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6 Must-Know Tips for Upgrading Your Homecoming Mum to the Next Level

Updated: Jun 4

hocoming loops for diy with stapler

Over the years of making homecoming mums and garters we have found that sometimes the simplest of tips and tricks are the ones that really improve the overall finished quality of our mums and garters. Our customers couldn't list these details individually but they definetly see the combined impact in the overall product. They tell us our mums feel and look different than others mums they have ordered in the past which makes us proud. A satisfied customer who gets even more than expected is always our end goal.

Whether you are making your first homecoming mum as a DIY crafter for your own kids or making countless mums season after season, these simple tips will add elegance and quality to your finished product. We talk about some of these tips in our stapler review video.

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Tip #1 - Double back all your homecoming braids & loops

Yes, we know that means double the ribbon but trust us you get way more than double the wow factor!

Your finished braids will have a nice weight to them allowing them to display well on your mum or garter and provides a nice quality finished feel. We have also found over the years that braiding with ribbon that is double backed is easier for many homecoming braids.

Another benefit of double backing is your loops keep their shape so much better. We wish we could say double-backed loops were easier but it does take a little more time to line up the layers - this is why making ready to assemble loops is a top priority during "prep season." We love storing them in either these 6 inch or 8 inch plastic bags depending on the size of the loops.

Not sure about what we mean by double-backing? Check out our blog post on Homecoming Ribbon 101 and our Ultimate Guide to Homecoming Ribbon video.
Keep in mind when ordering your white ribbon, you will need double the quantity as other colors (see why below). We bleed white around here!

And don't forget to get creative, you don't have to back the same color with each other. This is another benefit of double-backing your braids, so many new color combination options. Have fun trying different combos. Which brings us to our next tip........

Tip #2 - Always double (or sometimes) triple your white ribbon when layered on top or against another color

Yes, again more ribbon (you know we like our ribbon).... but the finished product gives the white a nice pop without another color showing through and makes all the other colors stand out especially when looking at the mum or garter as a whole. The difference is subtle, yet provides a stunning finsihed product.

We double and sometimes triple (with darker colors) white ribbon on both our braids and loops. Doubling or tripling over dark colors keeps your white from looking dirty and allows it to pop against all the other beautiful ribbon colors in your mum. Tripling your white ribbon when it is layered over red will keep it from having a pink tint.  Try it yourself to compare - we know you won't go back!

Try tripling white ribbon when layered with the following colors: red, navy, black.
One exception for doubling white: against silver (not gold) diamond dust - we like the slight silver tint that shows through on senior mums.
Light pink sometimes needs to be doubled depending on hue and brand.

Tip #3 - Remove any bling strings that are showing

homecoming bling tips and tricks

This step takes a little time but really makes your bling stand out and sparkle and provides a very polished look. This is something we added more recently and now we can't go back. Some bulk bling you can pull apart with no strings but, if not, you can remove any leftover strings by cutting the string close with your scissors (much less time consuming to do this in bulk).

We share our favorite homecoming mum & garter bling including where to buy along with a preview of our organization here.

For those who make mums as a business, this tip is great to do during prep season (we don't use the word "off season" around here anymore)

Tip #4 - Staple the right way

Always staple with the smooth side of the staple facing towards the back of the mum. This means you will hold the stapler opposite what you would for everyday stapling. This keeps the sharper edge of the staple from being caught on any clothes or scratching the person wearing the mum. I am not sure we even know how to staple the "normal" way anymore!

Stapling this way also allows you to hide your staples on certain braids. You can see this in action in our double bubhblegum braid tutorial and large bubblegum braid tutorial.

Our favorite stapler for braids, loops, and ribbons is easy to use, fits well in most hands, and fits into small areas for easier assembly. We treat our staplers like many crafters treat their scissors - no sharing! Please note, this stapler does not use standard staples so make sure to purchase P3 plier staples to ensure it does not jam your stapler.

We also like his heavier duty stapler for skirt and mum assembly. It too takes it's own staples but is worth it! Oh, and new to us this year is this cute little automatic stapler and we are in love. It does not work with number 5 ribbon but is great for loops made with number 9,16, and 40. It does take standard staples.

You can see a review of all three staplers here.

Make sure you get the right staples to go along with your stapler

Tip #5 - Don't skimp on ribbons in your skirt

Even when covered by pretty braids and loops, the base ribbon of your skirt is very important. This is a tip we learned from a fellow Mums-Inc member, a group of professional homecoming mum business owners. When the mum is worn, a full skirt will make a swishing sound and your customers will not only hear but feel the difference. We typically add 2 layers of number 40 , 2 layers of number 16 and 1 layer of number 9 (grouped into threes) and finish off with various numbers of imprint ribbon depending on the level of the mum we are making. You can see some of our favorite imprint ribbon in our 2024 Imprint Ribbon Guide and find all the ordering tips in our Ultimate Homecoming Imprint Ribbon Guide.

Oh, and speaking of skirts, we don't know how we made them before this costumer! Last year, we added wheels and it made mum season so much easier! You can find more of our favorite tools in our Mini Tour of Our Mum Craft Room.

What do all these numbers mean? We explain the reason behind them in our post on Homecoming Ribbon 101 and our Ultimate Guide to Homecoming Ribbon video.

Tip #6 - Use honeycomb on the back of your skirt

Finally, on the back of all our mums (not garters) we add a row of 2.5" honeycomb. While pretty, it is more functional than anything, helping keep all the other ribbon in place while walking especailly for those mega Texas mums.

You will notice, we cut our honeycomb slightly shorter than our acetate ribbon. We like it this way to keep it from showing through at the front of the finished mum. Honeycomb usually has a slight curve to it. We recommend putting it where the curve faces inward so the rough edges do not rub when being worn.

A costumer is a game changer for skirt assembly. We put our on wheels so it can move with us! You can see it in action here.

Want to learn more about what ribbon to buy & the best places to buy? In our ultimate guide to homecoming ribbon we talk about the types of ribbon we use and the best places to buy.

For additional assembly tips check our our Finishing Touches video where we add bling, bows, boas, bells, cutouts and more.

Thanks for visiting our blog. If you have enjoyed these basic tips, join our newsletter and follow us on Pinterest and YouTube for more mum tips and tricks including coming soon braid & cutout tutorials and a tour of our craft room and ribbon storage ideas.

Happy creating!

Rayanne & Sabrina


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