My daughter graduates from high school on June 12th (2009). I have been working on a special card for her (more of a memory book, actually, containing her school pictures since kindergarten), and wanted to have something special for the front of the card. I decided to make a graduation cap and gown to match the one she'll be wearing. Here's how I did it.
I started with a piece of yellow light-weight card stock 2 1/4" long by 3 3/4" wide. In landscape orientation I scored the card at 1/4", 1/2", 1", 1 1/4", 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/2", 2 3/4", and 3 1/4", as shown.
Put a line of adhesive across the top edge. Mountain fold the first two scores, and then accordion fold across the rest of the piece.
Take a 1 1/2" x 1 1/4" piece of the same yellow card stock. In portrait orientation score at 3/4". Lightly fold the paper in half across the score (do not crease). Cut a small "v" shape out of the front of the piece by cutting at the score line for about 1/4", and then from the fold, about 1/4" down, diagonally to the end of the first cut.
The result of these first few steps should be like this:
Glue the pleated piece inside the bodice piece using a very strong glue or tape.
Finally, to make sleeves for the gown, score a piece of card stock 4"x 1", in portrait orientation, at 1/2". Fold on the score line. Glue down. Glue centered to the back of the rest of the gown. Fold the sleeves at a angle at the shoulders of the gown, inward to the center line of the gown. Use a glue dot to affix the cuff end of the sleeve into place.
To make the cap start with a 1 1/2" x 1" piece of yellow card stock. Find the center of each edge. Cut diagonally from center point to center point of each edge to form a diamond. Using a heart punch and a scrap of yellow card stock about 1" wide, punch as shown. The piece that will be used is the one on the right.
Make a little tassel by raveling some ribbon or buy bundling some thread. Glue that to a piece of cord. Punch a small hole in the center of the diamond, pass the end of the cord through the hole and affix to the back. Insert a small brad through the hole. Glue the head piece to the mortar board.
Here's the finished project, with a couple of honors cords thrown in (yup... my kid is an honor student who also earned a service award!):