For as long as I can remember, we here in Texas have had a long standing tradition of homecoming mums. If you aren’t familiar with what a “Homecoming Mum” is, let me explain. Homecoming mums are chresanthmum flowers (artificial-not real) decorated with ribbons (in your high school colors of course), bells, garlands, lights, feathers, teddy bears…you name it! If it can fit on your mum, it can be added.
These photos are examples of what some mums look like here in Texas –
Me personally, I had mums while in high school and it was something that just about everyone looked forward to. High school football & homecoming mums go hand in hand here in the Lone Star State. I was so excited when my daughter was a Freshman in high school. I envisioned making her mum with her and seeing her face light up when we finished it. In reality, my daughter was not as enthusiastic about homecoming as I was when I was her age. I practically had to BEG her to let me get her a mum for her school’s homecoming game & dance. The same was true with my son. Now, boys here in Texas don’t wear a mum (that would just look silly), they wear smaller versions attached to a garter around their arms. As for my son (who was a Sophomore), I practically had to BEG him as well to let me get him an arm mum. Geez, what was wrong with my kiddos?!?!
Anyhoo, fast forward to last week. My niece is now attending the same high school that my kids graduated from and she is on the drill team. Guess what??? Homecoming is this week! Yep! And, my sister practically had to BEG her too to get a mum! Seriously?? Come on kids. Show some school spirit! My niece finally relented and I was able to make her a mum!
So I decided to document how I made it to share with all of you. It’s really easy to do.
What you’ll need:
(NOT the satin kind. Satin will not work. It’s the kind that feels like paper. Really technical here)
Hot glue & hot glue gun
Double sided tape
(You can find the artificial kind at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or any craft store)
Scrapbook Adhesive Letters
So, this is how I started making my niece’s mum –
First I had to have a game plan. I laid out all the supplies on the table and stood there for a bit deciding where to start. Luckily I had already measured the length of ribbon my niece wanted (most homecoming mum ribbons are long and she didn’t want to trip over the ribbon).
I decided to start cutting the ribbons for the hoops first. I had to measure to make sure I was cutting them long enough so that they wouldn’t be too small when I glued them on the cardboard backing. Once I had them cut (3-1/4 inches each) I got the hot glue gun ready to get them glued together. I alternated the ribbon colors. You can put them together however you’d like.
Next, I had to cut the cardboard backing down a bit. By the time my niece decided to let me make a mum for her, the craft stores around here were just about sold out of supplies. Seriously y’all, homecoming around Texas is a big deal. You have to get your supplies as soon as school starts if not you will run into problems finding the ribbon colors you need and the cardboard backing sizes you need as well. She was really lucky that I found some cardboard backs hidden in the display case. They were covered up with flowers and miniature teddy bears. It was almost as if someone did it on purpose.
Because the backs were too big, I used my handy dandy Disneyworld coffee cup to measure out a smaller template. I actually had a circular cutter to cut the cardboard after I drew a new template but forgot to use it. So I cut it out freehand style. It wasn’t as neat of a cut but it worked. I cut two of the backings and used double sized tap to keep them together. You could use just one of the backings but that will make the mum really flimsy and may not hold up as well. the double backing will hold up better.
Once the ribbons were glued together and I had measured and cut the length of the hanging ribbons I did a mock layout of how I wanted the mum to look. Not only did I cut the ribbon length, I cut garland and had to cut a thin ribbon to attach the addition ornaments to. I always mark the spot where I started the first hooped ribbon on the backing. This allows me to lay everything out and make sure I have enough ribbons and space. When I mark the spot for the hoop ribbon, I also line up the center hanging ribbon and mark that spot as well. This keeps everything centered and you have a good starting point.
After you lay out the ribbons you can start gluing everything to the backing. With this, I start gluing the hanging ribbons first. After I get all the hanging ribbons glued down I then moved on to the thin ribbon that I tied the football ornaments on to. I used a few football helmets, footballs and bells. My niece didn’t want too many bells but honestly, the more bells the better. Next I started gluing on the outer looped ribbons first.
Once they were all in place I started with the smaller looped ribbons. After all the ribbons were set in place I was able to glue on the mum. The mum is always the last thing to be glued on. I tried to find the school mascot ornament but like I mentioned earlier, they were all sold out. I wanted to put the mascot ornament glued to the center of the mum. Oh, well, I used an nice glittery football helmet instead.
I used those glittery scrapbook self-adhesive letters to put my niece’s name and the school year on two of the hanging ribbons. The craft stores had some cheesy looking plastic stars that said, “Freshmen”, “Sophomore”, “Junior”, & “Senior” on them. I didn’t find that appealing at all. I figured I would just put “2015” on the mum and she would hopefully remember she was a Freshmen that year.
The last and most important detail: The attachment ribbon. This is really important. I cut an extra loop ribbon and glued it to the back of the mum and aligned it with the center loop. This is what you would use to pin the mum to your shirt. I gave my niece and sister two safety pins to securely attach to her jacket/sweater that she would wear to school that day.
I must say that she was really happy with the way the mum turned out. She is really an understated girl. She isn’t about being flashy. She wanted a simple mum that wouldn’t weigh her down and that’s what I made for her.
Hope you all enjoyed this quick & easy craft! I think homecoming mums should be a tradition in every school. Don’t you?!?!