How to Create Personalized Keepsakes for the Grad

Posted by Jennifer Snyder

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Gussy up graduation day with a cute gift box, party favor or table decoration. This keepsake graduation hat (mortarboard) is adorable and will be cherished as a reminder of the hard work it takes to achieve success.

So many uses for this Mortarboard:

  • Use it for treats or favors for the big graduation party
  • Tuck a small gift in the box as a nice surprise
  • Use it to store a college ring
  • Money and gift cards fit perfectly and are much beloved by any grad!

Products you will need:


DCC Round Boxes

Black Acrylic Paint

Blue Acrylic Paint

Paper Accents Chipboard

Small Tassels

Foam Brushes

Paint Brushes

Star sequins


Viva Decor Pearl Pen - Gold

Gold Paint Pen


Glitter Tape

Washi tape

Here are the Simple Steps:

Start with a round box like this. This is a small 4x4 box - but boxes come in many sizes.

Paint entire box ( inside and out) with acrylic paint. I found a foam brush is fast and really gets into the edges of the box perfeclty.

Add washi tape, glitter tape or ribbon as desired. I layered ribbon over gold glitter tape on the black hat. I added extra glue to my trim so the glitter tape and ribbon stay in place for years to come.

Decorate box with sequin stars if desired. They add a nice decorative touch without over embellishing. Plus they are gender neutral - great for any grad.

Cut a 5x5 square from chipboard. This will be the top of the hat. Paint to match the box.

Start with a small tassel - like one used for a book mark. Cut the tassle loop in one place to create a longer string for attaching to the hat.

Add a bit of glue to the tassel and attach to the hat, then top with a sequin star.


Glue top to the base of the hat. A glue with a strong bond is suggested to withstand the frequent opening and closing of the box.

More personalizing

Finished Project

Here is the finished project. Personalizing the Mortarboards makes them so much more special. I added cash and a gift card to one of them, well, because every grad loves cash.

Happy Crafting!