How to Make a Basic Homecoming Mum

NOTE: We appreciate all of our customers and we do not offer any further advice on mum making either through e-mail or phone. Keep in mind that the following instructions are not necessarily the best nor only way to create a basic homecoming mum as mastering the craft of homecoming mum making takes a lot of dedication, patience and creativity.

Materials Needed

Click here to see what items Plush in a Rush offers for mums

  • Standard incurve chrysanthemum bloom
  • Cardboard shield or backing
  • #9, #3, & #1 ribbon matching school colors
  • Accessories
  • Scissors
  • Hand stapler
  • Hot glue gun

Preparing Shield/Backing

  1. Cut 7 six-inch strips of #9 ribbon (Color A) and 7 six-inch strips of #3 ribbon (Color B)
  2. Cut 6 six-inch strips of #9 ribbon (Color B) and 6 six-inch strips of #3 ribbon (Color A)
  3. Lay a strip of #3 ribbon along a strip of #9 ribbon of the opposite color. The shiny side of both pieces should be facing up. Take the ends of the ribbons between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Bring the ends together to form a point. Staple the ends together. Continue until all 13 points are made.

Preparing Shield/Backing – Part 2

  1. Staple the points onto a cardboard shield or backing.
  2. With Color A: Position the 7 identical points to form the outside row of points around the shield. Staple the first three points at the 12-, 9-, and 3-o’clock positions. Fill the remaining four points in between the three already positioned.
  3. With Color B: Position the 6 identical points to form the inside row of points around the shield. Fill these points between the points of the outside row.

Preparing Streamers

  1. Using #9 ribbon, cut 10 thirty-inch streamers. (This length can vary depending on the desires of the designer.) Make 5 of the streamers using color A and 5 using color B.
  2. If desired, put lettering on the streamers. Use pre-made letters or make them using glue and glitter.
  3. Cut another 30″ streamer of either color A or B. Lay this streamer shiny side up on the table.
  4. Working to the left and alternating colors, lay down 5 streamers. They should overlap at the top and fan out towards the bottom. Staple these together. Follow the same procedure for the remaining streamers. Staple all streamers together.
  5. Staple the streamers onto the shield.


Click here to see what accesories Plush in a Rush offers for mums

Several accessories are available to add to the mum. They include miniature footballs, helmets, bells, etc.

  1. Tie or glue the accessories to strands of #1 ribbon. Vary the length of ribbon strands.
  2. Staple the strands to the backing.

Braided Chains

Braided love chains can be added to the football mum. Two popular types of chains are the two-stranded and three-stranded chains.

  1. Cut a 6’ section of ribbon from each of color A and color B. Use #3 ribbon.
  2. Staple the ends of the ribbon together to form an L. One strand should have the shiny side facing upward. The other side should have the dull side facing upward.

  1. Make a loop about 3/4″ with the dull strand.
  2. Make a loop of equal size with the shiny strand. Bring this loop through the loop of the dull strand.
  3. Make a loop again with the dull strand and bring it up through the loop of the shiny strand.
  4. Follow this procedure, keeping the strands tight. However do no pull the strands too tight or else the chain will begin bending in an arch.
  5. When completed, staple the ends of the two strands together.
  6. Make a small bow using #3 ribbon. Hot glue the bow onto one end of the chain.
  7. Attach to the streamers.

Making Streamers

  1. Cut 8 six-inch section of #3 ribbon (4 of each color). Staple these together in a radiating manner. Trim the ends on a slant. Hot glue to the top end of the streamers.
  2. Cut 4 twelve-inch sections of #3 ribbon (2 of each color). Staples these together and attach as directed above.

Attaching Flower to Shield

  1. Using a hot glue gun, spread hot glue over the exposed shield. Attach the flower to the shield.
  2. Apply slight pressure until glue has dried.

Making a Large Bow

  1. Using two strands of #3 ribbon (one of each color), make a large bow about the same width of the completed shield.
  2. Glue the bow onto the small streamers, beneath the flower.

Finishing the Backing

  1. Take a 3 1/2-inch section of #9 ribbon. Fold it in half and staple onto another shield. This is where the mum will be attached to the garment.
  2. Glue this second shield onto the back of the corsage shield to cover any staples or mechanics. Be sure to hide any exposed staples so they will not snag the garment of the wearer.

  Completing the Mum

  1. Trim streamer tails to make them all even. Notching them in a V-shape improves the overall appearance of the mum.
  2. If desired, lightly spray the entire mum with sparkling glitter.Good luck!  To see what others have done with our supplies, click here.

The Humble Beginnings of the Homecoming Mum

At Plush in a Rush, we are a leading manufacturer of wholesale homecoming mum supplies. We feel it is our duty to explain briefly what a homecoming mum is for all of our customers who venture onto our homecoming mum supply pages…

The Chrysanthemum & Its Origins

The chrysanthemum was first grown in the Far East – China – as a flowering herb. It was first written about by scribes over 3,500 years ago. In fact their artwork shows mums as they would appear today. Folklore teaches that the boiled roots were taken as a headache medicine and ancient culinarians used sprouts and petals in salads. The leaves were even occasionally brewed for recreational purposes. The ancient Chinese name for chrysanthemum is “Chu.” The Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (which means Chrysanthemum City) is an eponym of the flower.

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are the inspiration for the silk flower used in homecoming mums.

2,800 years ago, the chrysanthemum then appears in Japan. The Japanese were enamored with the mum, that they decreed the flower would be the crest and seal of the Emperor. Family seals for prominent Japanese families of nobility also contain a type of mum: a Kikumon – “Kiku” means chrysanthemum and “Mon” means crest. In Japan, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the most elite Order of Chivalry. Japan also has a mum festival, which is called the Festival of Happiness.

The Chrysanthemum in the West

The chrysanthemum was first introduced to the west during some 250 years ago. In 1753 Karl Linnaeus, the famous botanist from binomial nomenclature fame, combined the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold with anthemon, meaning flower. Botanical archaeologists say this is probably a true description of the ancient flower, as it also points out the mum’s need for sunlight. The earliest depictions of mums show them as small, yellow daisy-like flowers.

The chrysanthemum was first introduced into the United States during colonial times. 300 years later, its popularity has grown such that mums now reign as undisputed “Queen of the Fall Flowers.”

For many of us in the South, and for virtually all Texans, our introduction to the chrysanthemum was a corsage for the girlfriends and mothers at Homecoming football games. Check out our Pinterest board below for some great examples of modern-day mums.

Today, a silk flower has replaced the chrysanthemum as the centerpiece for homecoming mums. Currently you can find them decorated with dozens of charms, ribbons, bells, including the occasional high school mascot. Plush in Rush offers several unique items that can make your homecoming mum a high school favorite.

A notable difference of the positive feelings many Americans have of the mum (football games, house-warming presents, get-well thoughts), is that in many European countries the chrysanthemum is known as the death flower. In countries such as Belgium and Austria, the mum is used almost exclusively as a memorial on graves.

Now check out our wholesale homecoming mum supplies!