Sunday, May 14, 2017

DIY Graduation Cap

As some of you may know, The Teacher With The Fro recently finished her Master's degree in Literacy (B-Grade 6). Now that was a few months ago. However my school does not have a December graduation so I waited five long months but yesterday I finally walked across that stage!

Since this will be my last graduation (at least for the foreseeable future, but who knows) I really wanted to decorate my graduation cap.

Since I've never decorated any of my other caps in the past, I really had no idea how to but I didn't want to let the opportunity slip away because I knew this would be something I would look back on and be upset about.

In December I had decided I was for sure going to decorate. 

Step 1: deciding what to even put on it! 

Anyone who follows my personal instagram knows I'm big on memes so I was hoping to wait until about April and see what the recent popular meme was and somehow incorporate it with some clever phrase that would go viral for a bit.

I decided that wasn't working for me.

February is when I really decided to make The Teacher With The Fro into a brand. I decided while it may not go viral and make a lot of sense to other people, it represented me and who I am and it would be unique. Something I would look back on a be proud of.

Step 2: figuring out how to make it!

I've logged several hours online, mostly on pinterest, looking at different caps trying to get ideas for my design. After I got a general idea of what I wanted to do I had to figure out how. How do I get a colored background? What do I make it out of? How do I get it to stick to the cap? How to I get the letters to look nice?

Luckily I came across some very nice people on instagram who were willing to indulge me and answer all of my questions about how they made their caps.

Step 3: gather my materials.

One day I was intending to go to the gym but I forgot on the weekends they close at a different time. So I drove around the corner and ended up at a Jo-Ann Fabrics. I figured they would have things so I went in looking. I came out with some letters that I wasn't in love with, but they were all I had at the moment.

I wasn't able to pick up my cap and gown until the week of graduation (whose idea was that?!)

Once I got it and knew what color it was I have a better idea of what I had to work with but I still didn't really like the materials I had. After one more instagram conversation I ended up going to Michael's. Here's what I gathered:

  • A pad of 12x12 scrapbook paper (or it might just be regular construction paper)
  • Sparkly chipboard letters, one pack silver and one pack black
  • A hot glue gun and pack of glue sticks
  • A roll of rhinestones
  • A pack of swirly rhinestone designs
  • A pack of adhesive jewels
I also bought several other things for the several ideas that began swirling around in my head once I saw the vast amount of things Michael's had to offer. The above list is all of the things I ended up using.

Step 4: Get started!

  1. Place the 12x12 paper over the top of the cap, lining up at least one edge and corner.
  2. Flip the cap upside down, holding the paper in place, then cut the paper to fit your cap. You may want to draw lines for a more accurate cut, I just didn't do that.
  3. Draw a dot where your knob is (the thing you hang the tassel on) and trace yourself a general outline of how big the circle is.
  4. Take the paper off the cap and fold it in half on your dot but do not crease it.
  5. Cut a half circle which should create a whole circle since your paper is folded. Place your paper back over your cap to see if the hole is the right size. You want it to be just able to fit, so you don't see any of the cap under it. My hole was a little to big so I had to get creative to cover it up.
  6. Once you've fit your paper, take your hot glue gun and apply glue to each edge. Now is not the time to get stingy with your glue, you don't want your cap falling apart when you walk across that stage. Let your glue dry before moving on to the next step.
  7. After the background is dry I used the roll of rhinestones to line the edges and create a cute border.
  8. The next thing I did was lay out the letters in the order I wanted them in. My first plan was do the colors in an ABAB pattern. Which is how I realized my silver pack of letters was missing the F, of course, a letter I needed so I couldn't ignore it. So back to Michael's I went. I later decided I wanted "teacher" and "fro" to stand out so I wanted to do those silver and the rest of the words black. Which made me realize I was still short a few letters. Short version, I ended up back at Michael's two more times. Anyway I'm rambling, back to the cap.
  9. After I finally had all of my letters, I thought they were adhesive but the way I was pulling off the back, I was accidentally pulling off the entire back and not just the piece covering the sticky part, which is why I bought the hot glue gun because I thought I would need to glue each letter. Eventually I figured out how to peel the letters right and set them where I wanted them.
  10. Then I peeled off the rhinestone designs and placed them where I wanted. I had to cut some of them to make them fit but, thems the breaks.
  11. The last thing I did was use some of the adhesive gems to cleverly disguise the hole I'd made around the knob in the middle.
Here's a closer look at the finished product

Here are some other photos from my graduation!
A better look at my make up... I just learned how to do make up a few months ago but I think I've gotten pretty good at it.

The delicious lemon cake my boyfriend got me. My favorite but it's HUGE we'll be eating it for days!

A cute pic of me after my make up got wiped off during one of the games

My super adorable boyfriend

My parents and Me

My whole family. My brother finally made it to one of my graduations!