Seasonal festivals celebrating the rhythms with which the seasons provide us are a hallmark of Waldorf education, and May Fair, our annual Spring festival, might just be the most beloved of these at the Waldorf School of Princeton. Flower crowns adorn many a head as children and their families enjoy activities around campus and as our students dance the traditional dances around our Maypole.
If you have some leftover fabric scraps at home and some flowers from your yard, garden, or a bouquet from your local store, you, too, can make a beautiful flower crown with your children and honor the beauty of spring!
To get started, you will need three long strips of fabric (about 1”-2” wide and approximately 3’ in length), 2 pieces of ribbon cut to about one and a half times the length of your fabric, flowers with some small amount of stem length, and scissors to use, as needed.
To start, simply knot the three strips of fabric at one end, leaving about 6” of tail length.
Begin to braid loosely and braid until you have about 20-24” (you may want to measure the braid around the head that plans to wear the crown) of braided fabric, then tie another knot to end the braid, leaving some loose fabric as a tail, as you did when you tied the first knot.
Gather your flowers.
As you cut your flowers for the crown, leave a few inches of stem length and insert the stems and flowers through the loops of the braid. This is a fun part that children can do. Don’t worry about poking stems, as they will be pinned down by the wrapping of ribbon that’s coming up next.
Once you’ve woven your flower stems into the braid along the length, tie one of your ribbons just above the knot in the fabric, leaving about 6” at the knot and using the longer end to wrap around the braid. Spiral along the length of the braid, using the ribbon to hold flowers and their stems in place. Tie it at the other fabric knot by wrapping the ribbon around itself and making a knot.
Now, use your other piece of ribbon to repeat the same step but coming from the opposite side, where you just ENDED your other ribbon. Again, tie the ribbon just above that knot in the fabric on that side, leaving one shorter tail about 6” and one longer tail for wrapping. Again, spiral the longer tail around, and wrap toward the opposite side, pinning down stems and flowers as you go, and then tying off when you get to the other knotted piece of fabric.
Finally, use the tail ends of the ribbon to adjust the crown to the size of the head and tie together.