Tahitian Wrap Floral Crown (also known as a Hei)
I was fortunate to learn how to make a Hei from the experts on a recent trip to the Society Islands. The joy the "Mammas" and "Aunties" exude seeps from their pores and envelopes you in their culture. They gave generously of their time and talents teaching me to wrap a crown of flowers. The result was spectacular.
Tahitians have many methods for making flowers the focus of your day. The Hei and the Lei are just two. Tahitian crowns tend to be very full because of one important element - they have an abundance of large beautiful fresh flowers! Maybe you don't. Keep in mind you can still create a beautiful but more modest Hei with flowers from your garden.
I created the Hei on the right after I returned from my trip and gave it to my friend who makes a beautiful model. My Hei came exclusively from my Southern California backyard. It's been very hot lately so there were many plants in bloom. My crown was made with: white roses, yellow roses, purple agapanthus, pink bougainvilleas, various greens, and various small white buds. If you don’t have access to live flowers in your yard, consider a colorful bouquet from the supermarket. Also popular on the islands are Heis made of only green leaves. Another option is a crowning masterpiece made from silk flowers.
A floral crown is a beautiful adornment for a wedding or other special occasion and a great gift. Of course you must keep in mind the life of the flowers you choose. When using live flowers, pick blooms that will be appropriate to the size of the finished crown. The crowns can be prepared in advance of the event and kept fresh in a tub of water. Drain them on absorbent terrycloth towels to remove excess water before wearing them.
Step 7 - Add flowers to cover the bare reed. Loop the ribbon around the reed and bring it through the excess ribbon to form a knot, the same way you started the wrap. Repeat. Cut off excess ribbon hiding the knots behind blooms.
At Craft Store
- 25” ribbon
- Flowers and greens