Youth Energy Squad
How To Make A Flower Crown
Context: We all know that things don’t just materialize out of thin air. In order to create products, resources are required. While we all wear clothes, not many of us are aware of the effects on the environment that come with today's clothing industry. In this activity we will participate in producing our own fashion accessory and have the opportunity to reflect on the entire fashion industry as it relates to sustainability.
Goals: Grade Level: 4th-12th
Learn about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry.
Learn how to make a flower crown in a sustainable way
Interact with urban greenspace
Learn to identify a few local plants
Supplies: Time: 30 minutes
Internet access to watch videos
First watch the videos to build context. Next, read the plant guide. Then, follow the instructions in “the procedure” to make a flower crown. Finally, answer the reflection questions.
https://youtu.be/ZoiU8sprXpQ (can fashion be sustainable)
https://youtu.be/WXOd4qh3JKk (how to engage with ethical fashion)
PLANT GUIDE: The Following plants were used to make this flower crown. NOTE: ( Although, I used these flowers, you can use almost any flower that you would like as long as you are sure it is not a poisonous plant. However, I strongly recommend using chicory as the base ring because it is both sturdy and flexible. Regular grass is in flower (when it is really tall, hasn't been cut, and has fuzzy stuff on top) also works well as a base ring.You may have to use more than one to make a full base depending on your head size and also how long/thick your hair is)
White Roses: The white rose plant will look like this. You may have seen red roses before. These are very similar to those. The smell is soft and sweet just like the red ones. It also has thorns so be careful and the leaves are small and round with a little point at the tip just like the roses most people are used to seeing. (Image 1 below)
Hairy Vetch: The Hairy Vetch plant will look like this. This plant is a vining plant and can grow up to 6 feet long. It has alternate leaves and many flowers that are purple/blue to white at the tips. (Image 2 below)
Red Clover: The Red Clover plant looks like this. This plant has three leaves and a grayish/white “V” pattern going through the middle of each leaf called a “chevron”. The white clover also has chevrons and three leaves so, pay close attention and make sure that the flower head is pink to purple. (Image 3 below)
Chicory: The Chicory plant will look like this. The first thing you will notice is a bright blue flower. This may be the most useful information to help identify chicory as the color blue is very rare in nature. If you think you've found this plant but it doesn’t have flowers yet, look at the stem. Chicory grows from a seemingly leafless stalk with other “branches” coming off of it. It is typically found in areas that get a lot of sunlight and come up in Detroit around June. (Image 4 below)
Walk around your house or neighborhood and see how many of the plants above you can identify. Take your scissors with you.
Using your scissors, snip the plants at the stems. Do not try to pull the plant up from the roots. Make sure you find at least 3 of the plants you intend to use before you begin harvesting, and remember to only harvest as much as you need and leave the rest.
Once you’ve gathered enough plants to make your crown; lay them out on a flat surface.
I used chicory as the base of my crown. Take the chicory stem and snip off all the extra lateral “branches.” You should be left with a main stem. (You can keep some lateral branches with flowers if you would like. I kept one on mine) If you use grass you can skip this step as there are no lateral branches.
Bend the chicory stem so that it makes a circle. Use the two ends and tie them together and it should hold. This will be your base ring. If it doesn’t stay in place; take a red clover stem and tie it around the ends and use it as a fastener. This is called the Red Clover Tie-Fastener Method™ pioneered by Keem King
Take your roses and carefully pick all of the thorns off.
Using the Red Clover Tie-Fastener Method™ add the roses to your chicory-stem base ring until you are satisfied.
You did it! Now take a few selfies in your sustainable fashion, and share them with us on Instagram! (Optional)
What could you or your family do to make more sustainable fashion choices?
Do you have more clothes than you need?
How do you typically get rid of old clothes?
In what ways would the fashion system be more or less sustainable if everyone got rid of their clothes in the same way that you do?
Were you able to successfully make this flower crown?
What makes the flower crown sustainable?
How many places or outlets have you seen in your life that sells clothes?
How many places have you seen that actually produce clothes?
Do you think about how a piece of clothing impacts the environment when you buy it? Do you think you will now?
Do you feel like you have a better understanding of fashion as it relates to sustainability?