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How to Make a Hair Wreath from Living Flowers

So there’s always that scene in midieval movies where the heroine is seen romping around a field with a wreath of real live flowers on her head, and maybe there’s someone shown doing some totally random bit of jiggery-pokery  that effortlessly causes flowers to form into a neat little chain. These scenes annoy me. I’ve tried everything I can think of to make flowers turn into neato little wreaths and chains — braiding, twisting, weird-pokey-stem-through-stem things, everything. And it never works. So I end up buying a dried flower wreath at faire. Well, no more…

This is a repost of an article from 2009. One day, my mother and I are in the house, and she shouts, “Hey, there’s a little old lady in the front picking all our dandelions!” Ok, cool, we win, someone else is weeding the lawn, right? She’s a cute little old lady, out there with her grand-daughter, picking all our dandelions. And then lo and behold, right out in front of the house, this little old lady does a bit of effortless jiggery-pokery, and poof, presto, magical flower chain. And she did it with one hand. At this point, your friendly neighborhood costumer can do one of two things: scream in frustration and scare the little old lady away from my weeds (not so friendly) or scream in delight and try to get her to explain how the jiggery-pokery works (judging by her expression, also maybe not a friendly gesture). Quite disfortunately, she spoke only polish, and the grandchild who was with her refused to translate for strangers, but we got through it. For the rest of you who have ever wondered, here’s how the jiggery-pokery works……

complete hair wreath
The Goal -- a flower wreath made from real, living flowers, and made without wires, ties, tapes, or any other props.
inside of flower wreath
A closeup of the inside. The magic works because each stem is twisted around the whole bunch of stems so as to hold them all together.

So here’s how you do. I’m starting in the middle to explain the method, then we’ll cover the starting and the finishing….

step 1
Hold the bulk of the stems in your working hand. Place a new flower under the bulk of stems, perpendicular to the other stems. Curl the flower part straight up with the tip of your index finger.
step 2
Swing the stem of that new flower up...
step 3
...and *between* the new flower and the one right before it in th chain.
step 4
Pull the stem straight down, in line with the stems in the chain.

Lather, rinse, and repeat for every flower you add to the chain.

the start of the chain
This is where I started the chain. I had one flower in my hand, and then added another flower around its stem. And then another, and another....
turning the chain into a wreath
When you have a long enough chain, overlap the ends to form a wreath. You can tie them with a bit of ribbon, or just add a few more flowers with the stems wrapped around both ends of the chain. Tuck the last end into the loops of stem along the chain.

Mischief managed!

Instead of making a wreath, you can also make some rather festive garlands to decorate outdoor parties with. Any flower with a longish, flexible stem should do for this trick. I mostly use dandelions, though, because I like them. (What? Well, someone has to…) They’re cheery little things, and if you pick the flowers to make wreaths, they don’t all go to seed….


  1. Elated Lady
    Elated Lady July 20, 2011

    Oh THANK YOU for re-posting this! I had the original post book-marked and then POOF! it was gone! I did the best from memory and I ended up with all kinds of twisty garbledy-goop! There is no other sight like yours. Great info on all kinds of goodies.

    Thanks Again!

  2. Nessa
    Nessa February 22, 2012

    OH MY GOODNESS this is exactly what I was searching for 3 mos ago. Somehow Ehow clogged up all the search engine results and prevented me from finding anything useful- I just got that stem-in-stem thing. YAY frustrations relieved and this summer mine and the neighbors’ lawns will all be dandelion-free.
    (And daisy-free, and rose-free, and lily-free, and tulip-free…)

    • missa
      missa March 4, 2012

      *laugh* That’s hilarious, Nessa!
      Glad you found the destructions you were looking for. Be careful in your choice of sacrificial florals – this method works best with thin, flexible stems. Anything thick/crisp enough to snap when folded is going to give you no end of grief. If you want to use some accent flowers that won’t bend well, just lie them straight along the tails of the flower chain and chain right over them to incorporate. :)

  3. Mary
    Mary January 10, 2013

    This is wonderful! I’ve wanted to know how to do this since I was a little girl. Thanks so much for sharing this!! :D

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