Birthday Crowns

A large number of the Google-generated hits to this site are from those of you looking for birthday crowns in some form or other: patterns for birthday crowns, birthday crowns for sale, paper birthday crowns, handmade birthday crowns, Waldorf birthday crowns.

birthday crowns

So, I thought I'd share a bit of our Birthday Crown history. I originally got the idea of using a special crown on birthdays a couple of years ago when Gymboree had little plastic tiaras that had ribbons and the words "Birthday Girl" on them, so we ended up getting one of those for her and we used to set it out on the dining table the night before her birthday for her to wear throughout the day. It was always a fun surprise and way for her to know that it was her birthday, since she was so little and the passage of time wasn't very concrete. But as we've gradually decided to eliminate plastics from our home to the degree that we're able, the plastic birthday crown was donated, and I decided to make some of my own.

There are many people making and/or selling their own versions of felt birthday crowns; I imitated an illustration of a child wearing a crown on the cover of The Birthday Book for my design. I used plant-dyed 100% wool felt for the front, and plant-dyed wool-rayon blend felt for the lining (because the plant-dyed 100% wool pieces are not large enough for the entire lining). Using plant-dyed felt seemed very important to me for this project. Not only is it just lovely, special, earthy, and so appropriate for the significance of a birthday, but it is also thicker and stands up a bit better than a standard felt (even 100% wool) would. Edited to add: My favorite source for all of my felt is A Child's Dream Come True. I have occasionally purchased wool felt elsewhere. But for quality and consistency, I do prefer A Child's Dream Come True.

jj's crown

The ribbon I used came from two different sources. The ribbon on James's is just from JoAnn. I really struggled with ribbon for his, because I wanted it to be special and "regal", and not overly feminine or juvenile, since I'm hoping my children will wear their crowns for many years of birthdays. I don't love what I ended up with, but I think it will work well for him as he grows. It was much easier to choose ribbon for Elisabeth's, obviously. The ribbon I ended up using on hers is vintage, which I did purchase online, although there is a local source for vintage and specialty ribbon where I have gotten most of the vintage ribbon that I have.

Elisabeth's crown

And our Birthday Crown tradition? Well, we always set the Crown and the birthday ring (similar to this) at the birthday child's place at the table during the night before his or her birthday. We light the candles on the ring that morning at breakfast, and the Crown is available to be worn all day if desired. It is then packed away with the birthday ring for the next year; it's not a plaything in our home, although we do have other (similarly-made) crowns, which are for play.