How to make a (paper) graduation cap!

Want a cute graduation mortar board cheap and easy for grad parties or kid fun?  Here ya go!

The Boy graduated from Pre-K the other day, and they made these cute graduation caps for them.  So I reverse engineered it (and improved upon it) to make it into a tutorial for you guys!

These mortar board caps are made from poster board and foam core… easy and fun to celebrate a graduation milestone.


  • Black foam core board – about 12 in square.
  • Black poster board (cut to 22 in wide x 6 in tall)
  • Gold fringe and gold floss (60 inches)
  • 1 gold colored brad
  • Staples & glue


From your strip of black poster board, measure down 2.5 inches, and fold. Then and cut 6-8 slits straight down to to the fold from one side.  (See photo – note, photo shows an example using paper, not posterboard.) [Click the photos to see larger]

Pull poster board into a circle (see first photo below.)  Measure against your child’s head if handy to determine size.  (Although overlapping the edges by about an inch seamed to be about the right size)

Staple hat together into appropriate size. (See second photo below).

Center on the square of foam core, and glue down.


Take 48-60 inches of gold floss, and double, and double again, so you have 4 strands.  Knot each end.

You  have two options here.  Either use a 4 inch piece of gold trim, as shown here, or just make a tassel using gold floss.

Fringe version: roll up a length of fringe, then tie with the end of a of your floss.

Putting it together

Use the pointy end of the brad to make a small hole in the center of your foam core.  Use a toothpick to press the knot in one end of your floss through the hole.  Position the tassel string so that 1 inch or so of the string falls down over the side of the hat.  Inside the hat, knot the tassel string if necessary to secure.  Stick your brad through the hole in the top of the hat to secure the string as well.

You may trim off the excess floss from the inside of the hat if desired.

Whether your child is flesh and blood or robotic, Enjoy!

Hope you find this useful!