Crafting a graduation cap


Larisa Rodriguez

Star File Photo.

Paola Quiroz

A decked-out graduation cap uniquely reflects the persona of a student. Graduates look uniformed during their ceremony by wearing the same black gown. However, their decorated cap sets them apart, making them recognizable in the crowd.

Here are a few tips on how to enhance a graduation cap:

1. Designing 

Deciding what to put on the cap may be the hardest step for most students. Many opt to chose something symbolic to their career, future, beliefs or a quote deemed to generate smiles and laughs.

Emma Brockway, English senior, said her cap reads, “On to the next chapter,” because she wanted something contributing to her major.

“My cap is also reflective of my love for reading,” Brockway said. “On the border of the cap there are the titles of my favorite books.

Alana Zamora, public relations senior, said she chose the Nelson Mandela quote, “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” as a reminder of how far she has come.

“As a first-generation student who transferred to Texas State, I have had my fair share of obstacles to overcome,” Zamora said. “This quote helps me through those days of doubt, and reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

If no ideas come to mind, websites such as Pinterest offer many do it yourself projects to replicate and/or gather newly inspired ideas. Some of the most commonly pinned sayings include:

“Goal Digger”

“You have no idea how high I can fly” (Michael Scott quote from “The Office”)

“She turned her cant’s into cans and her dreams into plans”

“Veni, Vidi, Vici,” a Latin phrase translating to, “I came, I saw, I conquered” 

2. Creating

Sometimes students do not have time to decorate their cap so they leave the arts and crafts to someone with a more artistic hand.

Chandler Tatum, Texas State alumna, decorates graduation caps for students.

Tatum is known for her calligraphy skills and students contact her on Instagram (@cnt.calligraphy) with their designs in mind. Tatum completely hand paints the designs with paint and acrylic pens. She provides her own supplies unless students have a specific piece that they want to add.

Tatum’s prices range from $25 to $35 depending on the design.

“If the calligraphy is very intricate or the design is very colorful, the price will go up,” Tatum said.

Other students rely on their parents or a friend’s help to decorate their cap. Brockway said her mom decorated hers and it took her less than two hours to complete.

3. Assembling 

If students are decorating the cap themselves then they can selectively decide what materials are going to be needed.

Supplies such as paint, glue, stickers, artificial flowers and scrapbook letters are often utilized. The supplies necessary can be bought at WalmartHobby LobbyMichael’sJOANN or Dollar Tree for reasonable prices.

First determine if the color of the graduation cap is going to change. If so, hot glue a piece of scrapbook paper on top of the cap or paint over it to change the initial color.

After deciding on a background adorn the cap with stickers, gems, flowers, etc. to personal liking. Her Campus offers a variety of decoration ideas, tips and tricks for creating a DIY caps.

College is the place to grow and make memories. By personalizing caps, students are able to leave a final impression on peers, professors and other graduation attendees.

There is no need to stress about decorating a cap. Personalization allows for an opportunity to commemorate each individual collegiate experience. Decorated or not, all graduates will cross the stage and toss caps up in celebration.

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