How to make the easiest flower crowns

Flower crowns are having a moment.

Suri Cruise, the 10-year-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, recently appeared in her mom's Instagram feed sporting a dainty purple-and-yellow flower crown.

Tiffani Thiessen (better known as Kelly Kapowski) decked out her 5-year-old daughter and a group of frocked friends in flower crowns this spring for a dreamy, sun-drenched photo shoot.

Former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and her fiancé Shawn Booth rocked his-and-hers flower crowns last month on their Hawaiian vacation. Meanwhile, fellow Canadian and Bachelorette Jillian Harris celebrated her bestie’s wedding – a lovely bride whose simple gown was perfectly complemented by a flower crown. They continue to be a hit at maternity photo shoots and baby showers, a lush symbol of fertility. And the latest twist for Instagram-happy DIYers is flower-crown workshops, which are cropping up across the country, including here in Minnesota.   

But you can save your money and use my Lazy Mom’s 3-step approach. It doesn’t require any wire or floral tape – just Scotch tape and a few clippings from your yard.

Most flower-crown tutorials instruct you to begin with floral wire shaped for your head and then cover it with floral tape. I went ahead and bought floral tape, begrudgingly, but didn’t have it in me to buy the wire, so I picked up a bag of pipe cleaners at my local Dollar Tree and covered them with floral tape. It worked fine.

I didn’t find the floral tape particularly helpful though. Sure, it had a professional, corsage-y look, but it wasn’t completely sticky. It managed to do the trick for yellow-and-orange flower crowns, inspired by the spring flower show at the Como Conservatory, which I’d been tracking on Instagram. I planned the crowns to match the exhibit, and I must say, my girls made quite an impression the morning we visited. 

For my next flower-crown attempt, I got lazier, and I decided to skip the floral tape and pipe cleaner, instead making a natural crown using branches from our front-yard lilac bush. I just taped sections of a branch together with Scotch tape. Much easier, quicker and cheaper – and it looks better, because then you’ve got some built-in greenery. Leaves really enhance a flower crown.

Start with a few sections.

Tape the first two together.

 

Keep connecting until you have a full circle. You might be able to do this in two sections, as pictured here. Or maybe you’ll find that three or four sections work better to create a nice round base.

Then tape your flower clumps to the base.

(As a side note, both of the girls’ outfits in these lilac-crown photos were garage-sale finds. Same goes for the basket. Love me a good garage sale!)

So just find some kind of branch that has a strong enough twig, break it into sections and start taping. A little overlap from one end to the next is fine.

Here it is in 3 steps:

  1. Create your base with branches from a bush or tree, taping short sections together until they form a complete crown.
  2. Break apart small flower clumps.
  3. Tape flower clumps onto the crown, arranging across the front.

Voila! You’re done.

Remember, messy is fine – a loose, natural look is what you’re going for to achieve that woodland-nymph look.

Then grab your camera, slip your daughter into a frock – white works particularly well with a colorful crown – take her outside and surprise her with her very own flower crown. Chances are she’ll feel like a fairy and start prancing around. Cue the video.

If you’re feeling fancy, incorporate additional greenery. The more I study leaves, the more I appreciate the intricacy of their textures and shapes. Just wander around your backyard, and I bet you’ll come up with several nice options. I especially love how ferns look tucked into a flower crown. But the large leaves on hydrangeas also work well. I try to use several types of leaves.

Some flowers will allow you to get even lazier and simply break flower strands apart and tape them directly together, no crown base needed. This works for baby’s breath, which may make for the most classic flower crown of all – think flower girl! An added bonus is that baby’s breath is an inexpensive flower. Grab a bunch at your local grocery store and you’ll be set!

I made these baby breath’s crowns using green tape I had on hand, and it worked better than floral tape. My husband photographed the girls while I pretended to whack him with an umbrella. I am willing to do whatever it takes to elicit a laugh for the camera. #Noshame

We used one of the photos for an Easter card. (I love Christmas cards, but I also like to send out cards on other holidays to a shorter list. I think they are fun and unexpected. I don’t hold myself to a rigid standard – Must.Send.Valentine.Card – but instead seize random holidays when I’m feeling inspired.)

You really don’t need much flower when you’re designing a crown for a small child. These baby-breath crowns were sized better for my 3-year-old than my 1-year-old. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with an unabashedly big flower crown, as Gwyneth Paltrow once proved.)   

Again, a white dress works well to keep things from getting too busy. I love how this decidedly un-colorful picture draws your eye to the textures, from the dress’ smocking and fagoting to the tree trunk.

Occasionally I let myself splurge and buy flowers with the express purpose of making a flower crown. But that can get pricey, and you may wind up with a very large, heavy crown for a small head.

Notice how nicely an inexpensive carnation pairs with a peony. (I snipped these magenta peonies from my parents’ garden.) They’re like cousin flowers. 

This is a lot of flower for one toddler.

(I found the smocked House of Hatten dress on eBay. Maria loved the puffy sleeves!)

So I recommend working with your natural surroundings. Lilies and Tiger lilies are still in bloom and would make a lovely crown with contrasting shades of orange.

Aim for dainty when making toddler crowns. Try working with the wild flowers and small blooms in your neighborhood.

Hydrangeas are also ubiquitous right now. Just be sure to break them into small clumps. I thought these clumps looked small enough, but I still ended up dividing a few.

The resulting crown is still quite large, because that’s how hydrangeas roll. But I love the effect – very bridal. I approached this one like the lilac crown, trying to bunch as many blooms close together as possible and not worrying about adding statement leaves. The blooms do all the talking.

You can make a hydrangea crown! It’s so easy! Just snip a couple hydrangeas and grab some Scotch tape. You got this.

Or if you’re shopping for flowers, try spray roses for a dainty (and more affordable) option.     

You’ll probably end up improvising as you make your own flower crown, and that’s great.

My biggest advice is: Try one! I couldn’t believe how simple and fun they are to make, and I love how they turn my daughters into little fairies!

I only wish I’d taken up crown-making earlier. They would’ve been lovely for a newborn photo shoot or for an infant’s first summer.

Happy Flower Crown-ing!  


Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and two young girls in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at christina_ries@mnparent.com.