Do’s and Don’ts to Decorating Your Grad Cap

Graduation, whether it is from high school or college, is a big accomplishment. Naturally, people want to stand out in the large crowds and show off their personality. What better way to do this than by decorating your graduation cap?! (You could run around the field naked but I’m not sure that’s the kind of standing out your parents want to see on your big day.) Check out my tips for decorating your cap below.

  1. Use removable sticky paper. If you’re prohibited from decorating your cap (but are going to do it anyway) then use double-sided sticky paper. This allows you to decorate your cap and if you get in trouble you can rip it off. I used this for my high school graduation because the school threatened to not let people walk.
  2. Hot Glue EVERYTHING. After decorating both a high school and college graduation cap there’s one thing I learned: a hot glue gun is your best friend. Tacky glue works well because it dries clear but hot glue is the way to go if you’re attaching jewels or bows to your cap. It maybe intimidating if you’ve never worked with a glue gun before but trust me, it’s worth the effort.
  3. Don’t trust sticky jewels. Refer to #2 and ALWAYS USE HOT GLUE. The peel and stick letters and jewels may say they stick but we all know it’s a lie. After a few hours on your cap they’ll start abandoning ship one by one and then two by two.
  4. Make it stand out. Jewels, ribbon, bows, 3D effects, lights…there are plenty of ways to accessorize your graduation cap to make it stand out. Companies like Jolee’s Boutique carry decorations specifically for graduation caps. Instead of individually gluing on 200 jewels you can buy a sheet of peel and stick jewels. As noted in #2 and #3, don’t trust the sticky jewels alone and put a layer of glue on your cap before you put the sheet on.
  5. Be original. Pinterest and Instagram are good sites to find inspiration but don’t completely copy someone else’s idea. Make your graduation cap your own by writing a personal message or listing your accomplishments on it.
  6. Keep it clean. Don’t make your cap raunchy and inappropriate. Keep in mind your parents, siblings, extended family members, teachers/professors and school administrators will be at the ceremony. Don’t leave school being the kid with the vulgar graduation cap.
  7. Avoid Puffy Paint. I’m all for a good paint design but if you’re not experienced with Puffy Paint, then don’t use it for your graduation cap. I tried to use it on my bow to write out Greek letters and the whole thing ended up in the garbage. Look for fabric paint and stencils as an alternative or cut stick-on letters into the shapes you need.


Whatever you choose to do with your graduation cap, keep these tips in mind and remember: have fun because YOU’RE GRADUATING!!!


*Feature photo originally published on Instagram by @jessilynneee


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