$100 “Fairy Tea Party” Birthday Party Challenge: Fabric Crowns

It’s a modern day fact: Dress up requires crowns.

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I typically would have bought some foam or paper crowns and had the kids decorate them with jewel stickers, glitter glue and other shiny things but I’ve been down that path before and it always leads to a pile of left-over crowns to store, stickers without their paper backing stuck to the floor and glitter glue all over everything.  Plus, it would have cost me  $27.39 + tax ($15.50 for jewel stickers, $6.50 for crowns and $5.39 for glitter glue) and that’s only if I kept it simple.  What’s more, the parents would throw them away a few days later.

But, if a dress up party needs crowns, A fairy tea party needs special garden flower crowns, not just some pieces of cardboard.  And, so, I embarked on the most elaborate project I’ve ever done for a kids birthday party…  I made reversible fabric crowns with flexible sizing for each and every guest.

And, it was completely free…  because I’ve been hoarding tons of fabric and these crowns do not take very much.  What they do take is time, so if you want to follow me down the path of crazy, you’ll want to budget lots of time!

To make these fabric crowns I looked at lots of patterns and suggestions online.  I wasn’t able to find any that were perfect for my purposes.  I wanted ones that were adjustable so that they would definitely fit the girls at the party but also so they would be fun long-term additions to their dress up bins.  I also wanted ones that used cotton fabric rather than felt since that was what I had in the house.  So, I after reading a dozen different approaches, I decided to reinvent the wheel.

Here’s what you need:

  • paper for drawing pattern
  • fabric scissors
  • fusible batting
  • complementary fabrics
  • iron and ironing board
  • ribbon or lace for decorating front and the tie
  • trim, beads, lace or fabric flowers (optional embellishments)
  • sewing machine or needle and thread

Here’s what I did:

  1.  I created a pattern just by hand drawing a sample, straightening the edges, and cutting it out to see how it looked on Little Girl’s head.  Once I had one I liked I then traced it again and added a 1/2 inch margin all around.  I used the smaller as the pattern for the self-adhesive batting and the larger for the two pieces of fabric.  004005
  2. Cut out the three pieces and line them up. 011 Place good sides out with batting in the center.  Iron the three pieces together.  Once the three pieces are aligned, I snipped in a 1/4 inch at the low points in between the triangles and cut a small reverse triangle at the tops to create sharp corners.  I then folded the pieces inward along the seamlines.  This was tedious and hot work.  I burnt my hand more than once with the iron.  But, it made sewing the crowns super simple.
  3. I then went through the rather large collection of ribbons and lace that I’ve collected from present wrappings, discarded clothing and from too many trips to arts and craft stores.  I paired each crown with a ribbon.  I cut the ribbons to about 1 yard, found the center point of the ribbon and pinned it to the front of the crown about 1″ from the bottom.
  4. Then it was (FINALLY!) time to sew.  I selected purple thread and a decorative stitch on my sewing machine and sewed all around the crown.  I used a very wide decorative stitch both for appearances and to make sure that all the edged would be trapped inside of the crown.  I then went back over the decorative ribbon a second time.  The result is a charming ribbon on one side of the crown and cute stitching on the other side.  Bonus, the ribbons are securely attached and can hold up to a few hundred wearings.  042

Total cost (in money): $0

Cost in time?  This took me forever.  At least 30 mins per crown once I got the hang of it.  The first ones took at least an hour because I needed to keep figuring out the steps.

Worth it?  Totally!

Likely cost to someone without an abundance of art supplies?  About $10?  2 1/4 yards of fabric in contrasting colors (about $5), ribbon (easily found for $1), batting ($5-$10 because you have to buy the whole package, as far as I know).

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