90 Very Silly Uses for a Mortarboard

Published by in Humor
16th Dec 2010

When I was an undergraduate at Oxford, I never understood why I had to own a mortarboard but would be fined if I wore it. So I started making a list of things I could do with it. This list became steadily sillier, until at the grand total of 90 useless uses, I thought I’d leave it. Now you too can do very silly things with your strangely shaped academic hat.

  1. hat
  2. Frisbee
  3. ashtray
  4. pillow
  5. handy bag
  6. earmuff
  7. fancy dress item
  8. moneybox
  9. plant pot
  10. shoe
  11. leaky fish tank
  12. leaky cup
  13. sponge
  14. plate
  15. fruit bowl
  16. bread basket
  17. tray for small children
  18. trowel
  19. spade
  20. Stackable storage jars
  21. oversized spoon
  22. Unusually shaped spork
  23. Open lunchbox
  24. hiding place (when being hounded by the paparazzi)
  25. weapon (ie hit people over the head with it)
  26. table
  27. dustbin
  28. Kneepad
  29. Kneeling mat
  30. whip (use the tassel!)
  31. drinks carrier (stick a glass on each corner and bingo!)
  32. tie two together by the tassels and you have a novelty bra
  33. Braid practice instrument (just plait the tassel)
  34. mask
  35. use it to create a post box outside your room: tie it to the door handle and insist that people put messages in it
  36. give it to a pet to use as a nest
  37. butterfly net
  38. Elbow pad for people with unusually large elbows
  39. use it to set a trap for academics
  40. sell it on ebay
  41. set it down on the street in front of you and start busking
  42. wait til your loan’s run out, then eat it
  43. put it on a turntable and pretend to be a dj
  44. give it to a child in an act of kindness
  45. give it to a tramp to sell
  46. hide drugs in it
  47. get very drunk and try to drink out of it (probably wouldn’t work, but imagine the photos that’d go up on the college jcr site)
  48. stick it on your friends’ heads to try to get them fined
  49. tie the tassels to a piece of string and use it as a kite
  50. get a job in MacDonald’s, hide it in a hamburger and see if anyone notices
  51. get a famous person to sign it with tipex
  52. start a local tv show called “pimp my mortarboard”
  53. paint it strange colours and tie ribbons to it and where it as an Easter bonnet
  54. buy lots of them and use them as floor tiles
  55. novelty lampshade
  56. inkwell
  57. pencil case (well how very academic and amusing)
  58. CD case
  59. snow shoe (might want to borrow someone else’s too)
  60. give it to a charity shop to sell as fancy dress
  61. nail it to the wall and use it as a small corkboard
  62. plate it with semi precious metal and give it to your parents as a memento of how clever you are
  63. hold it above your head as an academic halo
  64. feed it to someone stupid as an experiment: will it make them clever? Probably not, but it’d be funny to see them eat a raw mortarboard
  65. stick it down your trousers as a novelty codpiece
  66. sew up the head bit and use it as a small beanbag
  67. tell someone it belonged to a famous clever person and sell it to them for a stupidly large amount of money
  68. throw it at people
  69. amaze tourists
  70. wear it in a foreign country and insist that everyone wears them back home
  71. use it in a “naughty schoolgirl” striptease act (well, “naughty graduate” don’t sound so good)
  72. Stick a sail in it and use it as a boat for mice
  73. Turn it upside-down and use it as a house for small animals and insects
  74. Nail it to a stick and leave it in the garden as a bird bath
  75. Nail five together, then nail it to a stick and leave it in the garden as a bird house
  76. Tie two to your shoulders as amusing retro shoulderpads
  77. Hang it in an empty room and call it modern art
  78. Collect lots from your friends and give them to Lady Gaga to make a dress from
  79. Cut a hole in the top and use as a lid for ballot boxes
  80. Cut a hole in the top and use as a bottomless money box
  81. Hold two over your headphones for stealthy music listening
  82. Give two to a small child and tell them that they’re slippers
  83. Carry under your arm for an instant Oxford undergrad costume
  84. Cut holes in the middle of two, tie them together and put over your face: instant early-70s Elton John costume
  85. Tie two together and attach to your back: Undergrad wings
  86. Cut in half and attach to a headband as anime-style cat-ears
  87. Sew together the hat bit, fill with foam and use as a comfy cushion
  88. Nail to the wall as a shelf
  89. Nail to the wall as a challenging piece of contemporary art
  90. Use several as incredibly oppressive wallpaper

  • Mark Gordon Brown

    Aren’t you supposed to throw them up in the air and let them fly away in the wind like all your hopes and dreams do after you are done with that whole mess called education. I guess that is what I get for letting films educate me.

  • mohammednihal96

    nice article

  • B Nelson

    Silly ideas for sure, especially the bra one. I think they are best used as frisbees for dogs to catch.


    I like this article