How to Make a Graduation Cap Topper (2024)

Congratulations on graduating or celebrating someone who is! If you’re looking to learn how to make a graduation cap topper, you’re definitely in the right place! Making a custom graduation cap topper is a great way to add a unique, personal touch to your graduation look and I’m going to show you how.

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There are a few different ways you can make personalized DIY graduation caps. You could go the arts and crafts route and decorate it using scrapbook paper in the school colors, add a sparkly border to the edges of the topper, paint it with acrylic paint. Or you could use your Cricut machine and glitter cardstock to cut out the base, a custom quote or characters.

But when I make a grad cap topper, I try to keep it simple. So I’ll be showing you the easy way how to make a printable graduation cap topper. Below you’ll find step by step instructions to make your graduation cap design and how to attach your topper to your own cap.


1. Gather your supplies.

You’ll need a computer, laptop or mobile device. In addition, scissors, exacto knife or compass circle cutter, an inkjet printer and glossy cardstock (8.5×11 or 11×7-if your printer is wide format) and a self healing mat (or old cardboard box/sheet). You’ll also want to have double sided adhesive. I recommend glue dots/strips for a raised look or double-sided tape.

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2. Choose or Create Your Design.

If you’re short on time, you can choose to grab an instant download premade printable graduation topper. The sizing and design is already done for you, all you have to do is print, trim and adhere. If you don’t feel as if you’re creative enough to design yourself, there are shops that accept custom orders for printable designs in any theme you choose.

But if you’re up for doing it yourself, you can create your design from scratch using a blank Canva template. The center small circle of the template represents the tassel button and is .75 inches. The graduation cap base is sized at 8.3 inches. When designing, make sure important elements do not cover that area, because it will be cut out.

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When designing, you can upload your own photos, graphics, and fonts to make it more personable. I recommend the free trial pro version of Canva so you can have access to all fonts and graphics. When designing, first choose your background color or design. Then add text, such as a quote or your graduation year. Finally, don’t forget graphics or your graduation photos to complete the design.

After you’ve finished designing, be sure to download it.

3. Print & Cut

I recommend printing on 8.5×11 glossy cardstock. When printing on glossy cardstock, you must use a rear paper feed. Also, ensure you got to your printer settings and set the paper type to “Photo Paper Glossy” or if you have a HP printer set it to “HP PHOTO”.

Once you’ve printed, trim the excess white edges off with scissors or a paper trimmer. Then you want to cut the inner circle out. Some people use a sharp blade, such as an exacto knife. However, I personally use and recommend a compass circle knife.

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4. Attach to Cap

Next, attach the topper to the top of the cap . Remove the tassel first, then ensure the tassel holder button fits through the center hole. Add the tassel back on top. Some people use hot glue. I suggest glue dots or double sided tape, instead. These options are great, because it makes the cap topper removable, which is helpful if school administration has strict rules for their high school graduation or college graduation.

5. Finishing Touches.

At this point, you’re finished! If you want to add a little extra razzle dazzle you could attach flowers, bling, fur, chains, pearls, plushies (I’ve seen it all) Go ahead!

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With the steps provided, now you should know how to make a graduation cap topper. Having a little personalization on your big day is a small but special way to celebrate and honor yourself and others for the hard work it took to get here. And if you’re looking for more graduation crafts, check out this graduation class ring pop.


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How to Make a Graduation Cap Topper (2024)
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