Demo: Winter crown (Grand Champion winner at Damascus Community fair)
Materials: one side of a saltine box, 1 sheet brown paper, hot glue, white spray paint, pins (straight, map, corsage), beads and various jewelry findings.
The idea for the daylily crowns started when we were doing fall cleanup of our gardens. I noticed that the dried daylily stems were quite sturdy. As a base, I take one side of a saltine box, split it in half longways, then use glue to form the base circlet for a crown. Note: I put the raw cardboard side out, so that printing won't show between the decorations. Then I cover the inside with brown paper. It might be easier to just paint over the printing instead.
Painting: Before you start embellishing, it is important to seal and/or color the stems. For this crown I laid the stems out on newspaper and spray painted them white. Note: If you spray paint before assembling, you will have to turn the stems over to get the other sides. Stems are also porous, so the paint might fade a bit as it dries. You can also use ModgePodge or spray varnish before and/or after to make the paint more uniform.
Assembling: Decide the height you want for the crown and cut roughly that length from the branched end of the stems. You may want to stagger heights or transistion from taller to shorter. The branched stems will need to be spaced apart so the branches don't intersect. After the branched stems are glued to the base circlet, fill the spaces between with pieces cut from the straight part of the stems. Depending on the look you are going for, these can all be the same length or have a variation. Align all the stems evenly on the bottom edge.
Embellishments: To secure the beads used, I thread them on pins--everything from plain straight pins to quilting pins (different colored ball tips), map pins (limited colors but larger balls), to corsage pins (pearl tips). I used a variety of beads, from seed beads to beads salvaged from old costume jewelry. The beaded pins can then be inserted into the straight sections of stems (stems are hollow) and/or into the ends of branches. Note: stick the pin in first to make sure the hole is deep enough, and then put a dab of glue on the end and reinsert. If you have pony beads, those can slide over the branches. Extra embellishments can be added to the outside of the crown base. I used old earrings, mounted on small pieces of cork so I could add beaded pins as starbursts around the earrings.