girl holding her decorated grad cap

When you walk across that stage in your cap and gown to receive your diploma, make sure you dress up your mortarboard in style. But just how to decorate your grad cap? There are many factors to consider. You want your custom graduation cap decoration to reflect your personal style and aesthetic. This might mean decorating your graduation cap using lots of bright, glittery accents for maximum sparkle potential. Or, you may opt for an understated but elegant display of your Greek organization’s signature colors and letters. Graduation cap decorations are also a great way to show off your personal style. It’s an opportunity to share your life motto or all-time favorite movie line.

The options for graduation cap decoration ideas are endless. Some seniors opt for inspirational graduation quotes while others go for whimsical or cute graduation caps. Our tips for decorating your graduation cap will inspire your creativity, no matter what your personal style is. Read on to discover high school and college graduation cap ideas you’re sure to love.

What’s Your Graduation Cap Theme?

When it comes time to choose your graduation cap decoration, the first thing you should do is think about the theme that you’d like to use for your high school or college grad cap. Do you want to feature a meme or catchphrase that was popular this year? Are you looking to create a design that’s related to your specific college major? Want to proudly decorate your cap in your school colors or with a design that features your beloved college mascot? Or maybe you’d like to showcase a clever line from a song, a Bible verse, or favorite Harry Potter quote? Nothing is impossible when it comes to how to decorate a grad cap.

Keep in mind that you’ll inevitably be creating a piece of art that’s sure to become a treasured keepsake. Graduation cap designs celebrate one of the most pivotal events in seniors’ lives. More than likely, you’ll want to put this personal and meaningful artwork on display in a graduation cap shadow box to preserve for years to come. Grad cap frames are ideal keepsakes to celebrate your school memories.

Unique Grad Cap Ideas

Deciding on just the right graduation cap decoration will probably take you more time than the actual process of decorating your cap. After all, this is a major milestone in your life, and your friends and family members will want to capture lots of pictures of you in your grad regalia for their scrapbooks and photo frames. If you’re looking for fun and imaginative graduation cap ideas, check out some of the themes that our college diploma frame customers and bloggers tackled and a wealth of artistic inspiration on our Pinterest graduation cap decorations board.
grad cap shopping list of items

Stock up on Crafting Supplies

While you’ll probably find everything you need at a crafts and art supply store, you may be able to find similar (and even better!) crafting supplies for less at your local dollar store. It’s a great way to save on glue sticks, foam stickers, fabrics, beads, ribbons, silk flowers, glitter glues, colorful washi tapes, and decorative papers. We guarantee that no one will be able to tell the difference between grad cap decorations from the dollar store vs. a high end craft store.

8 Steps for How to Decorate a Cap for Graduation

Graduation cap decoration steps 1-4

1.) Place your grad cap facedown on a sheet of poster board. Trace around the square mortarboard with a pencil. Use a ruler to determine the location of the tassel button at the center of the grad cap.

2.) Sketch out your graduation cap decoration design. Draw a straight line up to the tassel button from bottom of square. Arrange adhesive letters to determine placement.

3.) Cut out your mountain range from silver glitter paper, a strip of blue glitter paper for your lake, and gold glitter circle for button of grad cap. Set letters and glitter paper pieces aside.

4.) Cut out the grad cap square then cut along the straight line toward the center of the cap. Next, cut a hole much smaller than the button outline to ensure a snug fit on your cap. Paint the sky light blue and use a cotton ball to dab white clouds onto the sky.

Graduation cap decoration steps 5-8

5.) Swirl gold glitter glue and orange and yellow paints around the hole area; let dry. Turn cap over to determine front of cap. Carefully slide the square onto the top of the grad cap. Adjust accordingly before gluing to the mortarboard.

6.) Glue the glitter mountain, lake, and sun to your cap. Print out, cut, and glue featured images onto your design. Cut four thin gold glitter paper strips as grad cap borders; glue to edges of cap.

7.) Affix adhesive letters to the sky area and paint. Next, add royal blue shading to the silver mountains and some subtle accents to the water area.

8.) Using dark green paint, add a forest along the base of the mountain. Next, add light green highlights to the right sides of the trees and to the water.

Graduation cap decoration completed

Final Touches: Brush some white snow onto mountains and add ripples to the water. Acrylic paints are very forgiving, so you can always add more color where needed. As a finishing touch, cut out a pine tree shape from green glitter paper and glue to the foreground of your scene. Secure any loose items with hot glue where needed. Use these tips and quality graduation cap ideas to make your own unique cap that matches your aesthetic or showcases your own interests!

Protect and Preserve Your Grad Cap

Graduation is certainly cause for celebration. It’s the big day you’ve been tirelessly working toward and dreaming about for years. Why not honor this momentous occasion with the perfect graduation gift? Put your decorated mortarboard on display in a graduation cap frame and preserve it for future generations. A custom frame will keep your graduation day memento safe and allow you to display it for decades. Plus, it’ll look fantastic on a wall next to your diploma frame with tassel holder. In addition to your graduation cap, gown, and tassel, why not frame your graduation stole and honor cords as well? Safeguarded in a graduation tassel frame from Church Hill Classics is a great way to showcase your hard-earned diploma next to your framed commencement regalia.

Check out Our How-To Video for More Grad Cap Ideas!


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