[DIY] Decorating Your Graduation Cap

Graduation time is right around the corner! Between final projects and chugging more energy drinks than is doctor-recommended, it’s an all-around stress-inducing time. That final sprint to the finish line can be the hardest part of the race.
So if you’re looking for a short reprieve from the never-ending papers, here’s a project that’ll release your inner muse and flaunt your style one last time as you walk across that stage at graduation.

Yes– decorating your cap!

For high school, I thought you could only get your cap professionally done, so I kept it plain. Blending in with the sea of teenagers, I regretted it. For college, I made sure to carpe the heck out of my diem, and decorated my own cap. There’s plenty of inspiration out there on the interwebs. It’s actually not that hard, and it turned out pretty rad, if I do say so myself. Here’s how I did it:

I’m Doctor Who trash #1, so obviously I had to reflect that on my big day. I knew I wanted a galaxy background and a TARDIS, so I got crafty.

There are plenty of Galaxy spray paint tutorials out there. I’m sure they are simple, so go for it! I don’t trust myself enough to not make a mess with spray paint, so I was a little wary. Thankfully, I have a friend on campus (James Bernhardt) who specializes in spray paint art, so he painted the background for me.

After letting that dry for a little bit, I got started crafting my prototype. A piece of sturdy cardboard is nice, otherwise, just use paper. Be sure to use a pencil so you can change it if you’re not feelin’ it!


I got these nifty paint pens from Walmart. They were only $2, so I made sure to grab a few different colors. After I got my design figured out, I lightly drew it in pencil on my cap, then filled it in with the paint pens. I also glued some foam letters with a glue gun. Go to the craft store and search around for whatever you want! Lots of people add bows, gemstones, puff paint, foam designs, etc. Let your creativity shine! (Pro tip: share stuff like glue guns and paint with your friends and split the cost!)


Here’s my final cap. I’m no artist, and thankfully the TARDIS is boxy enough to not be a complex design, but I love how it turned out. Greenville College has plenty other Whovians too, so I got quite a few compliments. Even President Ivan Filby, who is originally from the mother country, geeked out over it. I think he wanted a picture of my cap more than a picture with me!




With that said, decorating your cap can be great on a college budget and looks awesome at the same time. Get creative and let your nerd flag fly!

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