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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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More personalizing

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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.

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Happy Crafting!