Unique Ways to Decorate Graduation Caps and Gowns

After years of thumbing through textbooks, slaving away over finals, and drinking more coffee than you ever thought possible, it’s finally time to take the next step in life. Graduation is the perfect time for you to showcase to the world your individuality.

You’ve worked long, hard hours to get to this point, now have a little fun with it. Boldly decorate your basic cap and gown to declare your uniqueness amongst the sea of black–clad graduates in your class. Here are a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.

Feature the Industry

One way to let everyone know what degree you chose to major, or what field of study you pursued, is by letting the cap do the talking. Deck out your graduation cap to reveal the industry you are interested in. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Photography
    Whether you majored in photography or just have a vast interest in the industry, consider designing your graduation cap to look like a camera. You might even want to throw in a photography quote like “thanks for the memories.”
  • Nursing
    If you’re graduating with your Registered Nursing degree, it might be a fun idea to decorate your cap with the letters RN as well as adding small items that link to the healthcare field. These might include a stethoscope, a heart, a clipboard or a band-aid.
  • Arts
    It’s especially fun for art graduates to decorate their cap or gown. You can paint atop your cap an image from one of your favorite paintings, such as a Van Gogh. Or you might consider doing an original piece, just don’t forget to add your signature and the year.

One of the biggest advantages to showcasing your industry atop your graduation cap is that someone might be sitting in the audience representing that field. It might even better your chances of receiving a job offer in the industry you’ve been studying.

Be Playful

Just because you’re now a graduate doesn’t mean that you can’t still be young at heart. Showcase your playful side by decorating your cap or gown with quotes or images from your favorite book or movie.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with a concept, consider a childhood favorite. Many Disney movies are filled with inspirational quotes and messages that would be appropriate for a graduation ceremony.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it. This graduation ceremony is about celebrating the hard work you’ve done over the years, and there’s no better time to stand out from the crowd. Decorate your cap and gown to boldly declare your uniqueness to the world.


  1. great post

  2. This would be so much fun to do after graduation or with an alternate hat. I know many schools don’t allow you to alter the caps and gowns for the ceremonies except for the honor cords and sashes. For the after party though, what a hoot that would be!!

  3. These are great ideas. I never thought about decorating caps and gowns but I love the idea.

  4. What fun ideas! My oldest will be graduating High School in June… So soon! This would be a fun way to add her own special touch to this very special occasion!

  5. Some schools don’t allow you to decorate the gown/cap. My cousin decorated her cap and they made her remove it when she walked on stage. Definitely check with school first. Otherwise it’s still a fun activity to do with friends after graduation.

  6. My daughter will be graduating this year and I’ll have to check to see if her school allows this.

  7. Nice post,thank you.

  8. My cap is just hanging in our living room and it would be really nice to decorate it a bit. Thans for this.

  9. I still have my hat from graduation. They wouldn’t let us do anything fun to the, not even throw them!

    1. What?! Party poopers! That’s the funnest part of graduating, getting to throw that cap in the air!

  10. How fun! I never even thought to decorate my cap or gown. I would have loved to put a special quote or two on my cap.

  11. How cool! It never occurred to me to do something like this, but what a great idea. I think it would sure make the ceremony a lot more interesting and colorful.

  12. These are very cool suggestions. When I was in college and in high school they didn’t allow anything on it. My teens school is the same way. I think it’s a Catholic School thing.

  13. I’ve been seeing this more and more and thought it was the cutest thing. I wish I had decorated mines.

  14. I’m so boring since I never would have thought to decorate the cap and gown. However, I love these ideas and they would surely make for some special photo momentos!

  15. Decorating your cap & gown wasn’t popular when I left high school, but by the time I finished college people were writing all sorts of things. I love the “Thanks Mom & Dad” type caps. 🙂

  16. Great ideas!

  17. I love the themed ideas depending on what the degree is for. I remember some people had really cute ideas when I graduated and I was disappointed I didn’t do anything.

  18. I didn’t know you could decorate them !! I’ve never seen any decorated. Next time somebody’s going to graduate I’m going to tell them to read this !!

  19. This is interesting…..didnt know kids did this now days

  20. Those are some wonderful, unique ideas! I’d have never thought of something like that. 🙂

  21. That’s a really fun way to make it all more personal. I love your ideas!

  22. Great idea thank you so much

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