Graduates across America prepare to proudly march in their graduation ceremonies in a show of determination, perseverance and accomplishment. Graduating classes everywhere, dressed in satiny robes, with a tasseled hat atop their heads will proudly accept their diplomas, degrees and certificates shortly before tossing their caps in the air, never to be worn again. What happens to all these robes and caps once Commencement is over? It certainly seems like a waste to just keep it stashed in a closet somewhere. Here are some great ways to reuse your graduation cap and gown.
Some colleges and universities are now purchasing graduation caps and gowns made of biodegradable material. Rather than having Commencement attire that is worn once and left to waste in a closet, a cap and gown made of recyclable materials is an excellent way to show an eco-conscious sensitivity. Another great point is that gowns made of biodegradable materials are generally very light weight. The breezy material is great for spring or summer commencement ceremonies.
Pass it On
If you have a family or a close friend that attended the same school as you, and is preparing to graduate, pass your old cap and gown on. Cap and gown styles do not change drastically from year to year. Rather than having your loved one pay a fee for a new cap and gown, pass on your lightly used ceremonial garb. Your friend will be thankful that they did not have to shell out money for a new cap and gown that they will only wear once.
Just like another other article of clothing that you don’t need or want, your cap and gown will be doing more good at a Goodwill or Salvation Army than it will be in your closet. Donation is certainly an option worth considering.
If you are creative and into arts and crafts, you can always cut up the cap and gown into smaller shreds and re use it on a project you are working on. Most graduation gowns are fairly thin and would be appropriate for a number of different project. With a little creativity you can easily re-purpose your graduation garb.
Another great suggestion for repurposing your graduation cap and gown is to use it for Halloween. All depending upon the color of your robe, you can create a variety of different costumes. For example, rather than just going out as a graduate, you could use a black graduation gown as a launching pad for costumes such as Darth Vader, Harry Potter inspired Wizard, Batman or something completely original. The options are endless.
Many college graduates go on to Graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree or better. What better way to inspire you to crack those books that to create beautiful book covers for your text books? With a needle, some thread, scissors and your gown, you can create durable and attractive covers for your books. You can even use the tassel as a book page!
Remember all those sleepless nights in college when you stayed up until dawn cramming for tests and writing papers? All your hard work finally paid off, and now you can rest easy at night. An easy way to repurpose your graduation gown is to create pillow cases out of the material. With your gown and a sewing machine, you’ll have shiny satin-like pillow case in no time!
Shed Some Light On the Situation
Another great way to re-purpose your graduation garb is to use the tassel from the graduation cap as a pull cord for your ceiling fan or light. If you are like me, the cord on the ceiling fan is never quite long enough. Attaching the tassel from your graduation cap is great way to create a reachable cord, as well as making it a visible memento of your accomplishments.
If you are handy, a great way to re-purpose your graduation cap and gown is to create a message board. You can purchase cork board from any office supply store. Wrap the cork board with the material from your graduation gown, secure with t-pins or thumb tacks and decorate as you wish. You could even attach a hook on the back so it can hang from a wall of your office or home.
You’re probably thinking, “Who on earth would want to buy my old graduation cap and gown?”. You’d be surprised. If you offer a cheap enough price, and your graduation garb is in good condition, a money strapped senior ready to graduate may be willing to pay for a used gown, to avoid paying the school’s sometimes hefty fee for a new cap and gown. Try eBay, craigslist or even a consignment shop. It couldn’t hurt!
Photo courtesy of BBQ Papers