Thursday, May 3, 2012


Hello all.
It has been, yet again, a little bit longer than I would have liked since my last post. Promise this will not become a habit! Things have been straight up insane here, with my final college semester coming to a close. I am finally finished with my design project, my final exams, and my final papers/projects for other classes. I am finished and have successfully completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in four solid years of academics (including all three summers in between years). I'm not sure how I feel about being done with school; I've been in school for my entire life up until this point and I'm not sure how I'm gonna feel out of it... But I'm excited! :D

I've thoroughly enjoyed my college years <3
It's been fun, difficult, adventurous, memorable, and exciting! I don't regret a thing about my college experience and feel I balanced the fun of life with the school work well.

In preparation for the big day during which the school congratulates its graduates and sends them off into the world to be real adults, I have decorated my mortarboard (or grad cap, if you like). Here's what I did and how I did it, with a few tips on how to make your own stencils at home and make the difficult parts of implementing them, easier!

What I had:
  • My mortarboard
  • Glitter DecoFabric fabric paint pens (in sliver and red)
  • Silver and black plastic gems 
  • A printer
Here's what my mortarboard looked plain:

Next, I printed the outline of the WSU logo, the cougar. I used an X-ACTO knife to cut away the pieces. For those who know the WSU Cougar Logo, the eye of the cougar is in the "S" of the "WSU" that make up the cougar shape. In order to get the eye in just the right position with just the right size and shape, I keep the "S" portion after I cut out the eye. Here's what the stencil looked like:

So when you go to use the stencil:
  • Place the main part of the stencil (the cougar that is cutout and is left in a square piece of paper, shown on the left in the picture above) where you want the logo to be.
  • Next, place the "S" part of the stencil (on the right) back into the cutout, like a puzzle piece. 
  • Now, you have the eye portion set just where it is supposed to be and you can trace the shape and have it placed perfectly.
  • Take away the "S" portion and trace the remainder of the shapes! 
This of course works for all sorts of stencils! I thought a specific example would help explain it best!
No more trying to eyeball those little pieces! I use this handy trick all the time. :)

Alright, so using my stencil, I traced the cougar really quick just to get it laid out. Then I removed the stencil and went over the trace a couple more times to make the line thicker and the color bolder. This is what it looked like after all that:

Next, I wrote my name and the year of my graduation in the red glitter paint. I did about four coats over the lines to get the vibrancy I wanted out of the paint. The fabric absorbed a lot!

And for some added "bling" or whatever, haha - I added the plastic gems in lines on the other edge.

I love how it turned out actually. It's simple, which I like, but loud enough that I think it will help my family find me in the sea of caps (hopefully!). And if not, I'll still have a cute piece to hold on to, to remember my graduation day!

Do you have any good ideas for a mortarboard design? Have you done one/seen one that's crazy cool?

Well, that's all for now, my friends. I may be back in soon with another graduation related post. Until then, stay excellent!

- Jenny - 

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