I had a little trouble finding child sized graduation caps at an affordable price that were also high quality and got good reviews, so I opted to spend a few hours making my own caps to give to my preschoolers. My students were delighted to see their caps, and combined with some T-shirts we had tie-dyed for the occasion, they felt pretty darn awesome! They can hardly hold in their excitement for the actual preschool graduation next week.
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- paper bowls
- poster board
- coordinating acrylic paint and a paintbrush
- coordinating string
- beads (optional)
- 1/4 inch elastic
- hot glue
1. Begin by painting the bowls the coordinating color using the acrylic paint. Give each bowl two coats of paint. This will make the paint more uniform and eliminate any brush strokes. The bowls will be the cap portion of the graduation caps. A larger bowl will help the caps stay on the child’s head better, too.
2. While the bowls are drying, cut the poster board down to size. You can either take the poster board to an office supply store and use their giant paper cutter, or you can use a box cutter and a sewing ruler and cutting mat. Cut each down to 9×9 inches. You should be able to get six pieces. These will be the tops of the graduation caps.
3. Make the tassels. Cut a piece of string about 18 inches long, and a second piece at least three feet long. Fold the three feet piece of string in halves until the overall length is about five inches. Take the longer string, (18 inches) and tie the smaller, folded pieces in the center of the longer string. Use the longer string to wrap around the top of the tassel portion, tie off, and glue so the tassel will hang straight. Clip the loops of the tassel and cut the strings to length. Add beads if desired. If you’re more of a visual person, this is a good YouTube tutorial, however it uses a different technique.
4. Use hot glue to glue all the pieces together. Mark the center on each side of the poster board with a small dot. Center the bowl onto the 9×9 inch piece of poster board. (Write names or have your students decorate the poster board before gluing). Cut the tassel string to length. I think mine ended up being about twelve inches. Glue the tassel on the other side of the poster board, over the marked dot. Finish with a button to cover the ends of the string.
5. Glue elastic on the inside of the bowl, making a chin strap to help keep the graduation cap on. I have found that the best length is one that allows the child to wear the cap without actually having to stretch the elastic much. If the elastic is too short and has to stretch too much when the cap is on, it could have a tendency to slide forward and off. Although this can usually be countered by tucking the elastic behind the child’s ears.
Now, enjoy the cuteness you have just created…and silly faces.
Does it get better than this?
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.