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Flower Arranging 101: A Crown Fit for a Faerie Queen


Flower Arranging 101: A Crown Fit for a Faerie Queen

June 17, 2014

If there’s one day a year when a person should be permitted to parade around like a faerie queen, it’s your birthday. But let’s not discriminate. Like watermelon and marshmallows, flower crowns belong at summertime picnics. And Midsummer parties. When I recently took Chelsea Fuss’s online flower class (more about my exploits here and here), one assignment was to make a flower crown. 

So let the flower crowning begin:

Photography by Erin Boyle, except where noted.

Above: Photograph by James Casey.

My previous experience with flower crowns consisted of the countless dandelion crowns I strung as a child. Those versions have their proper place in flower crown history, of course, and the technique used there will not be criticized by me. But those braided dandelions have long stems and floppy flowers; they’re not right for a faerie queen. 

For this crown, you’ll need feathery flowers. And start with a frame. To begin, I chose three flowers that looked as close to wild as I could find in New York City. From the bodega down the street, I bought goldenrod and sea lavender, and from the garden I’ve been trying to maintain in front of my building, I plucked gooseneck loosestrife. It’s not often that I get to snip from a city garden, and I relished the opportunity.

Above: If you have the space and want to grow plants from seed, you can find packets of Goldenrod Seeds and Sea Lavender Flower Seed for $2.49 each at Outside Pride. White Flower Farm sells potted Gooseneck Loosestrife (shown here) seasonally.

Above: When I tried making flower crowns in the past, I wanted them lush and leafy, so I left most leaves attached. Chelsea taught us that less is more in the leaf department, so this time I stripped the stems. (See below for details on how to sign up for Chelsea’s class.)

Above: From Chelsea, I learned that a flower crown starts with a frame of light wire, sized to fit your head and covered with green Floral Tape ($5.73 from Amazon). Then you make a series of tiny bouquets, wrapping the stems of each with tape.

Above: Next, attach the bouquets to the frame with more tape. I wanted the loosestrife to hang down in a decorative way, so I left some of those sprigs longer.

Above: My biggest challenge was adding the final miniature bouquet. Luckily I was able to email Chelsea for emergency advice.

Above: Photograph by James Casey.

Here’s a closeup of my crown in action, loosey-goosey gooseneck loosestrife and all. 

Chelsea’s Floral Arranging 101 is offered online through Nicole’s Classes. The four-week course costs $125 plus the cost of floral supplies. For more beautiful examples of student work, see Chelsea’s blog, Frolic

For more of our favorite DIY Bouquets, see our Floral Arrangements archive. And for my other adventures in floral arranging, see our Bouquet of the Week posts.

This is an update of a post originally published July 1, 2013.
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