Decorating Graduation Caps


Graduation caps are a part of the formal attire worn by people during their graduation day ceremony. The moving of the tassel from one side of the cap to the other represents moving forward in life and making a huge accomplishment. The caps are also thrown in the air during the celebration by all the graduates at once as a tradition signifying that they’re officially graduated. With so many traditions surrounding the caps, it is important for many people to add their own personal touch to their caps.   

Graduation gowns were required to be worn during the graduation ceremony all the way back in 1321, but graduation caps were not popularized until the 15th century. There have been many different styles of graduation caps to get to the current version, which were not commonly worn until the late 1950s. That being said, graduation cap decorating is a fairly new trend. 

Traditionally, many graduates decide to decorate their caps, adding things like their initials, sports numbers, fun designs, etc. to give their caps a unique look, personal to the. Some Tumwater High School students have decided to decorate their caps (A Google Form provided this information). 20% of students are planning on decorating their caps, while 60% decided not to. Some of the materials that are going to be used are rhinestones and paint. 

Cap Decorating Ideas/Examples:


  Personal Cap Decorating Experience 

I decorated my cap using plastic gems and E-6000 glue, both of which can be found at pretty much any craft store. The cap features the number ‘21 (the year I’m graduating), a smiley face, a flower, and a heart. The decorating process took me a couple of hours, but I think it was worth it for the personal touch it added. The hardest part was applying the super small gems present in the “‘21” and the center circle. I think it turned out pretty good for my first attempt at decorating a graduation cap. 


Decorating Tips From Personal Experience: 

  1. Design something meaningful to you 
  2. Gather all your supplies together beforehand 
  3. Pre-assemble things you are going to be gluing onto the cap beforehand to make sure they fit, look good, and to avoid mistakes 
  4. Don’t use too much glue (it goes a long way) 
  5. Try to use waterproof materials to avoid damage to your decorations 
  6. Try not to put too many decorations or glue around the center of the cap to avoid not being able to get the tassel around it 


Decorating graduation caps is a fun way to personalize your graduation day ensemble and savor those last moments of your high school or college careers. If people are interested in decorating their cap, they should check with their school administration beforehand to make sure that it is permitted. 


Albanese, K. (2018, February 13). Graduation Caps: History, Types, Styling & More | GraduationSource. GraduationSource.