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How to Decorate Your Graduation Cap

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I gotta be me!

Like a fingerprint, your grad cap is uniquely you. Some people like to be “traditional” and leave theirs blank, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As a matter of fact, you’ll probably find more black caps at graduation ceremonies than you do decorated caps. And in some circumstances schools actually forbid their students to decorate their caps. So, make sure you know where your school stands before you try and get creative.

But, if your school DOES let you decorate your cap and you’d like to express your creativity, here’s some thoughts and ideas to help you make your grad cap as unique as you are.

Supplies

First, you’re going to need some supplies. The local arts and crafts and hobby stores are probably the best place to go first. In most college towns there are probably some national chain options, but many towns, if they’re large enough, will also have smaller mom and pop art stores. A quick search on the web will show you your closest option.

Once there, the first thing you’ll need is a hot glue gun (if you don’t have one already). The hot glue gun will keep your creation from falling apart like a sugar castle in a thunderstorm. Don’t expect the old standby of white school glue to work nearly as well as a hot glue gun. And working with those super glues are just a disaster waiting to happen.

You’ll also want lots of colored paper, glitter, markers, scissors and whatnot. But really, after the hot glue gun, the supplies you’ll need are pretty much going to be determined by the design you’ve landed on.

Your Design

Some designs are word driven. They can be as simple as, “Hi Mom!” Many students will use their favorite quote from a movie, or from a philosopher. Others might put a bible verse on their cap. Another standby is to thank your parents. Whatever you decide to do, since words are just words, the creative side to this kind of cap is going to be the background and the lettering. Have some fun with the lettering. There are actually people who just do hand lettering for a living, so obviously the letters themselves can be a piece of artwork. For your background don’t make it too elaborate or people will have a hard time reading the words.

Other designs are more visually driven. If you’re a medical school grad you might put a picture of a heart on your cap, or an EKG heartbeat. Or if you’re a business student, then perhaps you might put a spreadsheet up there. These are all just simple suggestions. What you really should do is go online and be inspired by all those who have gone before you.

Here are a couple websites to get you started.

40+ Awesome Graduation Cap Decorating Ideas by For Creative Juice
60 Genius Graduation Cap Ideas by Personal Creations

In the end, it’s up to you what you put on your cap. The same way how you live your life is all up to you after graduation. So, be sure to make the best of it.

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For more graduation tips, check out this article on what to wear under your cap and gown!

Photos provided by @scherffjones and are from McCormick High School in South Carolina.

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