Graduation


45+ Graduation Cap Ideas For 2020 Grads

Before you embark on the next phase of your life, take the time to soak it all in and appreciate how far you’ve come. Your graduation cap and gown not only represent all of your hard work and unique accomplishments but also, the person you’ve become over the past four years.

Aside from pondering what side the tassel goes on and wondering how to wear a graduation cap, many students are opting to go out in style. Graduation cap decoration is becoming a fun formality for high school and college grads alike. What a fun way to celebrate your journey and make this moment yours! 

If you’re looking for graduation cap decoration ideas, we have you covered with everything from funny cap ideas, to cute cap ideas and cap decoration ideas that will make you wonder why you hadn’t thought of that in the first place.

Bible Verse Inspiration

graduation caps bible

Image Source: A Flexible Life / Ariel Stuckey

Your favorite Bible verse can be a great source of inspiration for you and the rest of your graduating class. Use paint to write the message and decorate with bright flowers or colorful shapes.

Trendy Patterns

grad caps trendy pattern

Image Source: Miss Welden

Trendy patterns make fun and easy backdrops for any graduation cap design. Use this zigzag pattern in your school colors to make your quote stand out. For an added detail, line your cap with a shiny trim.

Rhinestones Are A Graduate’s Best Friend

grad caps bedazzled

Image Source: The Vintage Modern Wife

If standing out in a sea of graduation caps is your goal, rhinestones are the way to go. Line your graduation cap with a sparkling rhinestone trim and decorate the center with your initials. If your ceremony will take place outdoors, the crowd is sure to be dazzled.

In Your Idol’s Words

grad cap quote

Image Source: Midwest Mermaid Olivia

If you don’t have a way with words, you can always count on a quote by someone you admire. Select a quote from a leader in your field to convey an inspirational message on your graduation cap. Use your school colors and some glitter cardstock to create an eye-catching background.

Pink Panther

grad cap pink

Image Source: Taylor Brione

If you like all things sparkly and pink, glitter is your best friend. To make things easy, use pink glitter cardstock and line the edges with bold rhinestones. Don’t be afraid to show your pride by adding your name and graduation year front and center.

Under The Sea

grad cap sea

Image Source: Belle Of The Ball

If you’re the artistic type and love being near the water, go for this under the sea pattern to decorate your graduation cap. Use vibrant colors to create the illusion of water and outline the shapes of some of your favorite sea creatures. Add a monogram to personalize your design and outline with a subtle trim.

Keeping It Simple

grad cap bow

Image Source: Plaid Pistachio

Adding a large bow with your graduation year and school’s initials is sometimes all you need. Pick some bright colors for your bow and thread or go for your school colors to make it stand out.

The Sisterhood

grad cap sorority

Image Source: Summer Wind

Whether you were in a sorority, club or sport, the friendships you built at school can last a lifetime. Commemorate those relationships by using them as inspiration for your graduation cap. Add the organization’s insignia along with some eye-catching patterns and you’ve got a design that’s sure to impress.

Polaroid Picture

creative graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @jasoncamera

Shake it like a polaroid picture, grads! Show off the memories you made along the way by attaching your favorite moments to your graduation cap. Celebrate your unique journey in style and design a graduation cap that will make a statement. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, right? The photographs on your cap will help you tell your story and celebrate these moments. You can also print out extra polaroids to use for decoration at your graduation party (your guests will enjoy the extra photos).

Calling All Graphic Design Majors

pantone graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @lancora

This creative graduation cap dresses up academic regalia with a sleek touch. Handpick your favorite Pantone color swatch and add your own details. This design is simple to recreate and perfect for those of you who studied graphic design.

Pretty in Floral Pink

cute graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @allisonslettering

This floral styled graduation cap idea is not only beautiful but, it also allows you to share a meaningful graduation quote on your special day. Add a few of your favorite words and a special design to make your graduation cap one-of-a-kind.

Say it All

simple graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @allikdesign

Create a unique graduation cap decoration that says it all. This simple design really makes a statement, especially for an almost alumni. Find the perfect words that speak to you and then take to your cap with a white marker or paint. The light color looks great on the black mortarboard plus, it gives you the chance show off your witty side— you deserve it! 

The Star Wars Lover

starwars graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @melissalovesdisney

Do you have a love for Star Wars? This movie line is perfect for the Star Wars loving graduate-to-be. Whatever the odds may be, go after your goals and go confidently in the future you have envisioned for yourself. This grad cap design will remind you of just that.

Silhouette

grad cap decoration

Image Source: @knsiemering

Use the dark background of the mortarboard to create an amazing cut out silhouette. What a perfect idea to craft the skyline of your next destination.

The “Friends” Lover

graduation cap decoration ideas

Image Source: @abbistec

Use your grad cap to reference your all-time favorite TV show. This Friends TV show cap is decorated with wit and style. The show’s iconic episode titles will forever live on your graduation cap and help you celebrate your big day. Design a funny graduation cap that will have all of your fellow colleagues smiling as you walk across the stage.

Sparkle and Shine

glitter graduation cap decoration ideas

Image Source: @krystalcal

Design a cap to shine just as bright as your academic career. You’ll be ready to walk across that stage and grab your diploma after creating a cap that stuns like this one.

Wanderlust

travel graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @carrazycutecanvas

For those students with serious wanderlust and an excitement to explore the world, this cap decoration was created with you in mind! If you love to travel, make sure to create a cap that celebrates your adoration. 

Give Your Support Team a Shoutout

cute grad cap ideas

Image Source: @allisonslettering

You surely couldn’t have made it these past four years without your support team. Whoever or whatever may have helped you earn that diploma deserves some appreciation. Use your graduation cap as a canvas to thank them for being a shoulder to lean on when the nights were late and the coffee wasn’t strong enough.

Couldn’t Have Made it Without…

Image Source: @blairebender

In addition to thanking your family and friends, don’t forget about the other tools that helped you earn that diploma. How can anyone make it through school without Google? Use your grad cap decoration to give Google a shout out.

Thanks for Giving Me The World

high school graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @emily_on_emory

Give proper recognition and show off your artistic skills by thanking your support team for giving you the world. Adding the bright blue and green globe will give your graduation cap a splash of color no one will be able to miss!

What a Record Four Years

music graduation cap ideas

Image Source: k_bomb_

If your love for music plays a pivotal role in your life, why not celebrate that on your special day? With custom paper and your favorite record, your cap will be designed in no time.

Heritage Flair

college graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @thesassypoppy

The best graduation cap designs are the ones that celebrate you. This is one of those cute graduation cap ideas you won’t want to miss out on. Design a cap that stays true to who you are and celebrates your heritage. Plus, a few bright florals will help you stand out among the crowd.

Three Dimensional

grad cap ideas

Image Source: @lauren_m_davis

No one said there were limits to your graduation cap designs. Send yourself off with a cheers to new adventures and a three dimensional cap that will stick out in the best way possible. Graduation day can be a little bittersweet for many. Don’t forget to enjoy the moment, reminisce about where you started and most importantly, celebrate where you are headed.

I Must Go

cap ideas

Image Source: @steph_laco

Celebrate your post-grad plans with your graduation cap design. Are you headed for a new job, more schooling, to the mountains or off to travel the world? What is calling your name?

Funny Graduation Cap Ideas

funny graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @sequinhearts15

Show off your wonderful sense of humor with your grad cap design. The big day is serious but your grad cap doesn’t have to be. You can use your graduation cap to remind you and your friends to have some fun.

College Graduation Cap Ideas

college grad cap ideas

Image Source: @rachelbaker28

What has shaped your college experience? Design your college graduation cap to represent everything you were involved in. Think clubs, greek life, sports and all that good stuff. Add an inspirational quote or graduation song lyrics to remind yourself of your goals and to never stop chasing them.

Psych!

grad cap ideas

Image Source: @katievlopez

A graduation cap that celebrates your degree and makes people smile with a play on words might be just the inspiration you were looking for. Calling all psychology majors.

Nursing Graduation Cap Ideas

nursing graduation cap ideas

Image Source: @neiya_patel

If you just made your way through nursing school, why not create a cap that reflects that? This DIY nursing graduation cap idea is simple to recreate. Use your favorite colors, school colors or even add sparkle and then top with a bow and nursing stickers.

The Grey’s Anatomy Reference

nursing grad cap ideas

Image Source: @allisonslettering

Any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there? Celebrate your Bachelors of Science in Nursing with an iconic quote from the medical drama TV show. It’s a beautiful day to graduate, too!

Celebrate Your Faith

religious grad cap

Image Source: @cheracreative

If your faith has played an important role in your life and the past four years of school then you might think about decorating your cap to celebrate that. There are a handful of graduation bible verses that are very fitting for this occasion. We love the gold detail that really makes this verse shine.

Techy

apple grad cap ideas

Image Source: @kaileenjoy

You couldn’t have possibly made it through the past four years without a laptop by your side. All the late nights you’ve spent together and everything you’ve been through, why not take it with you on your graduation day? We are loving this Apple designed cap that makes a great fit for a computer engineer grad-to-be. 

Forever a Mascot

college grad cap ideas

Image Source: @maddym0

Get into the school spirit and be proud to be an alumni. This graduation cap decoration idea will help you do just that plus, it will also look great in your graduation pictures

Superhero Style

superhero grad cap

Image Source: @sabrinaaamina

Show off your superhero style on graduation day and decorate a cap featuring your favorite character. This graduate has a love for Wonderwoman.

Simply Artistic

graduation cap decoration

Image Source: @meganlynn2

You don’t need to go over the top with paint, stickers and bows. This graduation cap decoration idea shows just what you can accomplish with a gold pen!

Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Degree!

disney graduation cap decoration

Image Source: @victoria_salerno

Show off your love for Disney and give an ode to your favorite flick with your graduation cap. This grad has a sweet spot for Cinderella. If only the past four years were as easy as the twirl of a wand, right?

Use a Quote

grad caps

Image Source: @jesslove_designs

Design a cap that will inspire you and your fellow graduates. Add an inspirational graduation message to your cap; you can’t go wrong with a motivational cap. Don’t forget to add your personal details like the degree you earned and your school colors.

Adobe, Anyone?

grad cap ideas

Image Source: @mchaileydesigner

Recreate your school’s initials to look like an Adobe software icon. This grad cap idea is perfect for designers and a great way to represent your university.

Dazzle With Bedazzle

graduation cap decoration

Image Source: @cchesphotography

 Friends and family will be able to easily spot you during the ceremony with this beautiful and glitzy graduation cap. Recreate with a hot glue gun and a handful of jewels. Represent your university proudly and dazzle your school logo!

The Clever Nurse

grad cap nurse

Image Source: Midwest Mermaid Olivia

A clever joke about your field of study or major is sure to make your graduation cap a topic of conversation. Whether it’s nursing, political science or art, let your wit do the talking with a funny quote. Add some artificial flowers and glitter for eye-catching details.

Mischief Managed

grad cap harry potter

Image Source: Juliann Guerra

Whether you’ve used the Marauder’s Map or Wikipedia to guide you through school, a Harry Potter reference is always a hit on graduation cap designs. Decorate with your house colors and leave your mark at Hogwarts by stamping a footprint trail and your name across your cap.

The Coffee Lover
grad cap coffee quote

Image Source: Dunkin’

Like many of us, coffee probably got you through a lot of early exams and late night study sessions. Why not give it some credit during your graduation? Add a funny quote about your love of coffee and use a paper cup from your favorite spot as decoration.

Spring Mosaic

grad cap mosaic

Image Source: The Daily Amy

Since most graduations take place during the springtime, why not use the season as inspiration? Create a grid with a strand of pearls and paint some spring florals using your favorite pastels. Don’t forget to add your major and a thank you note to your parents with paint or glitter.

You’re A Winner

grad cap turtle winner

Image Source: Vika Photography

In many ways, a graduation ceremony is a victory lap. Walking up to the stage and receiving your diploma doesn’t happen often, so celebrate your victories with this adorable design. Use some cardstock and paint to add color and a note about your major.

3D Stickers

grad cap 3d stickers

Image Source: Bri Sul

Decorating your graduation cap doesn’t have to be a long, difficult project. A simple trick is to stock up on your favorite 3D stickers and jewels. Stickers come in many different themes so whatever your major or interests, you’re sure to find something that fits your personality and academic journey.

Color Coordinated

grad cap color coordinated

Image Source: Well That’s Pinteresting

Show your pride by sporting the colors you’re proud of. Whether it’s your sorority, your honor sashes or your school colors, don’t forget to incorporate them into your graduation cap design. To do this, all you need are some patterns, jewels and glitter.

You Leave A Trail Of Stars

grad cap stars

Image Source: Elizabeth Shae

DIY Graduation Cap Ideas & How to Make

If you are thinking about DIYing graduation cap for your big day, we have listed out 5 easy DIY graduation cap ideas with instructions below. Review the materials before hand, so you have everything available for your project

Meaningful Person

School can bring on several long days. During this time you can ponder about the people that got you through. Whether it was your mom, dad, teacher, mentor or a special friend, adding their photo to your graduation cap will show your utmost appreciation. It will be especially meaningful if you keep it a secret and reveal it on graduation day.

Keep in mind, you’ll be printing on 11×14 paper, but will cut the image to be 9×9. You can position the flowers wherever you’d like depending on how your photo is cropped.

How to Make a
Meaningful Person Cap

Materials

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • 9×9 photo
  • Glitter sheet

Step 1: Take your picture and place it on top of the cap. Make sure you measure the size of the button in the center of the cap and cut it out from the picture so that you can still hang your tassel.

Step 2: Glue your photo to the cap.

Step 3: Take your felt and cut out four circles varying in size.

Step 4: Cut a slit in the middle of each circle and fold over so the circles create a cupped shape. Use a glue gun to hold it together.

Step 5: Glue each cupped petal on top of each other.

Step 6: Take your glitter sheet and cut out four leaves.

Step 7: Glue your completed flowers to the bottom of the cap and add your leaves.

2. Pearls

If you’re thinking about senior photos, you’ll know pearls are the perfect accessory to any outfit (or graduation gown!). Dazzling your graduation cap is much easier than you think. For this graduation cap, we used flat sticker crafting pearls. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. We found it’s best to reinforce the pearls with a glue gun because the adhesive tends to wear off easily.

How to Make a Pearl Cap

Materials

  • Crafting pearls
  • 1 large bow
  • Glue gun

Step 1: Start by placing your larger pearls all around your cap.

Step 2: Continue with the smaller ones for variety.

Step 3: Attach your bow on the bottom of your cap with a glue gun.

3. Doggie Cap

Don’t forget about your furry best friend! They’ve spent countless nights sitting by your side while you cram for finals. Add them to your cap, be clever with your phrase and make people smile! Make sure you choose a photo that is high quality and large enough for better results. We used a photo that was printed on a 10×10 sheet.

If you have multiple pets you want to include, you’ll need to print smaller. For a more colorful look, add colored glitter or fun sequins.

How to Make a Doggie Cap

Materials

  • Photo of pet
  • White foam sticker letters
  • Scissors
  • Black glitter
  • Glue
  • Glue gun

Step 1: Cut out the picture of your furry friend and glue it to your cap. Make sure you account for the middle button.

Step 2: Add glue to your cap in desired area and sprinkle black glitter.

Step 3: Place the letters on your cap to form your desired phrase.

4. Pizza Time

Pizza got us through late night studying so it’s only natural that you want to pay homage to your favorite food. All you need is colorful felt and a fun food pun. Sticker letters are great for this project but feel free to mix and match with other items such as sequins or glitter. For extra reinforcement, don’t forget to glue the letters on before the big day.

How to Make a Pizza Cap

Materials

  • Felt fabric in three different colors
  • Sticker letters
  • Cardboard paper
  • Glue gun
  • Pencil

Step 1: Place your brown felt paper on top of the yellow, draw a triangular shape and cut. You can make it as thick or thin as you’d like.

Step 2: Cut the top off the yellow triangle.

Step 3: Take your red felt and cut into circles.

Step 4: Take your cardboard sheet and attach it on top of your cap.

Step 5: Glue all the pizza pieces to the cardboard sheet.

Step 6: Add a fun phrase next to your pizza.

Step 7: Finish off with the perfect final details such as sequins, glitter or more pepperoni pieces.

5. Photo Collage

If you want to add fun memories on your graduation cap, include photos you have collected throughout the years leading up to your special day. If you have a hashtag that you’ll be using amongst your friends for social media, a good tip is for all of you to make fun variations of this cap.

This DIY photo graduation cap is not only super easy to make but you only needs six items.

How to Make a Photo Collage Cap

Materials

  • Photos
  • Glue gun
  • Gold sticker letters
  • Ruler
  • Crafting knife
  • Pencil

Step 1: With your ruler, measure approximately 2 inches in height for each picture.

Step 2: Cut out your picture and use that as a guide for the remaining photos.

Step 3: Decide where you want to place your images.

Step 4: Glue the photos to your cap.

Step 5: Add your favorite hashtag across the top of your cap. It’s ok if some parts of your images are covered.

Make sure you vary the width of each photo to give it more of a collage feel.  Ordering your prints via the Shutterfly app is easy and you can have them ready in as little as an hour.

As you can see, decorating your cap allows you to show your fun personality and connect with your loved ones. Don’t forget to share your graduation announcements with your family and friends so they can join you as you embark on your next journey. No matter what graduation cap idea you choose, it will be something you remember for the rest of your life, so make it special!

No matter what design you choose to incorporate on your graduation cap, the most important thing is to create a design that represents you and your unique accomplishments. Whether your cap decorations tip a hat to your college major, thank your mom and dad or show off your witty personality, putting your own spin on your graduation cap design is another chance for you to show everyone just how talented you are.