A friend of ours graduated from high school and won a tennis scholarship to Whittier College, whose colors are purple and gold. I had the best time making a cake for him to celebrate!
It was hard to figure out how to do the strings of the tennis racket. Ideally, I wanted to roll out super tiny strands and make actual strings, but they were so thin, they fell apart. I hit on the idea of using a food-safe marker to draw strings onto a thin piece of white fondant. Not as authentic, but given the size of the racket, which was only about 4" long, it was the best bet.
One of my favorite personal baking challenges is to get the fondant colors just right, and I loved how these tennis balls came out.
I used the fondant extruder to make the tassel. It's much easier to achieve even, well-shaped strands - especially skinny ones! - using an extruder. For the mortarboard, I made the square and the circle shapes separately and let them stiffen and dry before assembling them. It's necessary to give yourself a couple of days when you are doing fondant work so that everything has time to dry. The larger and thicker a piece is, the more time it needs. Kneading in some tylose powder, or using gumpaste, can speed up the process; those dry more quickly.
Best of luck in college, Caden!