!