Top 10 things to do with your cap and gown after you graduate

Ideas to hang your hat on

1. Use it for a Halloween costume

As children, my siblings and I used our dad’s graduation gown for some of our Halloween costumes. You can transform one of those gowns into almost anything. Our favorite was probably a witch or a wizard from Harry Potter. Add a white scarf and glasses and be Ruth Bader Ginsburg or glue planets on it and hold a jug of milk and be the Milky Way.

2. Make a scarecrow

If you’ve always wanted to try gardening, now’s the perfect time! You’ll save money on fresh produce and have a new hobby instead of watching Netflix all day. In order to keep crows away, you’ll need to make a scarecrow, and what a coincidence, you happen to have a graduation gown laying around. Your scarecrow will look very sophisticated in his cap and gown, and the billowing fabric will be sure to keep the critters way.

3. Make your own fishing lure

If you haven’t seen the bicentennial zipper pulls, they’re kind of huge. What on Earth are you going to do with something big enough to knock someone out if you turn around too fast? Keep it on your gown? No. Use it as a weight to go fishing with? Yes. Attach that bad boy to your fishing line and you’ve got your own homemade sinker. You’re a regular MacGyver.

4. Frame it

Just in case someone didn’t know you went to U.Va., you should frame your cap and gown. Place it on the wall so it’s visible right when you walk in. Go crazy and frame your diploma too. It’s the perfect way to steer the conversation towards all of your ever so humble achievements. “Oh yes I attended U.Va. The classes were hard but not really that hard. I was in the Sigma Beta Chai Tea frat, had the best pledge class ever.”

5. Keep it in the bathroom

“Ashley,” you ask, “Do the cap and gown have any other uses?” Of course! This multifaceted, multitalented piece of fabric can be used for anything you set your heart to. After you step out of the shower, keep it on the floor to act as a bath mat or wrap yourself up in it to stay cozy and warm. Heck, if you forgot a towel, it could work for that too!

6. Use it as a frisbee

Congratulations! In your newfound adulthood and freedom, you decided to buy a puppy. You have food, a bed and a collar but what about dog toys? Boy, do I have a solution for you! Simply throw your cap around like a frisbee. Your puppy will love it, and the tassel will give you something to hold onto when you try to wrestle it from their mouth.

7. Use it as a casserole cozy

Your cap and gown can even be used in the kitchen! Place your cap upside down and put your round casserole dishes inside. Keep your hot dishes hot, and your cold dishes … well … not as hot. I will admit that it isn’t insulated very well and it’s also kind of small, but it’s great for casseroles for two. Impress your date with your cooking skills and your versatility.

8. Use it to fix your apartment

As you’re about to start a new job, you may not be able to afford the nicest of apartments or amenities. Enter the magical cap and gown. Lopsided chair? Shove the cap under there. Draft coming from under the door? Put the gown against it. There are endless possibilities for what you could fix with it. It’s pretty much as useful as duct tape, though not nearly as shiny.

9. Self-protection

Like I said earlier, those commemorative zipper pulls could really take someone’s eye out. So why not use that to your advantage? Maybe you haven’t had time to pick up mace or you keep forgetting pepper spray every time you go to the store, but worry not! The bicentennial zipper pull will keep you safe. Attach it to a rope or chain and swing that baby as hard as you can. Robbers be warned!

10. DIY lint roller

It’s common knowledge of all pet owners that fur will stick to everything, but it will especially stick to black fabrics. In order to save yourself from fur, keep your gown out at all times, so the fur will magically gravitate to it instead of your new couch. After a while you won’t be able to remember if the gown was originally black or the color of your pet’s fur. 

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