DIY Photo Prop: Floral Crowns and Headpieces

Here’s the first in my series of DIY photo props I have planned! I’m always on the lookout for gorgeous photography props I can use in photo shoots.

Over the past six months or so, I’ve amassed quite the collection of headbands, hats, and a few floral crowns. The few floral crowns I have are okay, but they’re nothing special. I decided it would be a fun project for Hannah and I to purchase supplies and make our own deluxe floral crowns for our photography adventures.

So, we headed to the craft store and purchased the necessary supplies. I’m going to walk you through our process here, step-by-step, so you can create your own too! We got supplies for three different floral crowns. I’m going to list all of them here for you so you can create a shopping list and I’ll walk you thru the creation of our first one.

Supplies:

  • Paper Stem Wire (6 pieces, 18 gauge)
  • Stem wrap tape (1/2-inch)
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  • Silk Boxwood Sprays in green (2)
  • Silk Gypsophila Spray in gold (1)
  • Silk Ranunculus Spray in Camel (2)
  • Silk Ranunculus Spray in Pink (2)
  • Silk Phalaenopsis Spray in Purple (1)
  • Ribbon in brown/gold (1 roll each)
  • Superglue (1 bottle)

Total, with coupons, our supplies cost about $35 at JoAnn’s. In the end, we had enough to make four crowns with these supplies, so that figures out to a cost of approximately $8.75 per crown for this DIY project. Not too bad!

Making the crown

The base

We’re going to start with the base piece for the crown, the paper stem wire.

We’re going to make an adjustable sized crown here. I like this because it can be used on a small child and bent to encompass all of their head, or used on a larger child or adult and feature a pretty array of flowers along the front and sides of the crown. You don’t really see the back in photos most of the time anyway so this works well.

You’re going to start with one piece of floral stem wire and bend 1/2 inch of each end back on itself so you don’t have any sharp points sticking out. It should look like this:

Preparing the greenery/flowers

Choose what flowers and greenery you’d like to make your crown with. For this, I chose camel colored ranunculus, gypsophila in gold and for my greenery, boxwood sprays.

Next you’re going to want to shorten all the sprays into smaller pieces. Using your scissors/wire cutters, cut each spray down until you have pieces that are approximately 2-3 inches in length. Part of this length is going to be wrapped against the base of the crown with the floral tape, so make sure you have enough left over to make your crown as full or sparse as you desire.

Your pieces should look like this when you’re done:

Attaching the greenery/flowers

Next we’re going to go around the crown and attach the pieces we just cut, one by one. Decide what the front of your crown is going to be and what flower(s) you’d like featured there. Align the cut stem of the flower along the circular crown and wrap with a length of paper stem tape, sealing the end with superglue (it doesn’t stick very well to itself, so the glue is helpful).

Continue around the crown, alternating greenery and flowers until you have your crown as dense or as sparse as you’d like it. Don’t worry about covering all the paper stem wire with green tape – you won’t see any of the brown showing thru once you’ve got it on your model’s head!

Finishing the crown

Go around your crown and make sure you don’t have any sharp edges from the cut stems. If you do, give them an extra wrap of green stem tape. I included some ribbons in my shopping list and you can tie several lengths of them to the back of the crown for added interest if you desire, leaving them approximately 12 inches in length. (I didn’t in this example).

Here is what our finished crown looks like, I made it pretty dense and I love the way it turned out:

Full disclosure: First attempts

I wasn’t sure exactly how this was going to work, so before cutting into our expensive greenery and flowers, I visited a local thrift store and picked up some very inexpensive silk flowers and greenery and made a handful of crowns using those, which was great because I was able to perfect my technique before moving onto the more expensive stuff!

I had enough greenery/flowers from the thrift store to make three crowns – an adult sized one, a child (8-12 year) sized one and a toddler sized one and they cost between $2-4 each to make. So if you’re unsure of your skills or looking to save some money, check out your local thrift store first!

(Tip: If you’re looking to get the residual super glue off your fingertips after this project, pure acetone – nail polish remover – works well for that and you’ve likely got some in the house!).

Floral Headpieces

These were inspired by a photographer, Ana Silva, in one of my photography Facebook groups and I followed her video tutorial on how to make them (here). They’re even easier than the crowns to make and took far less time! For these, Hannah and I hit up a couple local thrift stores on a different day and Wal-Mart and got all the flowers and greenery we needed to make three of them for under $10!

Supplies:

  • Multiple large bunches of oversized silk flowers and attached greenery (4)
  • 3-inch diameter by 2-inch tall circular floral foam (2)
  • Hair clips (3)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Making the headpieces

Like above, you’re going to want to prep your flowers and greenery by cutting them down to size. Keep in mind that you’re going to want some of the flowers to be longer than others (those in the middle of the headpiece) when cutting the stems.

Start with your tallest flowers and add them to the center of the floral foam circle. Just push the stems in – they’ll stay in the foam without any glue. Add additional flowers around the outside, filling in with greenery as needed to give it a full look. Use remaining greenery to cover the sides of the floral foam.

When finished, decide which part of the headpiece you want to be the front and using your hot glue gun, glue the hair clip on the underside accordingly. Let cool for 15 minutes and try it out!

Here’s what our finished headpieces look like:

And here’s one on my always-willing model – Absolutely the look I was going for when I started gathering the supplies!

Full disclosure here as well …

This was our first attempt at a headpiece and I used the entire floral foam circle and tons of flowers to cover it well, resulting in a very heavy headpiece. Hannah has very thin, fine hair and she found wearing the headpiece to be really uncomfortable as it pulled on her hair, which we had pulled back into a bun for the shoot. The other two headpieces we made, I cut the floral foam in half, leaving circles that were only 1 inch tall instead of two inches. I also used fewer flowers and greenery, reducing the weight. This resulted in a much more comfortable headpiece. So, you might have to experiment and I think a lot of it depends on how much hair your model does or does not have. I have very thick hair and could wear all of them without any discomfort.

Well, there you have it – a couple of fun, DIY photo props you can make yourself and customize exactly how you want them. The possibilities here are endless and creating them was really fun and rewarding! I’m looking forward to using them in many shoots to come!

What DIY photo props have you made for your photography business? Leave me a comment and get me inspired!



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8 Comments

  • Christina | From Under a Palm Tree

    This is such a cool idea! I always knew I could make a flower crown but always thought it’d be too much. But you make it look so easy! I will definitely have to try this! I’m so excited!

    • Jen

      Thank you – it was VERY easy, just takes little bit of patience. Super fun craft and kind of addicting … I have way more crowns/headpieces than I do models at this point, lol!

  • Krystal Sadler

    OMG. The flower crown is so cute and classy!

    • Jen

      Thank you – it was so much fun to make!

  • Jessica Peresta

    That is such a cool idea! Love it!

    • Jen

      Thank you – it was really fun! You should give it a try!

  • Stephanie

    I always love making flower crowns!

    • Jen

      It’s fun, isn’t it? I’d love to do this with real flowers next!

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