The one item associated with graduation is the black mortarboard cap with a tassel. It is a symbol of school completion. My daughter is graduating (NO, she can’t be getting older!!!) and I knew I wanted to incorporate a DIY graduation cap cake plate into the dessert buffet table.
I had an idea of putting a square plate (to represent the mortarboard) on top of an upside down bowl to create the silhouette of the cap. I knew it needed to be black (so it would obviously be a graduation cap), and it needed to be food safe.
Not wanting to spend much on this diy project, I headed to the local thrift store to see what I could find. I seriously lucked-out!
I found square, red, glass plates that were the right size and shape. What made them perfect, was they were scratched on the underside of the plate. Those scratches revealed that the plate was actually clear glass. Just the underside of the plate was red. It wasn’t red colored glass.
Yay! All I would need to do is remove the red paint from the underside of the plate, and then paint it black. This would also keep the top of the plate food safe, as I wouldn’t be painting the top.
While at the thrift store, I also found small bowls, that when turned upside down, where the perfect shape for the cap.
I had what I needed to make the graduation cap cake plate. Woo-hoo!
Here is how I transformed the red plate and white bowl into a black graduation cap.
Supplies for Graduation Cake Plate
- Square glass plate: $1.25
- Small bowl: $1.25
- Spray paint: $4
- Paint stripper & scraper
- Glue & newspaper
- Total = $6.50
How to create a graduation cap cake plate
Step 1: Set up your project area in a well-ventilated space. There will be fumes from the paint stripper and the spray paint. Lay out newspaper or a plastic drop cloth to protect the surface you will be working on.
Step 2: Follow the instruction on the paint stripper to remove the paint from the underside of the glass plate. The stripper I used is for removing paint from wood. It worked fine for removing paint from glass.
- It wasn’t great, as I needed to do it multiple times, and really work at it. But I already had the stripper from a previous project and didn’t want to spend money on a different paint striper. (I don’t do that many projects that require paint stripping.)
- Use a plastic scraper, not a metal one. You don’t want to scratch the glass
- I tried other ideas I saw online
- Soaking the plate in vinegar = didn’t work at all
- Soaking paper towels in nail polish. Then laying the towels on the paint and putting it all in a bag, so it would soak into the paint and hopefully peel it off. Nope – it didn’t do anything.
Step 3: Once the paint was removed from the glass plate, I washed and dried it. Now for the spray paint. I flipped the plate over, so that I would be only painting the underside of it. I rested the plate on paint sticks because I didn’t want the plate to stick to the plastic drop cloth. Sometimes when spray painting, the paint will act as a glue and the item will stick to the newspaper or drop cloth.
I did the same for the bowl: putting it upside down on a paint stick.
Follow the instruction on the spray paint can. I put three coats of paint on the plate and bowl, letting them dry in between coats of paint. My originally red plate and white bowl were now black.
Step 4: After the paint was dry, I glued the bottom of the plate to the bottom of the bowl and let the glue dry.
Fini! Doesn’t my new DIY Graduation Cap Cake Plate look just like a graduation cap! And the best part is that it is food safe!! Just add a cake or cupcakes.
PS: To complete the look, I added a graduation tassel I made from embroidery floss. Check out my post on how to make them yourself. They are a super simple DIY project!
*Plus, check out how cute it looks on my Graduation Party Buffet Table.
This looks so amazing and thank you for sharing. What a cool way to present a graduation cake. I wish I was as creative. Very handy guide!
So glad you found the instructions helpful. Thank you for the kind words.
Such a cool idea, I might use this for my daughter’s graduation this year