My son is a freshman this year… we’ve been in Texas for almost four years now, but the Mum tradition is still new to us. So I went on a hunt on how to get inexpensive mums, how to make inexpensive mums and best places to buy. I did a lot of searching and think I found one of the best experts in the DFW area. Her name is Melissa Ansley of MelzMumz.com! (p.s. if you end up buying instead of making it yourself, tell Melissa we sent you and get 5% off!)
She helped me lay out a plan for all you savers out there whether you plan on making your own mum or you buy one, here is some invaluable information! Make sure and check out her website. She can do it for you OR she has a blog teaching you how to do it yourself!
ALL ABOUT MUMS AND MAKING ONE:
How & Where to shop:
Of course most supplies are bought at the local craft store where they have a Homecoming aisle loaded with trinkets, garland, ribbons, bells, etc. But if you just start throwing things in
your cart, you will end up spending upwards of $100 before you know it.
Here are an example of some prices:
The mum costs anywhere from $6 to $10 (depending on size and color)
Solid Ribbon is usually anywhere from $.50 to $1.00 a yard
Printed Ribbon is $1.00 to $1.50 a yard
Most metallic ribbons are $1.00 to $2.00 a yard
Trinkets vary from $1 to $4
Garland starts around $4 and goes to $7
Boas are $7 to $8
Braids are $5 to $8
Backers are $2 for a pack of 3
Pack of 2 small cowbells $2
And don’t forget the hot glue and staples
You can see how quickly this adds up even with a coupon. But more stuff doesn’t always mean a better mum. There is also a misconception about the more ribbon you put on it the bigger/fuller it will make it, but this isn’t necessarily true. It is how you use the ribbon that makes it bigger/fuller.
So you have your base solid streamers, and put enough to cover the back. But if you make your own braids, you will save a ton of money and that will really beef up the mum because they stand out more. A 36″ military braid takes 3.5 yards of solid ribbon in two colors. The Homecoming Loop that goes down the front is one of your best items to really make the mum bigger. Making little bows with bells on top of your trinkets is another one. Hanging trinkets from the end of curling ribbons gives it alot of dimension.
The biggest rule of thumb is to move away from the homecoming aisle!! The Christmas aisle…yep, that is your best friend! Most stores have Christmas items out in full swing already this time of year and you will find so much ribbon, bells, glitter stuff, garland, all those Christmas picks – these things will make your mum more unique and usually cost a lot less than the “homecoming” labeled items.
Also try the kids craft section – you can go over there and get a BIG pack of bells for just a few dollars – don’t forget to use your 40% coupon or special homecoming coupons too…then you have enough bells to be heard across the school (which is a good thing!!!)!
You will also find all kinds of feathers, boas, masks etc in the kids crafts. This is where you will find things to make a mum more specific to the individual – like little toys, noise makers, etc. Personallly I make a lot of my items myself – use metallic paints and glitter and it’s amazing!
In Hobby Lobby they have a Scrapbook section – they have these little charms and buttons for any theme you could think of – they also have great stickers.
Also if you go to Melissa’s websitewww.melzmumz.com and click on the link how to make a mum – it will take you to her blog Vintage Scrapping that has step by step picture tutorials of how to make a mum and also how to make almost all of the braids – for free! She posts a lot of new pictures and stuff on there so people can also follow it on pinterest and facebook.
Can I Buy Wholesale?
Melissa buys wholesale from 3 main suppliers.
ACI Wholesale in Fort Worth is the largest manufacturer of all things “Homecoming” in the Southern U.S.
Sales Place in Balch Springs sells to the public as well.
*** Melissa’s favorite: L&M Mum Supplies in Glen Rose Texas
They are family owned and operated so you always are talking to one of the owners. But the best thing about them is that they have an online store where you can buy wholesale online! And if you don’t have a wholesale account you can still buy online (she has EVERYTHING) and her prices are so much cheaper than the local craft store. It gets shipped to your house right away so no fighting the crowds.
To Buy OR Make on Your Own: THAT is the Question:
Now all this being said, you also have to take into account the time factor. You will put in a TON of hours making these things, it isn’t as simple as it looks to just staple it all together. But if you do have the time you can really make one of these your own.
And think outside the box – Melissa just finished a garter for a boy that has a ceramic deer head mounted to it in the middle (he is a hunter and really wanted this). She also used a wakeboard for the bear to hold on another!
Now for people who don’t have the time – going to a professional is a great option. Many will get “sticker shock” when they see prices, but remember the amount of labor going into mums AND all of the small items on them as well! Many times you couldn’t buy all the stuff Melissa puts on them cheaper than what she can do for you.
Also be a little careful of places that charge you for every item – there are a lot out there that say – a single mum is only $25! And you think WOW – but that is for a flower with some solid streamers and a few points in the back – something you could easily make yourself for about $15 – and then they charge for every little trinket, bell, printed ribbon etc.
You will actually end up paying a whole lot more for it by the time it is all done AND they don’t usually look as good because you are only getting the items you paid for added. Melissa says you will get more bang for your buck going with someone who has one set price for different size mums and then has a few additional prices for luxury “add ons”.
For example – Melissa’s Mega Triple Mum is $209, which sounds like a lot, but for that price she uses triple ribbon backing and always use a specialty ribbon (such as sheer glitter and mesh) not just the traditional satin acetate. Plus she puts at least 4 to 6 braids, little bows on all the trinkets, big bows on the end of all braids, mini mum flowers, ornaments, special garlands, mini memory books, bubbles, boa, big bear decorated, candy treat bags, custom cut lettering across the top, special items that hang, custom made garland with name with any kind of theme you want. And then some…. so you end up getting a whole lot more and it is made without the “limitations” of “you only bought these specific items so this is what goes on your mum”.
Melissa’s mums range from $65 to $200 depending on size of course and Garters range from $45 to $100
Freshman – Single
Sophomore – Double
Junior – Triple
Senior – Triple or Quad
Melissa does offer one she calls the Mega Super Size Single that is a 9.5″ flower that makes a GIANT single mum. This is perfect for any grade. I have alot of Freshman and Sophomores get this because they want a big mum but can’t get a triple or quad and she has more Seniors buy this than anything because it is almost as big as a triple.
Another hot item are pee wee mums- TOO CUTE! These are perfect for Elementary Cheerleaders and pee wee football cheerleaders. Also people order them as Lil Sis mums – which is a great way to include your younger siblings in on the homecoming fun.
Melissa also has a mom mum that is the same size but with a picture frame in the middle of the flower so you can put your child’s photo there and on have their name on the ribbon streamers to support whatever sport they are in.
Finger mums and Wrist mums are another – they are just fun spirit flair!
Melissa was so awesome to share this amazing information… she has a ton more as well, so make sure to check out her site and her blog! THANK YOU Melissa!