Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homecoming Mum

I started researching mums and realized that they are a Texas tradition.  I always thought everyone did them.  Oh, well... the rest of the world's loss.  Back when I was in high school there were not craft stores like there are now.  Your mum was bought from a florist by your date or your parents or by your best friend.  Making them yourself was unheard of.  One year while teaching, I made myself a little mum but I so wanted to make another mum.  I love creating new things and now that I have boys in high school and one has a girlfriend, I have a chance to create a homecoming mum.

In my research, I realized that you can pay more than $300 for a homecoming mum.  I'm sorry, but that is absolutely ridiculous.  I found a few websites that helped me out but now I would like to share with you how I made mine and how I saved on costs.

First lets start with the ribbons.  Homecoming mums are made with cheap floral ribbon.  Unfortunately, it's hard to find if you're not buying it right at homecoming.  Whenever, I see it at a cheap price, I pick it up.  The craft stores are selling it for about $1/yard.  Look for the rolls where you can buy it for $1/roll of 9-40 yards.  Specialty ribbon is the same.  Check the sales racks, find Christmas ribbon at the after Christmas sales (red, green, silver, gold, white, purple, aqua).  Or, find the holiday with your school colors.  

For the special ribbon chains, make them yourself.  I've seen stores selling the 4 strand chain and the loop chain for $6.  It's super easy to make. Check out this girls vintage scrapping blog. One of my favorite chains is one I learned to make in elementary school.  I'll try to post instructions soon.

4 strand military chain
2 strand chain
loop chain
I found the boa at the dollar store for $1.  I cut it in half, so it cost just $0.50.  You would spend about $10.00 anywhere else to add a boa.  Now, if your school colors aren't purple or pink it might be a little harder to find one but you could easily substitute Christmas garland or something.

Feather boa from the dollar store and curling ribbon add that something extra.
You could spend $0.50 per letter to buy stickers for your names to personalize your mum.  Instead, use glitter glue.  However, I first used gold glitter on the purple ribbon and it came right off.  I had bought my purple ribbon at Walmart when I saw it on sale and it has a different fabric content.  The purple glitter worked just fine on the white ribbon.

Next there is the trinkets, you might need to purchase a bag but while I was making my mum I realized I didn't need very many.  Look in other sections of the store.  Instead of paying $1 for a cowbell in the mum section, find the section that sells jingle bells, etc.  I found a bag of "church bells" for about $1.
A bag of church bells were much more economical than buying cow bells from the mum section.

Use your trinkets strategically.
The round area behind the flower is super easy.  Cut a circle of cardboard, staple on ribbons.  My cardboard was from the back cover of some old spiral notebooks.  For the loops behind the flower, use 6 inch ribbons.  Decide if you want to fold them like awareness ribbons or just loop them.  They can be one color or 2 colors of ribbon.  I added gold garland from the party store.  I've seen these backs at the craft store for "easy do it yourself" for $16.  I swear mine only cost about  a dollar.  
I alternated 2 color "awareness" ribbons with loop ribbons for a custom look.  Then, I added wire garland from the party store.
Then, hot glue (high temp) your flower to your cardboard.  I cut out our school mascot out of scrapbooking paper and glued it to the center of the flower.  (Way cheaper than buying a brand new teddy bear to glue there.)  Of course, you could use a stuffed animal you already have or look at Goodwill to see if they have any.

Attach your  long dangle ribbons to another cardboard circle by stapling.  I added some extra Christmas ribbon, some curling ribbon for wrapping packages, and half of a feather boa that I found at the dollar store.

Next, you will staple and glue both cardboard circle together.  Then I hot glued another piece of card stock to the very back to pretty it up and hide all the staples.  Also, cut the bottom of your ribbons with an upside down V by folding in half and cutting a diagonal from the outer edge up to the middle edge to finish off the ends.


  1. If you have any questions, please post them. I'd be happy to help.

  2. I kinda miss the real flower mums we had back in the day. Most parents I know make the mums for their kids. One of my friends had an annual Mum Making party.

    1. Yes, but the real flower mums didn't look so good pinned to your wall 3 months later.