How to Decorate Your Graduation Cap

how to decorate graduation cap

Decorating your graduation cap is your big shot at one last statement before the real world begins. Whether the design you choose is humorous, whimsical, matter-of-fact or simply colorful, it’s a fun project that can be done on a budget. Follow these steps to make one of two designs–a Pixar “UP”-themed graduation cap, or a nautical one with an anchor motif. Happy crafting, and con(GRAD)ulations!

For these two designs, you’ll need:how to decorate graduation cap



  • Measure out the top of the graduation cap and eyeball where you want the letters to fit.
  • Trace the letters on your cardboard box and carefully cut them out with a box to decorate graduation caphow to decorate graduation cap
  • Affix glitter and/or paint, if you’d prefer, to the letters.
  • Line the edges of the grad cap with twine. This will help it stand out in the crowd of graduates!
  • Once you have glued on the twine lining (hot glue might stick best), glue on the letters. (For this “UP” movie theme, the words “Adventure is out there!” might be most fitting.) Make sure none of the glue gets outside the lines, as it will show on the fabric. Trim all hot glue threads to make it a clean graduation cap.
  • If you’re going with the “UP” theme, rip up some of the packing peanuts and glue them on as clouds.
  • For the hot-air balloon, rip the peanuts into smaller chunks and color them with markers or paint. Arrange them in the balloon shape and glue them on, making sure the colors are all mixed up!how to decorate graduation caphow to decorate graduation cap
  • For the strings attached to the balloon, cut twine into four short pieces and glue on. Print out or draw a basket (or a house, to match “UP”) for the bottom.

how to decorate graduation cap

  • Tip: If you want it to really resemble a sky, cut out a square of blue felt or paper and attach before adding the letters and decorations.
  • If you’re looking for a nautical-themed graduation cap, follow the same process but create an anchor motif out of the twine. A blue-and-white theme will show up well, so consider affixing blue felt or paper before starting on this one, too. As for the words, something like “Setting Sail: 2016” would make sense.

how to decorate graduation cap

Always remember to make sure the tassel doesn’t interfere with any part of the decorations. Check before you walk on graduation day to ensure no pieces are loose or prone to falling off; you wouldn’t want to be missing letters! If you’re concerned about messy glue or needing to shift words around on the mortarboard, use tape to attach the letters. You can also add stickers and glitter for extra effect, and line the cap edges with lace or glitter glue.

Perhaps you’re starting a full-time job after graduation, continuing with grad school or even moving to a new city. This craft is just the beginning–so make it an enjoyable one with these simple steps and supplies!

(GIFs: The Odyssey, fromjetose)

Do you have any graduation cap decoration stories or tips? Leave them in the comments section below!