Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Homecoming Mum Making Experience - So Far

Wow, summer has gone by so quickly and now that we have one in high school, football season is upon us!

This year we need to make a homecoming mum for daughter's "big sis" at school. I was so worried about messing up something that is so big, so I decided to do a "shakedown" mum to get the mistakes over with and gain some confidence. Since I knew my littlest one would just have to have one, too (who doesn't love ribbons and cowbells and glitter?!), a small mum seemed just the thing!

So, if you are tempted to make a homecoming mum, I hope my photos will help you get started!

I bought my supplies from a floral wholesaler and from a craft store and made my letters at a scrapbook store. I really recommend buying the ribbon from a wholesaler if you can (mine also sells retail) - the ribbon came in 100 yd spools and is so much cheaper in the long run, especially if you have more than one to make, will be making them for several years, or you're like me and worried about mistakes! And if you go in with a friend it will be cheaper and more fun!

Just to give you an idea of materials - I used for a small mum - about 18" in length total:
(1) 4" mum
(3) 4" cardboard backers
(1) package silver star garland
(2) small black megaphones
(3) silver cowbells
(5) red sparkle curling ribbon
(2) red floral grosgrain ribbon - 15"
(2) black/white grosgrain ribbon - 15"
(5) glitter letters
(1) glitter heart
(4) black #9 (1 5/16") ribbon - 30"
(1) black #9 ribbon - 15"
(3) red #9 ribbon - 30"
(4) red #3 (9/16") ribbon - 30"
(2) black #3 ribbon - 30"
About 3 yards each of #5 (7/8") black and #3 red to make the points for the base of the mum.
Stapler and glue gun.

I started by cutting 4" strips of the #5 black and #3 red (I needed 26 of each).

Layer the red over the black, fold to make a point in the center and staple. This takes a bit of practice to get them even and get the red flat against the black (and mine aren't perfect), but after a few, it's pretty easy.
(front view)

(back view)
You can also simply fold the ribbons in half and use them that way. I have seen mums alternate flats and points and some with just flats.
Begin stapling the points along the edge of the base (after the first few I laid my flower on top to make sure that it was going to look how I wanted).

I couldn't wait to go all the way around the circle to see how it looked, so I started the second layer before I finished the first! The second layer is a little farther in and is placed so that the points are in between the points of the first/outside layer

This is how it might look if you alternated flats and points.

This is how it looks when it's all done! I used 13 on the outside and 13 on the inside.

Using lots of hot glue, make sure the mum is centered and attached really well.

I made these letters using a die-cut machine and glitter paper that is peel and stick. The paper was a bit pricey, but still cheaper than buying each individual letter and I really wanted red and black! I had hoped for more traditional looking letters but these were the only ones that fit on the ribbon. I'm sure that some of the new cutting systems would be perfect for this.

Peel and stick!
(I used some extra bits of ribbon on the back of the heart to make it "not-sticky.")

Okay, now the second circle. The ribbons and fun stuff!
I only used the #9 and #3 red and black ribbons.
I cut double lengths and folded them (30" down to 15") because I wanted to make sure mine was at least kind of even and fluffy enough, but you can definitely staple them one by one - that is what I did with the grosgrain ribbon and the ribbons with the bells and megaphones.

I don't think there is really a right or wrong way to do this, just make sure the ribbons hang how you would like them to and that the colors are somewhat balanced - the first time I tried I had too much black on one side and had to staple on more red.
Totally unplanned, I ended up adding some grosgrain ribbon that I had on hand because I thought it needed some white (since the mum is white) and because I really like the flower ribbon!

Half-way done!
(Next step was putting the name ribbon on top.)

This is how it looks with just ribbon and no extras - still pretty, but I knew my little one would want more!

So, I added some star garland around the top.
I folded them into bow shapes and stapled them around the edges. (I think I need just a bit more for the bottom, but I ran out.)

I used the curling ribbon and added the cowbells and megaphones at different lengths on either side of the name ribbon. I tied the charm to one end, curled the other end, and stapled in the middle so that the curls could wrap around the end with the charm.

I also added a length of the silver star garland on either side of the name ribbon - I just lightly curled it around a pencil to give it some shape.

I folded a 5" loop to make the hanger (I just need to get a couple of corsage pins) and stapled it to the back of the circle with all the streamers several times to make sure it would hold.

My next step will be to glue the mum layer to the streamer layer and then glue one more cardboard circle to the back to cover up all those staples which get stuck on everything!
I'll probably trim up the ends a bit before I'm all done!

Since I'm now feeling quite brave, I have gotten started on the "big sis" mum - I used larger ribbon (#9 and #5) since it is bigger (6") and played around with the ribbon a bit. The streamers will also be quite a bit longer.

For this mum I'm going to add some fancier ribbons (in gold) and some plastic garlands and maybe some braided ribbon chains, too.

And just to be a little different I think I'll use a red mum!

If I left out something or if you have tips to share I'd love to hear from you!


  1. You did a great job! I remember mums being such an important thing in HS, I can understand why you needed to make a practice one.

  2. Oh my your mum turned out beautiful! You are so creative. Really great of you to share such a great tutorial on mums.
    I had forgotten how much I use to love these and finally got one while in HS.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me such a sweet comment.