How to Make Graduation Caps

Graduation Caps
Graduation Caps (Image: Photo by Sara Haj-Hassan from

Graduation ceremonies are a time to congratulate students for their achievements, a time to reflect on the experiences that led them to this accomplishment. What a graduate wears during the ceremony is based on the traditions of the institution he is graduating from. While the colors and materials of graduation wardrobes vary from institution to institution, each graduate is typically wearing some variation of cap and gown. This cap, often called a "mortar board" because of its resemblance to a bricklayer's tool, is easy to make at home with simple and inexpensive materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Poster board
  • 1/2 yard of satin or satin-like fabric
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sharp cutting tool
  • Cardstock paper
  • Brass paper fastener

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Cut a piece of cardboard into an 8 by 8-inch square. You can use a pair of scissors to make this shape, but you will get a cleaner line and less strain on your hand by using a sharp razor blade or cutting tool.

Cut your satin or satin-like fabric into a 9 by 9-inch square. Center your cardboard piece onto this fabric and fold it over the edges of your cardboard. Hot glue the fabric in place.

Take a 7.5 by 7.5-inch square of cardstock paper and center on underside of your cardboard. Hot glue into place to cover the underside of your cap.

Poke a small hole through the center of your cap with a nail or a sharp blade. Paint your brass paper fastener to match your cap, or even cover with fabric. Slip this fastener through the hole from the top. Push the prongs of your fastener in place to secure.

Cut a piece of poster paper into a strip that is 2 feet long and 3 ½ inches tall. This will be the band that makes up the bottom of your cap. Wrap this band around the head of the intended wearer to ensure it is the appropriate size.

Fold a piece of your satin fabric over both sides of your poster board band. Cut to size and seal closed with hot glue or a sewing machine.

Hot glue band of cap to underside of cap lid. Once it dries it will be ready to wear.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tassels can be purchased in a variety of colors from fabric or interior design stores as they are often used for adornments on home decor.
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