4 Quick Tips on Decorating Your Graduation Cap! / by Ushvani Jagdeo

Congratulations! You've finally made it to the end of the race. Whether it has taken you 4 years or FOR-EVER, the point is that you've come this far. 

Here are a few tips for getting the job done in advance and just in time for your senior portraits:  

  1. THE COMPOSITION; As soon as you receive your cap and gown, start brainstorming! What are your must-haves (symbols, crests, pearls, glitter)? What quotes do you live by? Which student organizations have made a significant impact on your college career? What field do you plan on pursuing a career in? Think about how you can incorporate all of these things into one, cohesive piece. Pinterest has lots of great ideas!
     
  2. THE LOGISTICS; If you would like a colored background, go with cardstock! It's guaranteed not to bend or buckle with glue. Hobby Lobby sells a great assortment of 12"x12" cardstock (including glitter) for a dollar or two! You will have to cut a hole in the center of the hat to ensure your tassel can be attached later. The easiest way is to cut a plus-shaped hole in the center and work your way around the little knob. 

    If you would like to use a patterned print that you've found online (Lilly Pulitzer) or loose glitter, your best friend will be Mod Podge! Put a layer underneath and on top of the paper or glitter to ensure that it is sealed.

    Pearls can be a pain to glue! You can buy pre-lined strings of halved pearls at any craft store. Just make sure to add a layer of hot glue as an extra adhesive. 
     
  3. THE OPTIONS; Make a rough draft before gluing, take a picture, disassemble, repeat! Who doesn't love multiple choice problems? Share your snapshots with friends or family members for feedback or simply sleep on it and revisit your options later in the week. 
     
  4. THE DETAILS; You've probably always been told that paying attention to detail is always important. This is true, even with your graduation cap! Before you glue ANYTHING to the hat itself, make sure you check to see where the front and back of the hat are. I'll admit it, I totally glued my hat backwards! ;) 

I coined the motto "only winners take victory laps" during my super senior year as an Exercise Science major. It's very fitting, because sometimes you need to embrace the suck and learn to enjoy the journey. The colors (green, white and gold) reflect my alma mater (UNC Charlotte) and the turtle represents my sorority's mascot (Delta Zeta)...and just happen to go with the race metaphor! Whatever you decide to do, my hope is that your cap has special meaning to you and that one day you can look back at it and remember some of the best years of your life. 

Happy crafting, friends!