Grad Guide 2016: Tips for cap decorating

With graduation right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear. For those that are creative and want to personalize their graduation garb, decorating your cap is the perfect way to go. So without further ado, here are some ideas to help you stand out in the sea of green.

1. Use a quote or saying

The quote could be anything. It could be a quote from your favorite book or your favorite movie, like “May the odds be ever in our favor” or “Mischief Managed.” Or it could be just your favorite quote like “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. If you take this approach, make sure that you plan out the spacing on your cap, and don’t choose a quote that is too long. Also, pre-cut letters are great for those that don’t have the best handwriting. They are easy to use and will save time.

2. Show off your school pride

If you want your hat to be duck-themed, you could do a variety of cute crafts. You could use a popular University of Oregon saying like “Call me a Duck.” You could decorate your cap by gluing rubber duck to it. If you do this, make sure you use a hot glue gun, so that the ducks are sure to stay in place. You could also draw icons like the fighting duck or the “O.” There are so many options for making your cap duck-themed, but no matter what, don’t forget to use green and yellow.

3. Show off your future career

Depending on your career, there are many cool ideas for decorating your cap. For future teachers, you can decorate your cap with images of apples, the alphabet, pencils and other school-related items. You can make images using paint and homemade stencils. You can cut images from printer paper, place it against your cap, and fill in the stencil. You could also use felt paper, or draw directly onto the cap. No matter what you do, draw out your design on paper before you try it on the cap.

4. Stand out

Decorating your cap is supposed to make you look original in a crowd where everyone is dressed the same. The best way to shine is by literally shining, meaning glitter and rhinestones. Rhinestones are perfect for making whatever pattern you want. Love Pokémon? Make a sequined pokeball. Crazy about reading? Make a glitterized stack of books. Use a hot glue gun to glue the rhinestones to the hat, and don’t forget to let it dry.

5. Make a pattern

Patterns could be made by using rhinestones, of course, but if you’re looking for fun prints, like cheetah print, rhinestones would be the messy way to go. Instead, head over to your local craft store and buy scrapbook paper. Scrapbook paper is a 12-inch square that is pretty much the perfect size for graduation caps. The paper comes in fun prints that can be abstract doodles or animal print. It’s quick and easy but you’re guaranteed to look fabulous.

6. Be sentimental

Graduation can be a sentimental time so why not embrace it. A cute way to commemorate your last four years is to use pictures. You can take a blank scrapbook page and glue pictures to it in a creative fashion. You can display pictures of your friends, family, pet, whatever you want. This is an easy way to show off your life at school. Another way you can be sentimental is by making a collage of various things you have kept over your college years, like movie or concert tickets.

If you’re not crafty, buty you still want your cap to be decorated, you can purchase cap toppers online at websites such as or

Graduation is one of the most important events in your life. Decorating caps is a fun way to commemorate the day and to show off your creativity. So have fun and get decorating!

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.



Tell us what you think:

Hannah Bonnie

Hannah Bonnie