With a mighty onslaught of outdoor events kicking off, I thought it a grand idea to show you how to simultaneously celebrate the sun, commune with nature and look amazing. Whether you’re off to a festival, wedding or just a garden party, a good ol’ fashioned crown of flowers will have you looking equal parts thespian sprite and Edwardian belle; which is a vibe I hold in high regard. With the help of my friends at Rebel Rebel of Hackney, I’ll take you through an easy step-by-step to crafting your very own floral headdress.
Rebel Rebel have been creating remarkable botanical works of art since 2000. They’re all about using wonderful British produce to create bouquets, displays and all manner of flower-focused design that’s a little different. Usually based in east London, the team pop up everywhere and have worked with an enviable list of clients, from Tate to Selfridges and Stella McCartney. I love the Rebel Rebel approach to floristry; its unique, creative and, if you’ll excuse the pun, totally homegrown. And, what an inspired name! Naturally, I feel confident that my bohemian floral crowns will look excellent under such expert direction.
You Will Need
A selection of seasonal flowers and leaf sprigs
Two strong, flexible lengths of green wire long enough to bend from one behind ear to behind the other
Transparent or green tape (you can pick up special flower tape but it’s not a necessity)
A hands-free mirror
Ribbon in whatever colour you choose
You’ll want to start by taking your wire and checking that it reaches from behind one ear, across the top of your head, to behind your opposite ear. If should sit behind your ears like a traditional hair band or Alice band. Make sure you leave around five centimetres on either side of the wire free so that you can make a loop. Then tape another piece of green wire to your carefully measured piece so that you have a nice strong base to hold your delightful blooms. Loop the reinforced base at either end like in the picture below. It doesn’t matter what size the loops are, as long as you’ll be able to thread your ribbon through them.
Next comes the fun part. Snip the stems of your flowers and leaf sprigs leaving only a couple of centimetres. You can use roses, lavender, and all kinds of wild flowers like stocks and jasmine. Whatever takes your fancy. Stock up from you garden, head to London’s best flower markets, such as Columbia Road or Covent Garden in the early hours of the weekend, or simply pop into the Rebel Rebel shop at 64-66 Brooksby’s Walk or find them set up at the inimitable Broadway Market.
Pierce the base of each flower and carefully slide it onto the wire. Use tape to secure any pieces that seem precarious and wrap the remaining stems around the wire, taping them to secure each section. You’ll probably want to use the mirror to watch what you’re doing from a different angle or to test out the position of each flower as it will sit on your head – just to make sure everything’s looking good. Taping the ends of each flower also holds their moisture, ensuring they don’t wilt and look tired. You’ll also want to prevent any sharp wires or rogue stems from poking you because no one wants that kind of hassle.
Once you have everything looking as you want it to, take a final look in the mirror. If everything looks good and you’re happy with the position of the flowers on the wire then you’re almost done. If not, or if your crown’s looking a little bare, add a few more springs, make things a little wilder and flesh out the different bits and pieces. Ideally, you’ll want a nice mix of green textures, with a peppering of whites and bright colours.
When you’re happy, take your ribbon and cut it into four lengths. Make sure they’re long enough to bring from the loops around the back of your head. You decide if you’d like them to tie neatly or trail behind you. Picking a fresh white colour looks great with dark and red hair and pastel tones look great with blonde locks. If you’re feeling really jazzy you can use a mix of shades and play with textures like satin, gauze and silk. This is your piece so make it personal. Place your floral crown atop your head and fasten it with the ribbons. Voila.
Rebel Rebel have an inspirational knack for taking the natural world and transforming it into wonderful creative and off-the-wall works. Every one of their designs utilises the best of colour and texture and showcases the many wonderful varieties of flower that we might miss or take for granted living in the city. So, once you’ve created your glorious headdress and become the envy of all, why not join them for one of their marvellous east London-based workshops and learn more about the ways of insurgent floristry. You’ll feel liberated, trust me.