Some of this graduation clip art (the graduation caps or mortarboards, scrolls and the "Congratulations" text) was created in Picnik, Which was a cool online graphics program practically anyone could use without any training. I was responsible for combining some of the elements, but the Picnik artists were responsible for the high quality of the artwork. I happened to be a paid Picnik member at the time, which entitled me to some special features. But these images and many like them were actually available to anyone through their free version. (6-26-12 update: Picnik.com was bought by Google and subsequently shut down. I miss it! They really had some amazing images.)
Please scroll all the way down the page to see all the clip art.
Free Graduation Clip Art
We accept wearing graduation caps as a normal part of graduating, but they actually have a very long history most people aren't aware of.
A Brief History of the Graduation Cap
The commonly worn graduation cap is also called a mortarboard. It's one of those traditions that we just take for granted, but I imagine most people don't know its origins.
The term mortarboard comes from the mortarboard that brick masons hold in their hands, which carries the mortar that adheres bricks to walls. Much like an artist's palette, it keeps the mortar easily--and literally--at hand in small batches, so they don't have to bend down over and over to get mortar from a wheelbarrow.
The tradition of wearing these square caps is quite old. Originally called birettas, their use by academics, clerics and scholars can be traced back to as far the the 1300s. They have been quite quite common in English academia for centuries, so they're sometimes also called Oxford caps. This is because of the far-reaching influence of England's University of Oxford, which is commonly just referred to as Oxford. Although commonly known in Great Britain, I imagine many Americans don't realize that Oxford isn't one university; it's actually comprised of 38 colleges, plus six Permanent Private Halls (PPHs), which are separate educational facilities, each representing a different religious denomination.
Free Congratulations Clip Art
The "Congratulations" clip art images above can be used for lots of occasions besides graduations: anniversaries, new babies, new jobs, birthdays and more.
Multi-Ethnic Graduation Kids Clip Art
If you're a scrapbooker, you might be interested in my coordinating graduation scrapbook papers and embellishments. If it's not shown in the sidebar, click on my profile at the top of the page to find it.
Instructions for Downloading the Free Graduation Clip Art
To download, choose a thumbnail version of any of the graduation clip art images in the right column. When you click on one of the images, it will appear larger. Then, if you have a PC, just right-click and save the final version of the artwork to your hard drive. If you have a Mac, control-click your mouse until you see the option to save the image.
25 Graduation Party Ideas
How to Make Graduation-Themed Cupcakes
You are free to use these clip art images all you want for personal craft projects, scrapbooks, school projects, stationery, greeting cards or other non-commercial uses for yourself, friends and family. You may also use the images on blogs or Web sites, as long as you provide a link to this page and DO NOT group the images into a collection and distribute them, either free or for a fee.
If you have any questions, contact Carla Chadwick at Carla [@] B2BContentSolutions [.com].
© 2009 Carla Chadwick
Peggy on April 12, 2012:
Thanks so much for all your clip art. Very helpful.
Letswele K on September 16, 2011:
I liked what I got... It worked realy great for me!
Carla Chadwick (author) from Georgia on June 13, 2010:
You're welcome, Lisa. I'm glad you found it useful.
Lisa on June 13, 2010:
Thanks for the great free clip art- it is just what I was looking for!
Carla Chadwick (author) from Georgia on April 16, 2009:
Thanks for your comment, Sue. I hope you find the clip art useful. I'm about to launch a page with graduation scrapbook papers and embellishments, too, which will be linked from this page. :-)
sue on April 16, 2009:
Great grad clipart - this is hard to find elsewhere on the internet. And it's free!!