Orange blossom circlets and tiaras were a frequent bridal accessory in Europe and the U.S. as early as the early 1800’s and was actually adopted from ancient China as the orange blossom was a symbol of purity, innocence, and fruitfulness. Then Queen Victoria wed wearing one in 1840 and it was all over. In Victorian times the orange blossoms were the standard for all weddings, well into the 1050’s. When real orange blossoms weren’t available, wax dipped buds and blossoms were used.
We made this crown of wax buds as a loose replica of a french one from the 1800’s. You could make one from real or artificial flowers and buds. If you’ve got a lot of time and not a lot of money, this is a great way to make a really luxe keepsake.
photography: jose villa // creative direction + styling: joy thigpen // hair + makeup: elle german // gown: claire pettibone’s sparrow // wax crown: adorned event design
wax (we just used pillar candles in colors we liked)
something to melt wax (make-shift double broiler or crock-pot work well)
popsicle stick (or something else to stir the wax with)
flower buds or millinery stamens/pips–we found most of ours on etsy
white floral/paper tape or silk thread if you’re feeling really fancy
newspaper and twine
1. search the internet for an image of a crown you like. figure out how many buds you’ll need. buy more than that.
2. melt down wax in a glass bowl over a pot with about a cup and a half of boiling water. stir often.
3. prepare a little twine clothes line with newspaper under it to catch drips.
4. turn the stove down to low heat and wait about 2 minutes for the wax to firm up a bit. this is about the consistency you’ll want to try to maintain. stir regularly.
5. dip your buds or stamen into the wax and hang on the little clothes line to dry. (this is one great reason to use the millinery pips–you can just fold them in half or make a little notch in the wire and hang them on the line like little dipped candles.)
6. once they are cooled, you may want to dip them again once or twice to build up the shape and size you’d like. we dipped most of ours 1-3 times. (you want to end up with a lot of buds that are pretty uniform in size and shape.)
7. make lots more than you need so you can use only the best ones in your crown.
8. look at the image(s) of the crown(s) you like and try to make something similar. in most cases you’ll probably need to make some parts in the same way you’d make a garland, wiring together more buds as you go along.
9. wire your buds or sprays of buds to a wire circle the size of your head.
10. cover all wire with floral or paper tape or silk thread so that it’s all smooth and pretty.