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Pomp & Circumstance

Graduation season is in full swing! It has been sixteen years since my high school graduation. I vividly remember the nerves and excitement of preparing for the walk across stage. Tripping in front of the thousands of people was a big fear. (Can you relate?) Anyway, this moment represented one of life's great accomplishments. However, at the time, I was somewhat apathetic. We moved while a junior in high school. So, my graduation did not hold the weight as it would growing up with the same group of people. However, the more time passes the more I cherish it. The way my parents and family celebrated this momentous occasion is treasured.

What feeling does this season evoke within you? Do you know someone graduating this season and are looking for a memorable gift? If so, follow along below for detailed instructions on a custom mortarboard hat.


Dollar Tree wooden checker/chess game


Cup/bowl of Water

Paint brush

Acrlyic Paint



Wood glue


Cardboard ribbon reel or medium plastic lid


1. Remove gameboard from package, set pieces aside. Paint top of gameboard (checkerboard side). Let dry and repeat for second coat.

2. While board is drying, stack and glue 4 checker pieces together.

3. Once top is dry, flip and paint bottom of board. One coat is fine since this will be underneath.

4. Paint stacked pieces and set aside.

5. Cut 9 pieces of yarn to desired tassel length. I cut mine about 6"; about 3" when folded.

6. Cut a piece of yarn about 18". Set aside.

7. Fold all pieces of yarn in half together, with longest piece in center. This will serve as loop for tassel.

8. Cut another length of yarn. Wrapping about half an inch down. Tie and cut off excess. Trim tassel fringe until it is even.

9. Glue checker stack to top center of board.

10. Tear off one side of cardbaord from reel. Glue flat side of reel/lid to bottom center of board. Paint and let dry.

11. Glue on tassel around checker stack.

12. Decorate for the graduate.

13. Voila!

Did you enjoy this craft? What kind of grad gifts have you made? Share your custom graduation gifts on Instagram @creativevcrafts.

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