There are certain music festival trends that we hope never make the transition to mainstream (read: all-fringe everything), but there are others we welcome with open arms. Take the flower crown, for instance, which was once exclusively the territory of bohemian brides and hippie flower children. It's now become a summer staple (thanks, Beyoncé!).
It's for good reason: The flower crown looks good on everyone, complements any hair style (including bad hair days), smells delightful, and looks just at home on the beach as it does at a bachelorette party or baby shower. But the best thing about flower crowns has to be that you can make them yourself -- really, it's surprisingly easy and cheap to string something together. You can have customizable headgear all summer long.
In Hawaii, flower crowns are known as haku lei -- just another version of the traditional lei. Women rock them at the beach for no particular reason, or make them for friends and loved ones on special occasions. They're so ubiquitous and popular that Honolulu-based flower shop Paiko hosts a DIY flower crown workshop three times a week.
The women at Paiko have become experts on the process, and graciously shared the below tips so we can all blossom into summer with the freshest of trends.
Thick and wild? Thin and dainty? Maybe just a statement flower or a ponytail accessory?
Flower crowns really can be a manifestation of whatever style you're feeling. You definitely don't need to map out your creation, but you should have a general sense of what you want the end product to look like.
You'll need grapevine wire
cut to fit your head, floral tape
, scissors, garden shears, and flowers.
Flowers with sturdy, long stems (more than an inch) are best, otherwise you need to use wire and floral tape to support fragile, shorter stems (see the third photo above).
Some go-to options for flowers include olive leaves, baby's breath, daisies, lily of the valley, garden roses and ranunculus, but almost anything can work so go with whatever is local or handy!
The flower crown is basically many mini-bouquets layered on top of one another, overlapping just enough to hide the floral tape wrapped around each one's stems.
Depending how thick you want your crown to be, this process of assembling the bouquets and securing them to the wire can be time-consuming. Plan for roughly an hour and a half to make a thick, structured crown.
Make sure you're comfortable at a large table and that you're surrounded by good company!
You start backwards. For example, on the left end of the grapevine wire, tape the first bouquet so that the flowers point towards the end of the wire. Then, layer the next bouquet on so that the leaves and/or buds hide the tape and stems from the first bouquet.
The inside of your crown may look like a mess of floral tape, but rest assured the gorgeous flowers and greenery will hide it!
Helpful hint: Pull the floral tape taught to ensure it sticks to itself well.
Besides the few obvious rules -- don't leave awkward gaps, face the flowers outward -- there really is no wrong way to assemble a crown.
And remember, the look and feel of the crown is entirely up to you. This is one of those great instances when wild and haphazard actually works as an aesthetic. Have fun with it!
If you made a thick, heavy crown, wear it on the top of your head for a more modern look. If you went for light and dainty, let it slide down lower across your forehead.
To extend the life of your crown, layer it between damp paper towels and keep it in the refrigerator whenever you're not wearing it.