Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mum's the Word

So: Texas. October. Teenagers. 

You see where this is going, right? Yep: Homecoming Mums.

(Look, I can't explain the whys of all this. But the fact is, if you're going to the homecoming game, and you have a date, your date pretty much is going to give you a mum - or garter, if you're a guy - and these things are huge. Both literally and as a tradition.) 

My high schooler hasn't done this whole mum thing before, so we were a little at sea. We checked around, and here's the math: pre-made mums are pricy, and not really personalized; home-made mums ain't the cheapest, but you can choose your own trinkets. Of course, they also take hours of planning, shopping, and crafting, and leave the mum-maker with a sore back and raw fingers, but that's balanced out by the joy of successful craftiness and the sincere-ish compliments from the teenager.

So I did my research, printed out my lists,
bought a ridiculous amount of stuff.

I started with one of those heart-shaped cardboards
and stapled a bunch of folded-over ribbon loops
around the edge (turning it more into a triangle)
and then I used thinner ribbon in loops to make
the pointed bits in front.

You can maybe see all the places
I had to remove staples while I
figured out how to do this.
Next I hot-glued the heck out of the
three fake mums (FYI, the recipient
is a senior, which apparently means
her mum should be all white.)

I added embellishments to
the mums. Normally it's a
bear on there, but my son
requested a squirrel.
Know what is impossible
to find? A stuffed squirrel.
This one's resin.
I stapled 20 of the wider white
ribbons to a second heart-shaped
cardboard base, fanning them out.

Here's where I started to get creative. I took
loops of thinner white and translucent ribbon,
stapled them together, then added the silver
stick-on letters of her name and stapled the
loops to a translucent ribbon, which I attached
to the cardboard with the mums on it.
And now: hot glue!
I laid out some fancy silver, red, and translucent ribbons,
a red/white/silver ribbon braid (school colors are red & white),
a ribbon with their school name, a red whistle (she's a drum major),
and a feather boa, and glued, glued, and glued some more.

Her band uniform is black,
so I used black binding ribbon
to make a neck loop and an
alternative pin loop, stapling
then gluing them to a third
cardboard backer.
I glued all 3 backers together.
It hangs together!
All those special braids and ribbons
and stuff add volume so it's as fluffy
and full as I can get it. 
Volume! You can see more of the
trinkets, the curling ribbon,
the beads, etc. (Not pictured:
my bloody fingertips.)
My sister said: "I hope she's tall!"
(I'm 5'3" - I think she's shorter. But she's smart,
she knows how to use scissors probably
even better than I do.)

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