Crafting fresh from the garden – does it get any better? Our garden is brimming with beautiful fragrant baby pink roses and other goodies at the moment. Things needed a little trim, so I thought it’s a perfect opportunity to share how to make simple flower crowns or wreaths using gathered materials. The same techniques work with bought blooms if seasons/opportunity don’t allow you to gather your own, and easily adapts to artificial or paper flowers.
Base Options for DIY Crowns and Wreaths
With the exceptions of small wreaths (like our rosemary mini-wreaths) or woven stems, most crowns and wreaths benefit from having a sturdy base. The base helps to hold shape and supports the attached flowers and greenery. Options depend on your preferred style, budget, and availability.
Ready Made Wreath Forms
Ready made bases include ready-to-decorate wreaths made from faux greenery, woven vines, and other pretty base materials. This style of wreath can be embellished with the base as part of the design or completely covered.
Bases of foam, wire, or wood are meant to be fully covered, either permanently (e.g. glue, paint, etc) or temporarily (wire, pins, etc.). Floral foam bases can be used wet for longer life or just for support with the stems inserted into the base. Sturdy wire framed wreath forms make a great base for wiring with greenery – fresh, dried, or artificial.
Homemade Wreath Forms
Homemade forms can be created by cutting thin wood, sturdy plastic, or cardboard into a ring. Anything that you can cut to shape is fair game for DIY. You can also try your hand at wire work to create a frame or weaving a wreath with flexible cut branches or vines.
Ready Made Wire Circles
For a thinner wreath (like the circlet pictured here) or an extra sturdy crown, single wire circles are a good alternative to a wide base. You can buy an inexpensive metal ring from a craft supply or hardware store (great for a hanging circle or a centrepiece). You’ll often find them in the lamp-making section. Feel free to try them on…I have! Haha!
Metal rings are easy to cover, versatile, and very sturdy. They’re a nice option for heavier arrangements, wall pieces, or if you would like to preserve and hang your crown. They can also be stripped and re-used over and over, which is what I do with mine.
DIY Wire Circlets
Circlets are a good option for informal circlets or flexible flower crowns. Using flexible wire allows you to customise the size and fit. Make sure that there are no sharp ends and that the base is sturdy enough to handle the weight of your finished project.
For crowns, the base will need to be sized to suit the wearer. If fit is problematic, you can compromise by making an adjustable crown instead. Instead of closing the ends into a circle, twist them into loops so that the crown can be tied to size on the wearer’s head with ribbon.
Covering the Base
Bare is fine or you can cover the base, if you prefer. If you are making a delicate piece or are worried about the metal being visible, you can use green floral wire, a woven fibre floral wire, paint the metal, or wrap your base. Floral tape is quick and easy. Ribbon is pretty and a nice way to add extra colour. Twine or raffia gives a rustic twig-like look. I kept mine plain for this demo piece.
Making a Floral Wreath or Flower Crown
Supplies and Materials
Once you have a base, you’ll need a few simple supplies. For a basic crown or wreath, like ours, you’ll need the wire base, trimmers or snips, floral wire, green florist’s tape (optional), and your flowers and greenery. I’m gathering the flowers and greenery for our DIY from the garden. Then it’s crafting time!
In the example DIY for this post, we’ll be using a wire base and attaching with floral wire. Adjust your supplies to suit if you want to use glue or pins on a different type of base.
Gathering Fresh Flowers and Greenery (Optional)
Gather your fresh flowers and greenery. Make sure that you have suitable permission if gathering from somewhere other than your own garden. The crown in this post was made using ivy and hebe for greenery, and a combination of miniature spray roses, white iceberg roses in bud, and hebe flowers – all gathered from our home garden.
Ensure that they are healthy, clean, and free of bugs. As much as I love the garden, I can do without the latter! Nobody likes bugs in their hair – eek!
Cut your flowers stems longer than needed, if you can. Leave 10+cm below the base of each flower (where possible) so that you have ample options for placement and securing. You can re-trim the stems later if/as needed. If you wish, you can insert the stems in water to keep fresh or pop a little floral tape on the ends while you work. We’re going straight into crafting mode.
Making a Floral Wreath or Flower Crown
If you’re using a vine-style greenery, start with this to create a lush base for your flowers. Wind flexible stems around your wire base. Intermittently secure with either a fine floral/green wire (secure outwards if the crown is for wear) or floral tape. Keep a few smaller pieces for final fill, if/as needed.
Place your flowers, starting with your best feature blooms. Then incrementally adding others to fill. Consider the placement of your flowers and the final look you hope to achieve. Do you want a crown (best blossoms frontwards, full outwards, sparse inside), a wreath (best blossoms upwards, flat bottom), etc. It can be a delicate or as lush as you like! There is no right or wrong, so have fun.
Secure as you go with either a fine floral/green wire (secure outwards if the crown is for wear) or floral tape. You can also use both if you want both, wiring first then taping over the wire. You can save a little effort in building your crown by making a few mini-bouquets, taping them, and then securing the bunches to your base. This is particularly helpful if you are using tiny delicate flowers, like wax flower or baby’s breath. You can also experiment with floral glue, adhesives, or even a little (carefully applied) low-temp hot glue for embellishments.
Give the finished piece a gentle shake to check for loose stems. Secure if/as needed. Inspect and trim or cover any errant stems or wire. Done!
Extending the Fresh Life of a Floral Crown/Wreath
- Start with healthy fresh flowers and foliage.
- Limit your materials to sturdier options. Some flowers seem to wilt within seconds of being cut. These are not good options for a crown. Seek out hardier flowers that can go thirsty a little longer, like small roses, wax flower, jasmine, etc and waxy greenery.
- Try to minimise moisture loss during assembly.
- Spritz your completed crown lightly with water or floral spray.
- Keep cool until use. Placing it in a cool room (or refrigerator, but be careful if storing in the kitchen as some foods can accelerate wilt) on a damp cloth on a plate is an easy option.
For a longer life floral wreath, consider using floral foam as the base, if feasible, or using watering caps on the end of stems.
Preserving a Floral Crown/Wreath After Use
If you’re finished with your crown and want to keep it, you can try preserving it the same way as you might with a bouquet. Your crown will be starting at a disadvantage as it will likely be droopy and wilting.
Depending on your flowers, rapid drying with a dehydrator or oven can work relatively well, but you will lose much of the fullness which may expose tape and wirework, as per our demo piece. Picking a few select pieces and pressing them is an alternative option, or you can go the other direction with a more complicated (and costly) silica or freeze-dry preservation; however, your wilting crown may not be up to the challenge.
We’re currently putting together a post on preserving flowers and we’ll share that with you next week in case any of you get some beautiful blossoms for Valentine’s Day this coming weekend Sunday. I’m hoping for some live plants instead that I can enjoy in the garden. Hehehe. Hint hint, honey!