Today I have a new girl to introduce: my eight-year-old friend Angeline Stoltzfus. She’s a third grader, big sister, expert brownie-baker, self-taught flower arranger, and more—in short, a little woman of presence and flair. I asked her to teach me how to make a flower headband, like the one she made for herself (with a bit of help from her beautiful mother, Shaunda).
So we sat down together one night while her mom coached, assisted, and snapped pictures. And here’s our little how-to. No video this time.
Hot glue gun
“Now. How do we start, Angeline?”
1. “Well,” she said, “we have to make a big circle. Hey mom? How big do we make the circle?”
We measured ours by a container lid. Maybe 6 inches in diameter. “Do you want to cut it out?” I asked. “Or should I?”
“You.” A giggle. “Cuz mine would probably be all squiggly.”
2. Cut the circle into a spiral—“wide when you start,” she said, “and skinnier in the middle.” We have no snapshot of the spiral because I forced her mother to cut it out, and I forgot to take pictures.
3. “Have your mom sew a gathering stitch.” All along the inner edge of the spiral.
4. Pull the gathers until your project starts to look like a flower instead of a snake.
5. Choose a firm piece of fabric for the flower base. We used a red square, but next time we’d use a circle, just to guide us better.
6. “Put some glue on [the base], then put on part of the flower, then glue the whole way in.” Slowly, and working in a spiral shape. When dry, trim off extra base fabric.
7. Choose a button and glue it to the center. “We sewed our button with red thread,” says Angeline, “but you don’t have to.”
8. Glue the flower to a plain, coordinating headband. As Shaunda and I agonized over which side of the headband was proper to glue the flower to (left or right), Angeline, who was modeling it, said “Well, you could just do this,” and turned it around backwards. Eureka. Her mother and I dissolved into peals of laughter. Does she have to be so smart?
9. Try it on.
10. Clean up your mess.
You can burn the edges of your fabric if you don’t like the slowly-fraying shabby chic look… but we do. And as Angeline wisely notes, “Fire scares me!” Consider yourself warned.
Thanks, charming Stoltzfus women!
Photo credits: Shaunda Stoltzfus, 2012