How to make a kick-ass floral head wreath

Guestpost by Sara (aka iLiveinmyLab) on Jul 28th

OBT member "iLiveinmyLab" posted this great step-by-step on one of her wedding planning updates.

This is for those brides who want to know how to make one of the kick ass floral head wreaths that they sell at the Renaissance fairs without paying lots of money. I used to make these all the time but this shall be my first in about ten years. They can be customized in many different ways to be made in a larger style or a smaller style. They'd be great for flower girls (and if your flower girl has a favorite doll that wants to walk down the aisle too, you can make it using small rosebuds instead). For this one I'm going to start off with an easier variation of the floral head wreath.

Here is the list of supplies you need:

  • Floral Cloth Wire – I got 18 gauge. You want a thicker wire so that it will be strong enough to hold the flowers and not get too bendy, this is the base of your wreath.
  • Floral Stem Wrap Tape – Get it in a matching color of the wire, that way this doesn't look funky. I buy green and you can buy it in packs of three.
  • Wire Cutters – You need these to cut the silk stems of the flowers.
  • Silk flowers – When choosing silk flowers it's really easy to get really expensive quickly. What I've picked out today is what I'd call a "moderate" in the spending range. The most expensive flour stem set I bought was $2.49. When choosing flowers you want what you'd call "substantial" pieces like a roses, moderate fillers, or small fillers.

This is what I would call a "substantial" flower, it's going to be the focal point of each bundle that you will create (this will make sense in a minute I promise)…

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When looking for a "substantial," or focal flower, I try and buy stems with multiple roses on them. What you want is at least one larger rose, one or two medium roses, and a smaller rose bud. Get at least two stems of these. The ones I got were originally $4.99 a stem, but I got them at half-off (oh thats another thing never pay full price).

Next, for your types of fillers — these can be a bit tricky. You want to have some sort of smaller flower or greenery that has at least one inch of stem that you can cut off. See this…

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You can get greenery filler or flower filler, it depends on your taste and theme. I went with green because I thought it looked pretty with the blue flowers and there were lots of the sprigs on a stem so I can cannibalize it into lots of different bundles. I bought two of these stems but only used one, it's usually safer to buy a little extra in case you accidentally destroy something.

So onwards to flower adventures…

Step one: Making the wire base.

Take two pieces of the floral wire and tape them together like this…

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Here are the two pieces. Then where they will connect, slowly and tightly start wrapping the floral tape around the wire…
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Okay, so next you take the long wire and wrap it around your head at the spot you would would like it to set, and then wrap the ends of the wires around each other like this…

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Step 2: Creating your flower bundles.
So as you can see above, the head wreath is round. What I do with my head wreaths is start designing at the back and work towards the front. What you want to do is create small "bundles" of flowers like this…

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How the heck did I make that??? Well I took one large rose, one stem of the giant fluffy thing and one of the leaves from the rose stem and taped them together. Make another one with the same size flower and exact same size stem, except put the rose on the opposite side. Like this…

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Oh, and here's what the back of each bundle will look like…
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Step 3: Attaching Bundles to Floral Wire.
So now that you have two alternating bundles. Attach them to the head wreath wire about 1/4-1/2 an inch (1-3 cm) before the wire is turned up for your head size. This gives you a little extra room if you want to readjust. Tape each bundle to the opposite side with the focal flower being on the outside (that way you can see it easier!) Like this…

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and
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Once both of these are attached it's on to Step 4…

Step 4: Make the next pair of flower bundles.
So, for this you can either make this match what you put on already or make it slightly smaller. I prefer to do them getting gradually smaller as it gets closer to the front of the face because I think it looks a bit prettier. So, make two more flower bundles slightly smaller. Like this…
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Step 5: The sucky part
Now is the hardest part of this project — adding bundles to make it look like the stems aren't there. When you taped the first bundle on there should have been some space under where the flowers were of free wire. What you want to do is slide the stem of the bundle and tightly wrap the bundle onto the wire. This works well with small fingers and takes quite a bit of practice usually, but this is about what it should like like underneath when you're done.

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Step 6: Repeat!
Continue on with adding bundles and taping them on. This is what the underside should look like after the initial phase of putting them on…

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Step 7: Final taping
Okay, this is a trick I picked up after I first learned how to make these. Once you finish Step 5 you could just be done, but you run the risk of things sliding and going wrong (and they will, I promise). So what I started doing was taking a LONG piece of floral tape and then wrapping the single piece along each side of the wreath. This will give it a heck of a lot more stability and it will look much cleaner underneath.

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Final Product:

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After the final taping, take it for a "trial run" and wear it for a little bit. If any flowers pop off their plastic stems you can always hot glue them back on. Also, as Ms. LindyHopper suggested you can wire the flower heads on as well.

For those of you who survived this post you should get a cookie. Feel free to ask any questions, if I get some more free time I'll try and make another in a different style. And for those wondering, yes I am wearing my Star Trek T-shirt.

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About Sara (aka iLiveinmyLab)

Sara is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology, specializing in cereal grain chemistry and gluten-free baking. She speaks at gluten-free events throughout the country and has worked as a gluten-free product development consultant and has experience auditing gluten-free menus for food service establishments. In her free time she loves wearing and shopping for vintage clothing and runs Victory Fabric, a retro-themed fabric shop with her gluten-free husband.

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