Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Sidelines Guidelines: How to get the most out of decorating your graduation cap


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Photo courtesy of Flickr

Story by Andrew Nation / Contributing Writer 

With graduation just around the corner, many students are getting ready to walk across the stage and accept their diplomas. Before the big day arrives though, there’s something a lot of soon-to-be graduates will do to express their creativity, experiences at their college and hopes for the future: decorate their graduation caps. For many years, students have been decorating their graduation caps to display their unique personalities and hobbies. However, if you’re having a hard time thinking of fun ways to decorate your cap, here’s a quick guide to help get those creative juices flowing.

Go with a specific theme

Try and narrow down the idea for your cap to one specific theme. Are there any specific movies, TV shows or bands that mean a lot to you? If so, utilize them! Everyone has a favorite something. Making sure that people know what yours is will be a great way to stand out come graduation day. There are plenty of Netflix shows that were binged this semester. So, choose your favorite one, and deck out your hat to the theme of your show. It could even be as simple as wearing your cap upside down to pay homage to “Stranger Things.”

What are your hobbies?

Hobbies are often an integral part of who you are. So don’t be afraid to express them! Regardless of what the activity is that you like to do, there’s a creative way you can display it on your cap. For example, if you’re a gamer, you could make a controller or video game characters out of construction paper and glue them to your cap. If you love the outdoors and hiking, you could paint a trail or create some paper-mache mountains. The options are limitless for what you can create to show off your interests. So, get creative.

What did you major in?

You probably have spent quite a lot of time and money going to your college to study something. So tell people what that is! Be proud of the work you’ve put into getting your degree. If you studied nursing, glue or draw some medical supplies on your cap. Whatever your degree is in, there’s bound to be a funny or inspirational quote about the profession you’re going into. Put Google to good use, and find one that you like. Again, you should be proud of all of the work you’ve done to go after your dreams. So let everyone know.

Show some school spirit

You’ve probably spent a lot of time at your specific university. Therefore, you should show some pride for the place where you received your education. Hop on over to your local school bookstore, and pick up some merchandise that’ll show off your school spirit. You can also get some paint that’s the same as your school colors. If your cap is already in your school’s colors, put some cutouts of the school mascot or any of the university’s mottos on it. You could even attach a stuffed animal or small football to your cap. Regardless of how you do it, make sure everyone knows who has the most school spirit.

Just wing it

There doesn’t have to be any specific way you decorate your cap. At the end of the day, it’s your graduation and your cap. So, just have fun with it! Paint some random designs, or go to your local craft store and buy as many pipe cleaners, markers and pompoms as you want. Just get crazy with it. You don’t have to be a super creative person or an art major for this kind of thing. Just channel your inner five year old. After all, being unique is a huge part of the college experience. Don’t be scared to let your graduation cap show off your originality.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how you decorate your graduation cap as long as you have fun with it. Graduation is something to be proud of, and making sure you walk away with a graduation cap that best shows who you are is just another way of expressing yourself.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Sydney Wagner, email

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