2017-05-17 / News

LABOR OF LOVE

Personalized grad caps popular this year
By Diana Royal


Heather Ivey, a deputy for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, made personalized graduation caps for area seniors. Heather Ivey, a deputy for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, made personalized graduation caps for area seniors. They’re just as unique and sparkly as the students they were made for.

Burke County Sheriff’s Office deputy Heather Ivey had no idea that individualizing and celebrating her own graduation would lead to a second, albeit temporary, job.

But many man hours and hot glue gun burns later – she’s glad she had the opportunity to make graduation that much more memorable for local seniors.

To commemorate her victory earlier this month (Ivey just earned her associates degree in criminal justice from Augusta Technical College), she decorated the top square of her cap. Adorned with the phrase, “You have the right to remain educated,” and some handcuffs and police cruiser stickers, she walked across the stage to receive her diploma.

She says she posted a picture of the cap on social media, and not long after, a coworker asked if she could decorate her daughter’s. A second post displaying her craftiness led to inquiry after inquiry. And quite a few trips to

Hobby Lobby. After nearly two dozen, Ivey had to stop taking orders.

“I’ve made these on my off days,” she says, sandwiched between a fresh batch, some displaying hobbies, a desire to travel or topped with pictures of loved ones who can only attend the momentous occasion in spirit.

Ivey says some folks charge $80 for the commemorative decorations. “I didn’t want to charge that much,” she says. “Honestly, I just charged to cover the supplies.”

Depending on the students’ requests, some caps took anywhere from one to three hours to complete, but Ivey says their reactions have been the best part.

“I love the smiles and huge thank you’s,” she says. “I believe the best reactions come from those whose caps were dedicated to a lost loved one. They’re so grateful, and it’s very sentimental to them.”

“On top of that, I got to play a small role in their special day,” she adds. “That is such a great feeling.”

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