Offer your customers a distinctive option for graduation flower gifts with this innovative mortarboard cap adornment.

Floral design, photos and text by Nita Robertson, AIFD, CFD

Graduations will begin in just a couple of months, and there are many ways to celebrate these momentous events. In addition to this mortarboard graduation cap flower design, popular flower gifts for graduates include fresh flower leis and other flower wearables as well as wrapped bouquets and more.

Graduates these days are adorning the mortarboard caps with all sorts of graphics, images, words and messages, but we believe they should be adorned with flowers. This inventive, versatile design is created to be attached under the mortarboard part of a graduation cap as well as worn by the graduate as a flower crown following the ceremony. The design technique can be used with virtually any long-lasting small-to-medium-size blooms and accessory items—logically, in school colors. Don’t miss the opportunity to offer customers who are shopping for graduates something different this year—and to showcase your degrees in creativity and revenue enhancement.


Step 1

Twist one end of each of two 18-inch chenille stems together, end to end, to create a longer chenille stem approximately 33 inches in length. Repeat this step to create a second long chenille stem. Twist the two long chenille stems together to create a figure-eight-patterned “chain.”

Step 2

Tie a length of #3 ribbon to the last loop on each end of the chenille-stem chain. These will be used to tie the finished design around the cap part of the mortarboard hat.

Step 3

Glue individual Israeli Ruscus leaves, end to end and overlapping slightly, to one side of the chenille-stem chain by applying liquid floral adhesive to the chenille stems and pressing the leaves atop them. This will camouflage the chenille-stem mechanic and create a smooth backside for the design.

Step 4

Flip the chenille-stem chain over so that the leaves are against the surface of your workspace. Attach botanicals to the “topside” of the chenille-stem chain by applying a drop of liquid floral adhesive to both the chenille stem and the base of each botanical. Hold each item in place until the adhesive becomes tacky. Choose a selection of botanicals in different sizes and textures, and consider grouping like botanicals together to create a stronger focal point.

Step 5

Once all if the botanicals are added and the chenille-stem mechanic is completely covered, add nonbotanical accents. I created coils of aluminum wire to introduce a touch of gold into the design.

Step 6

Once the graduate has donned her cap, instruct customers to snugly tie the flower design onto the cap, just under the mortarboard, using the ribbons on each end of the design.



• Chrysanthemum x morifolium ‘Bombellini (incurve/spider disbud mum)

• Chrysanthemum x morifolium (pompon spray mum)

• Scabiosa atropurpurea (pincushion flower, scabious)

• Limonium sinuatum (statice, sea lavender, wavy-leaf sea lavender, notch-leaf sea lavender)

• Acacia dealbata (mimosa, silver wattle)

• Ruscus hypoglossum (Israeli Ruscus, Holland Ruscus, Florida Ruscus)


• OASIS® Aluminum Wire, Gold

• OASIS® Floral Adhesive

• Atlantic® Traditional Chenille Stems

• No. 3-width ribbon of your choice

• Mortarboard cap