Monday, June 1, 2009

How To Make Graduation Caps

I made 12 graduation caps for Soren's preschool class graduation last week. My baby is off to Kindergarten! This was my second year making these caps and I thought others might like to know how to make them too. The store bought caps just don't stay on sweet five year old heads very well but these work great and are sturdy for the dress up bin at home. I probably should save this for next year but maybe I will re-post it next spring. These would make fun party decorations for any graduation get together as well. The measurements noted here are for a preschool head. Adjust accordingly for an older head.
Graduation Cap Supplies :
~Black Foam Core
~Black Poster Board Paper
~Craft Glue (clear drying)
~Brass Brads
~Pearl Cotton or embroidery floss for tassels
~Exacto Knife
~Cutting mat
~One Nail or an awl

First Cut the foam core into 9 inch square pieces using an Exacto knife and ruler. I got six pieces out of each sheet that I purchased. Use something sharp like a small nail to poke a hole through the center of each square. It's easier to do it now. Just use a ruler and measure on the diagonal to find the center.

My poster board was 22x28 inches so next I cut 22 inch x 4 inch strips for the cap bands. Measure your intended wearer with a piece of paper or a tailors measuring tape around the head right above the eyebrows. If you want to get really professional take the strips to school and wrap them around each graduates noggin and mark the perfect fit. 22 inches worked perfectly for this preschool class.
Mark a 1/2 inch line along one of the long edges and snip little slits all along the edge to the line.
Turn each strip of poster board into circles (tube) by overlapping the short ends and gluing into place. I used clothes pins to hold my paper while it dried. I only overlapped my ends by 1/2 inch as the kids this year had massive heads! I did vary the sizes but a smidgen so that each child would have a cap that fit them well.

When the bands are dry fold over all the little tabs to the center and apply glue to the tabs. Center the circle band on the square and press it into place. Then set something heavy on top until each hat drys. I used cereal bowls inside each hat to hold the band down. Mine fit perfectly inside each hat resting on the little tabs. I also put a salad plate on top of the band for extra pressure.
While all those hats are drying you can get to work on the tassels. You can probably order tassels but they are super easy to make. I used a spool of pearl cotton. Embroidery floss will work well too and it comes in so many pretty colors. I wrapped the pearl cotton around two of my fingers (middle and pointer) 20 times to get it thick enough for the tassel part. Then cut a 19 inch length of the cotton to pass through the center of the little bundle and tie off. Next tie another little piece about 1/4 inch down the tassel to secure the whole thing. Lastly I cut the loops on the bottom. Ta da tassel!
Stick the string ends through the whole in top of the cap and a brad too. Then tie a knot in the string on the inside of the cap and fold down the little brad tabs. Really bad picture....Sorry!

Sit back and soak up the accolades that will rain forth by all the other parents greatly appreciating your efforts at making their child's graduation a shining moment :)

Shoot me an email or post a comment if I need to further clarify any step.


  1. This is a great easy to make cap! I've linked it here in case you'd like to link back:

    1. Thanks! You wouldn't believe how many people have stopped by due to your link : )

  2. Making these for my daughter's preschool class this year! Thanks for the tutorial its definitly the best one I've found!

  3. This is exactly what I was looking for! They look so nice! I am crossing my fingers that mine turn out as good. Thank you for sharing!

  4. My best friend's daughter is graduating from Kindergarten tomorrow and he called me up and asked me to make a graduation hat for her. Found this one and the final result looks fantastic! Thanks so much for helping to make a five year old little girl very happy!!!

  5. My friends little boy is leaving for jk I make a graduate gown and cap for him thanks for the tutorial.

  6. Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting ..I appreciate your effort..

  7. This is a brilliant post! I never got a summer glow this year,which I don't mind but great post for those who want to keep it!
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  8. This is really awesome and beautiful.
    Thank for this sharing.
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  9. Awesome Post Thank Your for sharing article, Your Article is very nice and helpful

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