If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to give cash to a graduate, this might just fit the bill!  In the past few years, I’ve made a few money chain gifts for some grads like I first showed on the blog here, but I decided to go for something a little different this year and try my hand at a graduation cap!  Since Abby is now home from college, I enlisted her help and, together, we came up with this one!

It was really easy to make and we had all the supplies we needed on hand in the house! Here’s what you’ll need to make this:

  • A 9-inch square piece of cardboard
  • 21 bills in the denominations of your choice.  (We used twenty $1 bills for the top and bottom of the hat, plus one $20 bill for the tassel.)
  • clear tape
  • Poster board (we used a metallic gold from Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 sheet of tissue paper
  • thin ribbon or cord, approximately 24 inches long

Start by cutting the cardboard to a 9-inch square.  (We recycled some cardboard from some packaging, which worked perfectly.)

Next, tape on the first dollar bill with a small piece of tape on each end of the bill.


Tape on the next bill by overlapping it about halfway across the first.

Continue taping on the bills in a clockwise direction, all around the edges of the cardboard.  End by adding two more bills in the center, as pictured.  Then, repeat the same process on the other side of the cardboard so both sides are completely covered by the bills.

Next, measure out and cut the poster board for the cap to approximately 24 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide.

Then, tape the band together to the size you need for the graduate’s head. We had to guess the size, but 20 inches turned out to be just right in our case.

After the band is taped to the correct size, use scissors to cut slits around one inch long and spaced about 2 inches apart, all around one side of the band.

Then, gently fold the tabs in and then tape the band onto the under side of the cash-covered top.


Next, it’s time to make the tassel!  It only takes one piece of tissue paper, measured approximately 13 inches wide by 24 inches long.  Fold the tissue in half, lengthwise, then fold again from top to bottom two times to make it easier to cut the strips.

Cut the strips around one inch wide, stopping around 2 inches from the folded top, then open up the tissue again.

Next, start rolling it up the center.

Then, fold the tassel in half, placing the ribbon or cord in the middle.

Use the last bill to wrap around the top of the tassel and use another piece of tape to secure the end.

Add a small tag with the graduation year onto the ribbon, then tie a small knot near the top of the tassel and tape the ends of the ribbon onto the top of the cap.


Add one more “button” on top of the cap made from a circle of the poster board.  Tape it on over the ribbon, and it’s finished!

It makes a great gift for the grad to wear, and is sure to put a smile on their face!  Because who doesn’t want money for a grad gift?!!

This whole project can be done in less than an hour, and is lots of fun to make!  I hope this gives you the inspiration you’re looking for!  For free graduation printables and party ideas for the Class of 2017, click here!