DIY graduation cap
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DIY Graduation Cap with Kraft-Tex® Paper Fabric

DIY graduation cap
Note: lettering above was modified to protect the child’s identity.
With socially distant graduations happening all over the country, we can use our crafty skills to celebrate those we love with a DIY graduation cap. Gather some paper-like fabric, thread, yarn and a brad fastener and you’re in business! If your machine has built-in decorative stitch alphabets, combine letters to personalize the DIY graduation cap for your student. Mary Kate Karr-Petras shows you how.


from Mary Kate:

The day before my daughter’s (online) elementary school continuation ceremony, her teacher sent an email that included a link to a DIY graduation cap tutorial as a suggestion for a fun way to make the occasion seem more celebratory. The materials used in the tutorial were basic craft supplies: black construction paper for the cap, yarn and a brad fastener to make a tassel. “Oh, I can make this,” I said to myself, “and I don’t even need to make a last-minute craft store run!” After all, this is why we makers have our stashes in the first place, right? This is what we’ve been training for!


Rather than construction paper, I knew that the roll of black Kraft-Tex I had on-hand would be the perfect material for the cap. It cuts and handles like thick paper, but has the durability and flexibility of fiber. I even had a remnant of decorative twisted cording for the tassel, left over from when I was making re-usable gift bags years ago, and in her school color no less!
DIY graduation cap with Kraft-Tex
First, I measured my daughter’s head and added 1/4″ to that measurement to determine the length of the cap band; I cut a strip of Kraft-Tex that length by 4″ wide. (Depending on the age and size of your child, you may want to cut a narrower strip for a smaller band.) Using craft glue, I overlapped the short ends by about 1/4″ and glued them together to form a circle. Once it was dry, I made snips all around one edge about 1/2″ long and about 1/2″ apart and then bent the “fringe” toward the center.
Then I cut an 11″ square for the top of the cap and found the center by drawing intersecting diagonal lines on the wrong side. I told my daughter we could decorate her DIY graduation cap however she wanted: paint, embellishments, appliqué, you name it. She’s a minimalist at heart and just wanted her name, school name, and Class of 2020 stitched onto it, which I was able to do easily using the specialty stitches on my sewing machine. (Imagine what I could have done if I had an embroidery machine!)
tassel supplies for DIY graduation cap


I centered the cap band on the wrong side of the top, “fringe” side down, and glued it in place. Once dry, I poked a hole in the center of the top and inserted the cording, securing it with a knot. I fashioned a tassel by looping the end back on itself several times, tying around the top to secure, and cutting the loops and unraveling the twists. At my husband’s suggestion, I added silver metallic thread around the top of the tassel for a more finished look (I try to give credit where it’s due).
tassel end in DIY graduation cap
And voilà! It took me almost as long to write this description as it took to make the actual cap. My daughter was proud to wear it for the online ceremony and socially distanced parade later in the day, and it’s sturdy enough that she was even able to toss it up into the air for a photo without it suffering any damage. In these strange times, I was so happy I could do something to help celebrate the end of her elementary school years with something special.
finished DIY graduation cap
For more fun things to make with Kraft-tex, look to Kraft-Tex Style by C&T Publishing. And create your own Kraft-Tex bag as seen on Sulky’s kraft-tex® Bag Free Webinar with Alyssa Thomas of Penguin and Fish. Grab the webinar kit to start creating today!
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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!