Dia de los Muertos: Mexican Hair Flowers

As most of you know, I make a lot of hair flowers. A ridiculous amount. However, the type I make are using store bought fake flowers. This is easy enough, even though I do remove all the plastic bits and hand sew the flower, buttons, beads, clips...etc. together, it's still not super challenging. With Dia de los Muertos (translate: Day of the Dead) and Halloween (I sort of celebrate them at the same time) approaching and this being my 1st year as a co-editor of Skull-A-Day, I wanted to do something special for my costume this year. I will also be attending at least 1 skull themed party with Noah Scalin (The creator of Skull-A-Day. We both live in Richmond, VA), I thought a skull themed costume would be appropriate. More on all of that, later this month. I will actually remember to tell you all, I promise.

Part of my costume will require lots of hair flowers. I'm not sure I will make a new style of them, but if I have time, I will try to. This post is about some simple hair flowers that you can make, that are more whimsical than my standard ones made from store bought flowers. They use a variety of materials and the skill level is all beginner. I don't want to share hard stuff for this, because you shouldn't have to take a super long time to make something like this and I love instant gratification...who doesn't?

This is from Thread Banger and the lovely Kara Janx.
This uses fabric, a really basic template and basic hand sewing...which means you can do it! I have faith in you!

To expand on this:
  • You can play with the petal shape of you template, which will give a different look to the finished flower. I was thinking of trying something like a simplified flame that is wavy back and forth to a point. In my head, that will end with a pretty flower, but this is just in my head for now.
  • Another option, you can layer two thin fabrics, accordion fold them together to the width of your template and then cut out your fabric according to the template you made.
  • You could use the same colors and/or fabrics, but alter the template shape and/or size to create different flowers. The use of the same colors/fabrics would keep them cohesive, but the change of the different size/shapes would add whimsy. Think, how monochromatic flower arrangements are done.
  • Alternatively, you could use a variety of colors using the same print of fabric (Thinking polka dots or stripes or for some comedy, a flower print. A madras or regular plaid might be good too.), but keep the template shape and size the same...or maybe the shape, but alter the size for some additional variety.
  • For easy wear, add an alligator clip to the back of each flower. This will make it easy to attach to your hair, or to a shirt. The teeth hold on tight and it's easy to adjust.

Since not everyone might be confident with their sewing skills, I am including my Mexican Paper Flower Tutorial for this post. Also, it's really inexpensive as it just requires some tissue paper, pipe cleaners and scissors. I bought mine from Dollar Tree. I used pinking shears that I didn't buy from Dollar Tree, but they do have fancy scissors there. My mom bought me some one Christmas and they still have them there.

For an alteration that is relevant to this post about making them for your hair, you would need to add a clip of some sort. For that, you will need:
  • A barrette or clip - in the hair accessory section, but the craft section might have barrettes without stuff on them
  • A hot glue gun and hot glue sticks - in the craft section
  • Wire cutters - in the craft section near flower arranging stuff
  • Tissue paper - in the gift wrapping section
  • Pipe cleaners - in the craft section
All above supplies can be purchase from Dollar Tree. I like to keep projects like this inexpensive.

1) One thing you will have to change when you are making the flowers, is the length of the pipe cleaners. You don't need a stem for these, so after you secure the pipe cleaner around the accordion folded paper, twist the short end around the long end and trim out the excess using the wire cutters.

2) Make the flowers just like how I instructed in the tutorial. You can use thin stiff fabric (like bridal tulle) instead of tissue paper, if you are set on using fabric. This fabric is inexpensive and available in a large variety of colors too.

3) Using the hot glue gun with glue, squirt a little glue to the top of the barrette or clip. Make sure the clip or barrette is open before you glue, or you might not be able to open it to use it...ie, don't glue the clip or barrette closed.

4) Dry time is seconds, so you can use the flowers right after they are dry.

Since we are using glue, I thought I would include this felt one. I've made these before. They were actually the 1st flowers I had made in years. Felt is really easy to work with. I used hot glue, but this tutorial says to use Allene's Tacky Glue, which works too, but does have a longer drying time. If you don't like glue, you could sew these instead. All are equally secure.

Instead of a pin back, you will be using a clip or barrette. For a barrette, you can do the same felt strip technique that she uses for the pin back, but for a clip, you can't do that because it will cover the teeth of an alligator clip, rendering it useless or if you are using a regular clip, it will be too thick to close over your hair. For clips, you want to just glue or sew it directly to the back of your flower.

Instead of a shank button (the type that is in the center of this flower), you can use a regular button, a different colored felt small circle or a plastic round cabochon jewel. Glue or sew these on.

That is all for now. Happy Crafting!


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