I am planning a fairy-tale-style photoshoot in a spooky forrest soon and slowly getting the props and outfits together. This takes some time to do between everyday shoots, study and general life of being a mom and wife. I have a dramatic look in mind and the first theme is “The Forrest Queen”. For this theme I will need a crown. Searching high and low in town as well as online I was unable to find something close to what I had in mind. And when I did find a crown that could do the job with a little tweaking on Etsy, I wasn’t prepared to pay over the $500 asking price. Especially as this is not a commissioned photoshoot, but only something I want to do for myself. So I decided to make one myself. I apologise beforehand for some of the phone pics and I warn you this is a long post! I never planned to do a tutorial of this but only took some phone pics to share on Instagram.
I will explain the process as I go along, unfortunately there is only the completed steps but I am sure you will be able to get the idea! This DIY fairy-tale-style crown tutorial is easy and anyone can do it!
Ok, so let me get to the supply list first:
You will need a hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks (I used about 3 packs), 2 types of wire, (one that is sturdy enough for the base and one a little bit thinner and more bendable for the top frame). Gold spray paint, gold craft paint, small paint brush, sticky tape, wire cutters, pliers, fake flowers, hat pins, scrapbooking jewels, old broken pieces of jewellery, gold glitter, knotted/textured yarn and hairspray. You will also need some gloves to protect you from burns from the hot glue. Believe me you will get burned!
The first step is to measure about 70cm from the thicker wire and make a oval shape of a circumference of about 48cm. Twist the end pieces together to hold it into place. Next, cut 10 pieces of the thinner wire of about 40cm long. Begin to twist the 10 pieces of wire around the hat pins (placed at the top). Bend the first bit to form a little loop, place the hatpin next to the loop and wind the wire around the hatpin using your pliers. You can now space the 10 vertical pieces of wire around the base evenly and at different lengths twist the wires around the bottom base wire. Cut a long enough piece of thin wire to go all around the base of the crown adding extra wire to accommodate the twisting bits to hold the vertical pieces together. Start at any piece, twist the wire around the bottom (about 5 cm up from the base) and loop around every vertical piece twice to hold them in place. Keep the 5cm spacing between the base and the first row. Repeat this process two times. It does not have to be perfect, in fact I wanted a very imperfect wonky, wavy look.
Next, use the knotted/textured yarn to to the same as you did with the wire, but this time also zigzag it vertically between the horizontal wire rows to connect them together and to make a thick woven base to glue your flowers onto later. I went up to the hatpins and letting the tension between the vertical strands be more relaxed to give a loopy/arched look. My yarn had little feathery type of look to it, that I loved because when its painted, it would look really interesting and mystical. When you have the yarn all in place, use the hot glue gun and run it on all the wire strands in a zigzag motion to make the wire look more chunky and more substantial. Go up the shaft of the vertical pieces and all around the two rows of horizontal wires and also on some of the yarn stands to make them more sturdy. Repeat this process on the inside of the crown too. (Remember I said you will need a lot of glue!)
Once this is all done and dry and you are happy with the look, its time to tape the hatpins with the sticky tape so it doesn’t get gold spray over them. Take the crown into a well ventilated place (or outside would be best) and spray the whole crown inside and out a few coats to make sure you have good coverage. Once it is dry, remove the sticky tape and start building your decor pieces onto the crown. I did not go all around as I only wanted my decor to focus on the front. Decide what side would be your front and start at the top of the centre front and work in a triangle shape downwards. I started with some pearly strand type things (sorry I have no idea what they are or used for but saw them in the craft shop and just got them). I threaded them through the crown and secured them in place with a little hot glue.
Start building your flowers randomly but make sure they are scattered to look balanced and well distributed. I used and old broken bracelet for the big diamond jewels and a butterfly broach that I have never worn for the centre piece on the front of the crown.
Start brushing the gold craft paint on the existing gold in small sections and tap the gold glitter with your finger from out the bottle onto the wet gold paint. My golds were not the same shade but it ads interest and I like the two shades working together to give a more dimensional feel to the crown. This will take some time so work slowly and make sure the vertical stands are covered on the inside tops also as you will see it from different angles. I also used a little bit pink glitter to spruce up some of the pink flowers that were looking a bit dull. I also just used some pink craft paint to secure the glitter but any wood glue or hot glue will also work fine. When you are happy with the result, leave it overnight to dry properly and spray the glitter with a generous coat of hairspray to ensure they stick even better.
I hope you have fun making your own crown and there are endless variations to this! Ad some butterflies, or small little birdies for a more mystical look or add lots and lots of jewels for a very sparkly look. Anything goes with crowns like these.