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When I was in high school there was no such thing as DIY graduation caps. You got the cap and gown they gave you and you wore it. Plain and simple. Man was I born in the wrong decade :)
Apparently these days graduation ceremonies the world over, from high school to college, have been overtaken by custom caps. Some DIY graduation caps feature sayings of gratefulness, hopes for the future, or just plain silliness. It’s such a neat way to express your very own feelings on one of the biggest days of your life. And I just LOVE IT!
As I was noticing all of the cool designs on Pinterest, I decided it was high time I help out by showing you how to make your own unique graduation cap from start to finish.
Today I’m sharing 3 designs…
featuring inspirational quotes that are ready in Cricut Design Space to cut. Keeping things speedy, each cap uses items straight from the craft store to embellish these awesome mortar boards super quick. So quick, in fact, that each cap will only take you 30 minutes, from loading your Smart Vinyl into your Cricut Joy to gluing that last embellishment on!
Psst – Want a cool tee to wear on graduation day? Check out our FREE Graduation Year SVG File!
Tools Needed to Make these DIY Graduation Caps:
- Cricut Joy
- Weeding Tools
- Transfer Tape
- Strong Scissors or Wire/Floral Cutters
- Cricut Design Space File
- Free XOXO Glow Font (Optional – More Info Below)
This is just the perfect project for your Cricut Joy! In fact, the reason why you can make these DIY graduation caps so quickly is because of how quick and easy it is to use! If you don’t have a Cricut Joy and you like making small things (think home decor items like labels for canisters, pocket logos for tees, mugs to gift, etc.) a Joy will be an amazing addition to your craft closet.
The Cricut Design Space file is ready to go using the Cricut Design Space font Babette. If you prefer to use a different font, there is a mini tutorial below showing you how to use a new font in Cricut Design Space.
Supplies to Make these DIY Graduation Caps:
- Graduation Cap (Pink ⋆ Yellow ⋆ Baby Blue )
- Smart Vinyl in White
- Embellishments (See Below)
- Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks
For this project I used Smart Vinyl because you don’t have to use a mat and I just love that. It definitely makes cutting so much quicker. Plus with the sort of stiff backer piece that acts as the mat means you can weed away large pieces like peeling a sticker off of a sheet!
Cutting Your Unique Graduation Cap Design in Design Space
Open the Cricut Design Space File. All 3 designs in this post are in the same cut file. In the design file, as seen above, the font used is Babette. It’s a Cricut system font and pretty darn cute. If you’d like to use the same font as I didm XOXO Glow, here’s how you will do that.
Creating the DIY Graduation Caps with a New Font
Download the free font XOXO Glow and install it. Open Design space after installing the new font and create a “New Project”.
To properly cut your words and phrases, each word or line of text will need to be one welded piece. Let’s do that now.
Type the text for your cap in the font XOXO Glow with a Font Size of 104.5
Select the font and right click on it. Select “UnGroup”.
Move each individual letter so that they overlap to form a seamless cursive word.
Select the full word/group of words.
Right-click on the selection and click “Weld”. Repeat for other words or phrases as needed.
Got Weird Filled In Letters?
Sometimes when using a font that isn’t from Cricut you might get these weird filled in letters like above, but it’s an easy fix.
On your keyboard hold the “Ctrl” button and push the “Z” button at the same time to undo the weld. Repeat as necessary.
Rather than selecting the entire word or phrase, select a few letters/symbols including the letter that went awry. Right click on the selection and click “Weld”.
Did it work? Did it not go wonky? If so hit that “Ctrl + Z” and try a smaller selection of characters and try again. Once you’ve gotten it to look right, select the entire phrase or word and weld it together and you’re ready to go.
How to Cut Your Unique Graduation Cap Designs with Your Cricut Joy
In all honesty, I straight up LOVE my Cricut Joy. It’s super small and it uses WIFI to connect to Design Space and it’s just. so. fast.
Plug in your Cricut Joy if necessary. In Design Space next to the green “Make It” button is a drop down menu. Open it and select your Cricut Joy. Click the green “Make It” Button and follow the directions and make your selections on the screens.
I’m using Cricut Smart Vinyl and the reason I love it most is NO CUTTING MAT… Just load and go! :)
The Basics – Applying Vinyl Graduation Cap
Trim each word/phrase/line of text from the Smart Vinyl. Weed away the unnecessary bits and discard. Cut a piece of Transfer Tape to be slightly larger than the word or phrase. Peel the backing off of the transfer tape and place it on top of the weeded word.
Use a scraper to apply pressure to the transfer tape to transfer the vinyl onto it. Gently pull away the transfer tape. Apply more pressure to any letter that isn’t transferring to the tape.
Place the transfer tape onto the cap where it belongs. Use the scraper to gently and repeatedly apply some pressure to the vinyl to encourage it to adhere to the cap. Don’t press too hard, the mortar board is made of fairly flimsy cardboard and it’s easy to damage it.
Peel away the transfer tape once the word is transferred over. Repeat for the entire phrase.
Bloom Where You Are Planted (Pink Cap)
To adorn the “Bloom Where You are Planted” Cap you’ll need a variety of small artificial flowers. You can find these at craft stores and most big box stores with a crafting section.
Remove the flower or stem from the metal wire stem.” Trim the excess plastic away from the back, as much as possible, so that it will lay down flat on the cap. Take care not to cut too much away as the plastic bit on the back does hold the flower together.
Begin by laying a few leaves around the the phrase on the hat. Add flowers around the leaves for a nice, full look.
Once you are happy with the placement, remove each piece and carefully hot glue into place.
Add florals that will stick out around the design for some nice depth.
This adorable cap, from start to finish, took approximately 30 minutes. Not bad, right?
You Never Know Until You Try (Blue Cap)
To adorn the “Bloom Where You are Planted” Cap you’ll need a variety of small artificial flowers and feather butterflies in multiple sizes. You can find both of these at craft stores.
Start by gluing down most of your butterflies around the design including all of the largest ones. Reserve 6 or 7 of your smallest butterflies.
Start pushing the leaves of artificial greenery around and under the butterflies and glue down.
Add a few flowers around the hat to help fill in blank spots or add interest. I’d strongly suggest adding some flowers that are similar to the color of the cap… it really makes the design nice and cohesive!
Finish by applying your remaining small butterflies on top of the design. It’s totally okay to overlap flowers or other butterflies. If you’ve ever been to a butterfly garden, they sort of mound up on top of each other. It’s like they all want to be in the same place at the same time :)
Start to finish, this design took a little over half an hour (the butterflies are somewhat delicate and require some patience when handling).
It’s Been Sweet (Yellow Cap)
To adorn the “It’s Been Sweet” Cap you’ll need pipe cleaners in a few colors.
Use a pair of strong scissors or floral cutters to cut pipe cleaners into pieces approximately 1″ long.
Fill in the space around the text of the cap, making sure to space out the colors and vary the angle of placement.
Once you’ve covered the full mortar board to your liking, you’re done. That’s seriously it but isn’t it seriously sweet?!?
All in all, this cap took just over 10 minutes to create. Isn’t that amazing?
Got Visible Strings of Hot Glue? Here’s an Easy Fix…
Take a regular blow dryer and turn it onto the “hot ” setting if necessary. Using the lowest speed available, go over the design, concentrating on the glue strings. As they heat up they should break, curl up, and disappear! Just take care not to apply too much heat and compromise the hot glue you do want sticking around. And also be mindful not to place the dryer too close to any of your flowers/butterflies/etc. to prevent any strange burns.