Make a DIY Flower Crown for Your Next Special Event

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Cream-colored carnations interspersed with bunches of pink waxflower have a sweet, romantic look in a flower crown.

During the winter, I took floral design classes, spending the long dark nights learning the mechanics of boutonnieres, bridal bouquets, corsages and the like. Initially, I wasn’t great at making flower crowns, but somehow they ended up being my “thing.”

Or maybe they’re just a thing. This summer, I got requests to make them for all kinds of occasions, including a summer solstice party, First Communion, high school prom, and a casual outdoor wedding. I also sold hundreds during the course of three days at the Newport Folk Festival. Credit Lana Del Rey or the resurgence of festival style; either way, flower crowns are in.

It’s not hard to make your own, although I recommend doing a trial run (or several) for practice first. Besides the flowers, everything that you need can be found at a craft store.

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What you’ll need:
• Scissors, for cutting tape and wire
• Floral shears
Paddle wire
Floral stem tape
• Floral spray (optional, for preserving flowers longer)
• Bobby pins

Whether you’re at a florist’s shop, a well-stocked grocery store, in the garden, or foraging, picking out the flowers to use will probably be the hardest part. Unfortunately, what looks great in a vase doesn’t always look great on your head. Here are my tried-and-true favorites:

• Small, sturdy blooms like carnations and spray roses last the longest, and, as an added bonus, dry nicely.
• Waxflower, thistles, or baby’s breath help add texture, and are astonishingly long lasting.
• Incorporating some greenery gives your headdress a “fresh from the field” look. I like to use bonsai eucalyptus because it has a long shelf life, looks great with just about any flower, and smells amazing.

How to assemble the flower crown

Step 1. Cut paddle wire to size

Wrap the wire around your head to measure its width, and then cut the wire a few inches longer. Depending on your personal style, you may want to wear the flower crown low across your forehead — festival-style — or pinned back a few inches above your hairline.

Step 2. Make the base

Bring the ends of the wire together so that they overlap and form a circle, and twist them together. Before you continue to the next step, try on the wire base and make sure that it’s not too loose or too tight.

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Step 3. Secure the shape

If the fit is comfortable, secure the twist by wrapping floral stem tape around it. This also prevents the wire’s ends from poking you or getting caught in your hair.

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If you’ve never used floral tape before, you may find it frustrating at first. The trick is to cut a small piece, no longer than an inch, and pull it between your fingers to activate the adhesive before you begin.

Step 4: Add the flowers.

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Now for the fun part! Cut the buds of the flowers, leaving about an inch of the stalk to tape to the wire base. Be sure to fully cover the cut end of the stem with tape, since that will help it retain water and prevent the blossom from wilting too quickly.

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If you’re using a plant that has tiny flowers, like baby’s breath or waxflower, you may need to make a mini-bouquet with several stems first.

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After securing the carnations, I added a few feathery sprigs of bonsai eucalyptus.

How many flowers you add and where you place them is totally up to you. Personally, I find that the simplest style — a cluster of two to four buds plus a few springs of greenery placed one one side of the head — looks good on absolutely anyone. If you’re going for a bolder look, you can completely cover the wire circle with blooms and foliage.

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Step 5: Pin it on

Once you’re satisfied with your design, put on the crown and do a quick test. Can you dance? Run? Nod your yes and shake your head no? If any of these activities cause it to fall off, use bobby pins to affix it in place.

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My friend Kelsey tries on the finished product, which she wore to a wedding, with the last-minute addition of an orange zinnia to match her dress.

It’s almost impossible to predict how long a flower crown will last, although it’s reasonable to expect it to look fresh all day. Keeping the petals away from sun, wind, heat, or rain will prolong their life. Imported flowers have often already spent days in airplane cargo holds, so it’s worth checking to see you can buy cut stems from a farm in your area. You can also treat the flowers with floral spray after you’ve made the headband, which will help preserve them longer, but if you prefer not to use chemicals, feel free to go au naturel.

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Baxter the lab wears the crown as a stylish dog collar.

Of course, you could use silk flowers to make something more permanent. But the whole point of a flower crown, in my opinion, is that you don’t wear one on any old day. By their very nature, flower crowns mark a special occasion, and, as such, should be a little bit fleeting.

Antonia Noori Farzan is a writer living in Newport, Rhode Island. She enjoys cooking vegan meals, practicing yoga, designing floral arrangements, and photographing old houses for her blog, Clapboard and Shingle.

2 Comments

  • […] Read more: Make a DIY Flower Crown for Your Next Special Event […]

  • […] Flower crowns are cute, but they aren’t everlasting, and they won’t protect you from the relentless sun, so try a hat on for size. Go ahead and dig into your closet; surely there’s one hiding underneath all those sweaters you’ve been meaning to donate, or pick up a new one like this perfect straw hat by Free People to keep you cool and indiscreet. Hats are an awesome way to express yourself, and festivals practically call for them; most grounds don’t have a ton of trees or shade, and Fort Adams is no exception, making this accessory as practical as it is fashionable. Plus, your friends will always be able to find you in the crowd if you’re wearing something recognizable. […]

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