I worked in a floral shop for many years, and grew up in Hawaii where we were taught at a young age the art of Haku head flower leis (or lei wili). Haku leis typically have a base of braided leaves into which other plants and flowers are woven, and are worn on the head or around the wrist or ankle.
|Haku Leis specially made for Free People's catalog|
Haku leis are traditionally given with a kiss, and should not be taken off in the presence of the giver, as that is considered disrespectful. They should never be thrown away casually or tossed in the trash – if possible, they should be returned to the spot where they were gathered, or returned to nature by hanging in a tree or burying.
I will save the Haku lei DIY for another rainy day and start with something simpler-artificial flower crowns which are great because you can utilize recycled materials lying around like silk flower arrangements your mom bought back in the 90's(tear that sucker apart and use the wire and flowers).
The floral department at a department store (like Jo-Ann) will have other tools needed like wire and tape. Vintage millinery flowers are my favorite source of flowers because they are just so gorgeous. Those can be found online, at estate sales or thrift stores.
If you are unsure if the crown will fit, measure the total length around the head to about 22.5 inches. If you've already made the circular base, fold it as straight as possible and measure one end to the other to 11 1/4 inches, and adjust the wrapping to the desired length.
Now, let's start adding flowers. This is the fun part. Flowers with wire stems are easy to direct into certain positions. When using floral tape, it's always easier to hold the stem down with one hand and the tape taut with the other.
You can leave the back empty or finish off with more flowers. I find it easier to handle with an empty side.
Here are some pics of the few crowns I've made so far. I will post more here as I make them. Feel free to ask any questions.
floral crowns really elevate your head to an ethereal level.