Do you, or a loved one, have a graduation coming up?
Graduation ceremonies are always an exciting time, whether you are graduating from college, or your child is graduating from high school.
The big day can be stressful for everyone involved, especially if you have been told to design your own graduation cap. If you are a naturally creative person, you may be looking forward to this process! If not, you may be dreading it, and have no idea where to even start.
Don’t worry! In this article, we have provided a step-by-step guide to help you create the perfect graduation cap topper. You will learn how to make a graduation cap topper using simple materials that you probably already have at home.
If you don’t have any of these items, then you can use what you do have in order to create something unique, and personal.
So, here are our tips for creating your very own graduation cap topper.
How To Make A Graduation Cap Topper
If you enjoyed our guide on how to create a toga from a sheet for free, then you’ll love this guide on how to make a graduation cap topper.
1. Make A Plan
The most important part of creating a craft project is thoroughly planning it out before you begin. You want to make sure that your design will work and look good when completed.
If you have a particular idea in mind, and you are pretty confident that this is the design you would like to use, you should still make a rough plan beforehand to ensure that the look will work.
You can do this by simply sketching the design out on a plain piece of paper, or even using a computer program if you wish.
If you don’t know how to draw, then just think about what you want the finished product to look like, and then write down any ideas that come into your head. This way, you won’t waste time trying to figure out how to draw something that isn’t going to be used.
However, this rough draft does not need to be perfect – as long as you can roughly work out what needs to be placed where, and how big each element needs to be, then you’re fine.
You should think about what you are going to put on your cap. Some people like to have a life motto written across the cap, and others choose to have popular characters-themed designs.
It is completely your own decision: you need to design the cap in a way that expresses who you are as a person.
We recommend looking at sites such as Pinterest to gather ideas and inspiration. Additionally, you need to know what materials you’ll be using in advance.
If you don’t have all the supplies on hand, you may need to order them from somewhere online so that they arrive at your house quickly.
2. Who Is Making The Graduation Cap Topper?
If you are designing a graduation cap for yourself, then the likelihood is that you will be creating it all on your own (although, a little help from friends might be nice).
However, if you are designing a cap for a child, e.g., for a pre-k graduation, maybe the child would like to get involved. If they are particularly creative, they may want to make it themselves. This can be an impressive idea, but also requires some guidance.
You could ask them to draw up a basic outline of their design, and then show you what they have created. Then, you can give them some pointers and suggestions as to how they can improve upon their drawing.
Alternatively, you could create a template with a few different designs, and let them choose which one they prefer. They can then trace around the template onto a piece of card stock, cut it out, and glue it onto their cap.
3. Creating A Base
If you are renting a graduation cap, you will need to return it once you have used it. Therefore, you shouldn’t be placing anything on the cap that cannot be easily removed after the ceremony.
The easiest way to create a non-permanent cap design is by creating a separate base, and then attaching it to the cap. A piece of cardboard is ideal for making a temporary base.
Simply place the cardboard over the top of the cap, and secure it with tape. You could look for some colored masking tape that matches the color of the overall theme, and this can serve as a border for the cap.
Once you have made the base, you can decorate it however you wish. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to add flowers, ribbons, or other embellishments: as long as you are gluing them to the cardboard, they will not be permanently attached to the cap itself.
We recommend that you create the topper before you attach it to the cap, in order to avoid getting paint, glue, etc. on the cap. Once the design has completely dried, you may tape it to the cap.
It’s important to remember that rented graduation caps should be returned to the rental company when they are no longer needed. So, you’ll need to remove everything from the cap before returning it.
4. Gluing Objects Straight Onto The Hat
If you have purchased your own cap, you can do whatever you like to it!
You can buy so many craft items from your local retail chain hobby shop, including cut out letters, pom poms, sequins, glitter, feathers, and more.
You can use these items to create a unique design on the front of the hat. We suggest that you stick to simple shapes, such as circles, squares, triangles, stars, etc., so that you do not create an overwhelming design that no one else will be able to decipher.
We all know the old saying, ‘sometimes less is more’: well, this is definitely something to be considered while designing a graduation cap.
While you will be working with a 10 x 10 inch base, which is more than enough space for a cute design, you don’t want to go overboard and add too much detail. If you do, it may appear a little overpowering and busy. Keep it simple, but still creative!
Be warned that it can be trickier to apply objects straight onto the cap, as once they have been glued on and have dried, it can be difficult to remove and rearrange them.
Be sure that you are 100% confident with the design before you glue anything onto the cap.
5. Painting Straight Onto The Hat
If you are a particularly creative person, and you have a talent for arts and crafts, you may feel confident enough to paint straight onto the hat itself.
It is important to remember that you will need to use fabric paints, as acrylic paint will peel and flake off the cap. Fabric paint will stick to the fabric, and will help you create a top quality design!
Our advice is to lightly sketch the design out onto the cap using a pencil: this way, you will know exactly what you should be painting, and where. It will also help to use exact measurements to ensure that everything fits onto the cap perfectly.
This is particularly essential when it comes to painting letters and/or words! You don’t want to be halfway through painting a word, only to suddenly realize that you have run out of space.
Tip: if you are painting a word that is too long to write horizontally or vertically, try writing the word out diagonally! This allows more space for extra letters.
Of course, you can both paint and glue objects onto your cap, mixing the creative mediums to make an even more unique design.
How To Make A Graduation Cap Topper – Conclusion
Easy! That was our quick guide to making a graduation cap topper. Hopefully, this has helped you to get started in the right direction.