Graduation is the one day you get to honor your years of hard work, so make it count and make your grad cap stand out! Decorating your cap is a fun way to express yourself and capture your experiences from your time in school. To help you out, we’ve rounded up 60 graduation cap ideas. There are funny caps, inspirational caps, artsy caps and everything in between to fit every grad’s taste.

1. Dream Big Worry Small

This Rascal Flatts quote is perfect for a graduate stepping out into the world. It’s even more perfect for the student who happens to be a country music fan. Try using your favorite music quote to make your cap personal to you.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

2. Great Things Come in Small Packages

This is a great quote for the petite graduate. We also love how the hometown and college town were incorporated and honored on this cap. The foliage border is super cute too!

Photo by: @babykait

3. Beauty and the Grad

Belle is an intelligent bookworm who strives for an adventurous life. Who better than to represent you as you celebrate your academic achievements? After all, she embodies the characteristics of a newly minted graduate.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

4. Gold for the Win

Elegant and bold, gold foil and a simple quote are a very effective combination on the black background of this hat. It is always best to look towards the future, especially on your graduation day!

Photo by: @sunkissed_lifestyle

5. For the Art Majors and Art Lovers

We love the idea of honoring the artists who inspired you throughout your studies. Whether it’s Matisse, Monet, Pollock or Hokusai, channeling their style is sure to make your cap stand out from the crowd.

Photo by: @shaysimonsart

6. The Muggle Struggle

Future teachers should take note of this marvelous Harry Potter cap. It is funny and impressively decorated. It’s a bummer that Hogwarts wasn’t hiring this year, but maybe they’ll have some openings soon? Stay hopeful.

Photo by:

7. Adventure in a World of Possibilities

Showcase your adventurous side with a cap like this. The delicate outline of the world is simple and doesn’t overshadow the quote. It will get you pumped up for your post-graduation trip abroad!

Photo by: @echoes.of.grace

8. The Little Mer-grad

This Ariel silhouette is gorgeous against the sunset and ocean. It is a sweet nod to your childhood, if she inspired you when you were younger. The quote inspires others to follow their dreams too!

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

9. The Motivation Behind the Hustle

This is an amazing way to include your furry best friend in your celebration. And it will make for some hilarious photos that your friends and family will love. You just got your degree so that they wouldn’t have a “ruff” life—how selfless of you.

Photo by: @covrtcreates

10. Pink and Flowery

This is a great short and simple sentiment that encourages everyone to be their best. The flower border is a very nice touch and adds variety to the pink color scheme. Super cute.

Photo by: @cambam0_o

11. The Happiest Grad on Earth

An homage to Disney is a popular theme amongst grad cap decorations. The quote is the classic inspirational message that Disney aims to share. Include your favorite characters or keep it simple with Tink and fireworks in front of the castle.

Photo by: @allisonsdisneydays

12. Blinged Out BSN

Bling works on anything really, but it looks especially good on this simple background. Showcase your degree that you worked so hard to earn. The heartbeat rhythm strip is a nice touch.

Photo by: @nurseroshani

13. The Avid “Mean Girls” Quoter

“She doesn’t even go here!” Your favorite movie is definitely a great option for your grad cap. Use a movie quote that fits with graduation and have fun with it! Just remember that on graduation day, we wear pink.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

14. Iridescent Art Design

The mosaic look is a super cool option if you don’t want to include writing on your grad cap. The tiles on this cap are different colors depending on the angle that you look at it, making it a definite stand out in a sea of grad caps.

Photo by: @nicseidl

15. Resilience is Key

Represent your perseverance with this grad cap quote. Sunflowers portray adoration and longevity, perfect for graduation day and your future career. You could also include the flower of your birth month for an added personal touch.

Photo by: @letteringmanna

16. Hungry for Success

Steve Jobs and Apple are perfect for someone going into the tech industry, or even better someone who landed a position at Apple. But honestly, his words and success are great motivation for anyone. Just ignore the irony in that he was a college dropout.

Photo by: @yesenisgarcia

17. Are You Young, Scrappy and Hungry?

Alexander Hamilton, the Musical, has inspired millions since its debut. If you are one of those people, A. Ham. is the perfect theme for your grad cap. The quote is straight from the show, but it seems like it’s made for graduation!

Photo by: @voila.design_

18. Hard Work Makes the Dream Work

Caps that combine design and inspirational quotes are always a big hit. This motivational quote and blue color scheme look clean and really pop. Everyone always talks about dreams, but they don’t always talk about the work that goes into them.

Photo by: @newhuepaintings

19. Best Revenge is Your Paper

We are obsessed with this “Lemonade” Beyonce reference. Equal parts clever, applicable and well executed, this is a home run. “Okay ladies, now let’s get in (graduation) formation.”

Photo by:

20. For the “Lion King” Lover

We can definitely feel the love tonight for this grad cap. This Lion King design goes perfectly with the quote about destinies. We also like the creative border and bright color scheme.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

21. Hija de Inmigrantes

Show pride for your heritage and for your parents. “Daughter of Immigrants” is a powerful message in any language. Including flowers from your family’s home country is also a nice touch.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

22. Ravenclaw Pride

Take pride in your Harry Potter fan status as well as your house. “Mischief Managed” is a perfect way to sum up your time in school, and the cap can be easily themed for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Slytherin as well.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

23. Up, Up and Away

Referencing “Up” is perfect for those who love adventure. Unless you are an artist, you may have to go to a professional to get such accurate characters painted on. The quote is a good on its own as well.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

24. Game of (Student) Loans

We love the Game of Thrones and caffeinated college life references. This particular cap has decoration elements for a graduating nurse, but it is easily modified for other majors. Graduation is coming.

Photo by: @caffeinatednewyorker

25. Bride-To-Be

Here comes the grad. Wow, you have managed to wrap two major life events into one period of time in your life. This is a super cute way to represent both of them and to let everyone know that you finished school while planning a wedding, you overachiever.

Photo by: @decoryourday

26. Push the Boundaries

This cap is gorgeous and empowering. The silhouette and black writing are a nice contrast to the glitter and sparkle. Plus, we all need to be reminded sometimes that we should push boundaries.

Photo by:

27. Wanderlust

For those with a touch of wanderlust, this cap is for you. We love the how the cap is filled out well, but doesn’t feel crowded. The mix of calligraphy and hand-painted dots are a great combo, and it’s always fun to add a pop of color.

Photo by: @jonescrafts

28. “He, She Wumbo… it’s First Grade Spongebob”

For anyone whoever dreamed of majoring in Wumbology, it’s your time to shine. True Spongebob fans will love the reference and it is sure to make people laugh. Also, how often do you get to wear the word “wumbo?” This might be your only chance.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

29. I May Have ‘Wined’ a Lot, but I Did it

Thanking your parents or other supporters in your life is very important. But don’t neglect the thing that helped you unwind after hard week of school, your favorite wine! If you aren’t much of a wine fiend, beer (IPA, Stouts, etc.) works just as well.

Photo by: @camilla_creations

30. A Simple and Charming Nursing Graduation Cap

Any Grey’s Anatomy fans? Even if you aren’t a Meredith, this is such a cute cap for future nurses or doctors too. The stethoscope heart is a nice touch.

Photo by: @simplesoutherncrafts

31. Adios, Ciao and Au Revoir!

The simplicity of one word with the array of flowers is a perfect grad cap idea. This cap was created for a Spanish major, but it is perfect for any type of language major, or anyone really. You could use this as a nod to your heritage as well.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

32. For the Hamilton Fan

Hamilton scores again with another quote that had to be made for graduation. Even those who don’t know the show would love this cap. You’re graduating and you are ready to take on the world.

Photo by: @gdeimz

33. Sweet and Lighthearted Grad Cap

Grad caps can match your personality too. This fun quote is short and sweet. If you want something lighthearted, try this pineapple cap out!

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

34. Family, Pride and Humility

This cap translates to “Flying high without forgetting where I come from. Thank you Mom and Dad.” This is a perfect sentiment for a graduate. Recognize your roots and allow them to help you grow to new heights. And of course thank those who nurtured you along the way.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

35. “End of Act One”

The curtains may have closed on Act One, but Act Two is here now that you are graduating and starting a new chapter in your life. This cap is perfect for a theatre major, or someone who enjoys performing.

Photo by: @the_creativecreations

36. “I Busted Mine to Save Yours”

If you are going into the field of caring for others, you are going to have to deal with a lot of ungrateful people and thankless work. This works for anyone going into the medical field or for those who are going to be first responders. Remind everyone how important these professions are with this clever cap.

Photo by: @decoryourday

37. You’ll Bring Honor to Us All

Mulan is a classic, and everyone will love the Mushu reference. Funny and fitting for graduation, we also love the cherry blossoms.

Photo by: @chilaaan

38. Landlocked Mermaid

We all know someone who is a landlocked mermaid at heart. This sparkly cap is cute and whimsical. It ties your personality into your major and degree. Congrats! Now that you’ve graduated, you’re free to return to the ocean.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

39. Hello Graduation

This cap is purrfect for a Hello Kitty lover. The stripes add dimension and a light contrast against the iconic cat. Remember kindergarten you with the Hello Kitty backpack? She would be so proud right now.

Photo by: @covrtcreates

40. Starry Night

We thought that Starry Night was untouchable, but we love it with the addition of rhinestones. Great for an art major or an art lover. Now you can rock your favorite masterpiece at graduation.

Photo by: @chellegreycosplay

41. First Generation Grad

First generation graduate ready to take on the world? This design is for you. Represent your love of travel and what this accomplishment means to you and your family.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

42. Represent your Faith

This cap represents what faith has meant to you along this journey to graduation. The leaves and calligraphy are sophisticated and well balanced. If you don’t want to include a whole quote on your cap, many people just add the name and number of their favorite scripture onto their caps.

Photo by: @emsgemscreations

43. Kanye for Class President 2018

Kanye’s “Graduation Day” album is a great reference for your grad cap for obvious reasons. We love the quote as well. A fun way to personalize your cap would be to include the skyline of your hometown or college town on the cap.

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

44. Worry Less, Laugh More

This subtle grad cap would look great on a white cap and gown set. It would also look great in a different color combination for a black cap and gown. This quote is a great reminder to not worry too much about the next steps. You’ve already put in so much work and earned a degree that will set you up for a bright future!

Photo by: @gildedgracedesigns

45. Alice in Wonderland

This classic story is a perfect symbol for your new adventure. You could use newspaper print or copies of pages from your favorite book for a personalized background. Even the Cheshire Cat couldn’t smile wider than you while you’re wearing this cap.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

46. Turn Pain into Power

Heritage means everything, especially when it inspires you. Celebrate your heritage with this inspirational addition to your ceremony. Let others see the queen that you are.

Photo by: @mickeyyant

47. Simple and Grateful

Show your gratitude with this simple and sparkly cap. The flowers and different styles of text are pretty touches. On your graduation day, you’ll have a lot to be grateful for!

Photo by: @decoryourday

48. Grad Meets World

All the 90’s kids won’t be able to hide their jealousy at this clever cap. Throw it back to your favorite show and reminisce as you make the walk. Trust us, Boy/Girl Meets World is timeless.

Photo by: @coolrianche

49. 3-D Design Elements

We love the use of flowers to create a 3-D effect on this super cute dream catcher design. The pop-up look makes for an eye-catching cap.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

50. Dobby is a Free Elf

This is an amazing cap for a graduate earning their Masters degree. Harry Potter graduation caps are always a hit and Dobby is no different. After all of those years as a student, you are finally free!

Photo by: @kimscustomcaps

51. Bright Pearly White Future

Show off your DDS and your bright future in dentistry! Show off your degree with this sparkly cap accented with pearly whites. It’ll be hard not to smile on your graduation day, especially with this design.

Photo by: @decoryourday

52. White and Gold

“The best is yet to come.” This cap would go great with a white gown, since it almost has a bridal quality to it. The best graduation pictures are yet to come with this cute design.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

53. “I Am Not Throwing Away My Shot”

Another great example of a Hamilton-inspired grad cap. This design features a sparkly gold border and gorgeous calligraphy. This show is full of graduation appropriate quotes, so use your favorite!

Photo by: @yesenisgarcia

54. Caps that Don’t Grind Your Gears

This is a cute way to show off your degree and all of your hard work. The gear is perfect for a mechanical engineer. Hopefully this inspires you and gets your wheels turning!

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

55. Feminine and Future-Focused

This design includes so many different elements that make it pretty. The cap has a sparkly background, flowers balanced by script and is capped off with a bow. We also love the subtle inclusion of “thanks Mom and Dad” on the bow.

Photo by: @sweet_reverie_

56. The Gift that Keeps on Giving

You are the best gift your parents ever received, right? Remind them of that and show them your gratitude for their support. It really is a gift for parents to see their children walk at graduation. So this hat makes a lot of sense if they offered you a lot of support—whether that be emotionally and/or financially.

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

57. For the “La La Land” Lover

“La La Land” the movie/ musical was a smash hit, and with good reason. The painted scene is beautiful. Really, you could choose almost any setting from this movie for your cap.

Photo by @kimscustomcaps

58. When You Slayed College

We could look at these Beyonce-inspired caps all day. We love that the text is modeled after her 2013 album, “Beyonce.” The hand presenting the diploma is great too. You put in the time and this cap proves how your hard work has payed off.

Photo by:

59. Artsy Ariel

Show off your art skills with a hand-painted design of your favorite inspirational character. Ariel followed her dreams and made it happen. Be like Ariel.

Photo by: @joe_are

60. Go Forth with Confidence

The real world can be a daunting thought for a graduate. Just remember how many obstacles you faced during school; you can do it. This cap is beautiful and inspirational, what more could you want?

Photo by: @midwestmermaidart

We hope that you found the grad cap inspiration you were looking for! Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, you just need to know how to make it happen. Below you will find some tips on how to decorate your cap!

Graduation Cap Decoration Ideas

Decorating your cap can be quite stressful because all of your friends and family will see it on your big day. It is also your chance to stand out amongst the sea of matching gowns. Whether you are aiming towards funny graduation cap ideas, or a sentimental message, we have created a few tips on how to decorate a graduation cap. When decorating your cap:

  • Make sure your cap is right side up
    • Before you put anything on your cap, make a little pencil mark to show which way is up
  • Have a plan
    • Know the dimensions of your cap. Typical caps are 10” by 10”
    • Sketch everything out before hand
    • Let a friend check it out to make sure that it makes sense and is spelled correctly
  • Space out your letters well
    • Don’t be the person whose writing is all spaced out on the left side and squished on the right side
  • Try out your supplies on the material ahead of time if possible
    • This will help you to avoid ruining the material or your cap
  • Leave enough time for any paint or glue to dry before you have to wear it
  • Space out your 3D additions ahead of time; this includes flowers, bows and rhinestones
  • Consider using a thick paper cut out on top of your cap
    • This will give you the opportunity to start over if needed
    • Or you could try out different designs and decide which is your favorite
  • Make sure that your cap is true to you and have fun with it

Many graduates or graduates’ parents want something in addition to the personalized cap to remember the big day. So check out our other unique items and gifts to commemorate your accomplishment in a customized way. We wish you a happy graduation and a successful future!