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  • Writer's pictureSam


I always knew I wanted to decorate my grad cap in a really cute way. In high school we weren’t allowed to decorate ours and we wore.. red… like why. SOOooooO since then I was pretty set on making this one much cuter.

Of course, I went straight to Pinterest to come up with ideas. I was pretty set on doing an ocean themed design because of my blog.

I came across this design and was inspired to do something embroidered. This required lots of brainstorming. I knew I wasn’t going to continue the design off the cap like it is in my inspo pic. I sat down and drew out some designs I might like.

My friend Mel showed me some stitching with the kantan needle. I decided it looked like a fun way to get my cap done. I bought my needle on Amazon for a little under $15.

Next, I decided to look on Etsy for designs to follow. I ended up choosing this one.

If you want to buy the same pattern, click the link attached to this photo!

This design was $5 but the problem was that it was round and meant for just cross stitching. I was going to be using the kantan needle which produces a chain stitch. My end result is going to be different than the photo for that reason. Nonetheless, I went forward with this design as a general outline for me to follow. I used mostly the same colors it suggested and the pattern as well.

I went out and bought alllll the materials I needed.

  1. Black Linen

  2. 14 Colors of DMC Floss

  3. Kantan Needle

  4. Large Embroidery Hoop

I also used scissors and the pattern but I already had those!

So when I first started I seriously had no idea;

  1. What I was doing

  2. How I was gonna do it

The first thing I did was trace my old high school cap onto the black linen. This way I knew what exactly I was designing on. I was also really certain I was designing it so when I wear the cap, the design is the way I want it.

I had never used the kantan needle before so I had to practice. This was one month before I needed the cap to be 100% done. Meanwhile I was working hard on Zack’s backyard, finishing school and went on a quick girls trip.

The first time I used the needle, I immediately snapped it.. love that.

With Amazon prime I tried again 3 days later. This time I lasted a while longer. I got that blue upside down “V” at the top (which I ended up pulling out anyways).

I then thought I broke it again but turns out the little needle can be replaced and it just came loose. Before I realized it wasn’t broken, I superglued it back into place 🙂 love that for me.

Then I really started making progress. The dark blue was sad and depressing to look at so I added the contrast of the tan colors. At this point, I got the hang of the needle and how to work it. I also decided it was time to move on from the circle and really make it look like my cap ( that diamond shape).

I think the tan part was my favorite to do. I even thought of adding little footprints walking in the sand but it would be a lot of work and super tiny. I was going for the abstract look anyways lol.

This is when things started to really take shape. It is also right when I broke the needle again and had to wait for the replacement lol.

I do not recommend the dang tool. Before I started I watched this girls tutorial and the thing was falling apart 🤦🏻‍♀️That then happened to me with the replacement one AGAIN. Luckily I just had to super glue the wood part back to the metal part.

Then I went to SF and had like a week or so to get it done. I kind of skipped some progress photos, I wasn’t planning to make this a post what a dummy move.

These last four pictures were taken hours apart. Your girl grinded for like 6 hours to finally finish the dang thing. I was the most nervous to do the middle part because it had the most detail and I felt like it would make or break the whole design.

As you can see I left the little button in the center blank cause thats where the opening on cap went.

Luckily, our caps were really cool and the button would pop off. I found this out accidentally but it ended up being a blessing. Instead of having to cut the center out, I just popped off the button and stabbed the fabric right through. To get it to stay I just hot glued it to my cap, which was nerve-wracking.

In the end, I really thought about sticking with my original plan and adding the “catch the wave” in a cursive script and the “2019” at the bottom. In reality, I had 0 time to do that and it also would have taken away from my design. I am happy with how it turned out and now I have this awesome story behind it. It felt really true to me and what I love, the beach.

Honestly, for my first ever embroidery project, I think I did a really good job. The whole process reminded me of how school always was for me.

I was excited to do the fun parts where I got to be creative but I was super busy doing all the other not so fun stuff. I hit a lot of roadblocks (broken kantan needles) but still persisted and finished the project. I can now look back and think fondly of everything, including the tough and stressful parts.

I promise this is the last graduation themed post. Unless y’all want more, but probably not until graduation season next year HAHA. Now my life is all about making money moves and adulting. So if you want to follow that journey then definitely stay followed and engaged on my socials!

Let’s catch the wave babyyy 🌊


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