My Southern Belle fantasies set me on a hunt: in Georgia, I wanted to wear magnolias in my hair. I have no idea if southern belles wear magnolias in their hair, but I saw the movie Steel Magnolias and decided to steal the magnolia as my own.

I wanted it to be big. Giant. Everything in the south is oversized.

You might say I succeeded.

I looooove it. I’ve worn it in Las Vegas, Scottsdale and in Savannah to dinner at the oh-my-heaven Elizabeth on 37th Street, pictured above. I also wore it to a Savannah drag club, made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil’s Lady Chablis. The flower gets oodles of compliments, but you’ve got to wear it with sass. Own it, as my friend Angela says.

(I saw this real magnolia blooming on a tree in the Okefenokee swamp, Georgia. It took all of my willpower not to snatch it. See. They have magnolias down there.)

The best part: I made it myself from a flower I bought at Michaels. Actually, I made a big pile of flowers for my hair. It’s easy. Here’s the technique:

Pick a flower – the flatter the better, so that they don’t stick out too far from your head. I used these orchids and they were the simplest kind of bloom to work with.

(Note: if you’d like to try a magnolia, rose, peony or other unflat flower, pull the entire thing apart, take out all the plastic spacers that make the flower poufy, and glue and sew it back together. It will lie flat and look much better attached to your head. It’s not as hard as it sounds.)

Next, invest in pair of wire clippers – I got mine at Michaels. Snip the flower off the stem entirely. (You might need to add a little glue or run a needle through it once or twice to hold it together. The orchids did not require this.)

You will also need glue, (I used Gem-Tac), hair clips (from Michaels), and a scrap of thick, kind of stiff fabric. I used linen, but felt would work, too. Cut a piece of the fabric just slightly larger than the clip.

Insert the piece of fabric inside the clip, like this:

Next, paint the back of the clip and the fabric with glue. Do it carefully to keep it out of the inside of the clip.

Next, position the glue-smeared clip onto your flower, like this:

Let it dry, and you’re all finished. I made a couple of the orchids, which I like to wear together, like this:


I’ve also been leaving my hair down, and tucking the magnolia behind one ear. It requires bobby pins to stay in place, but I feel like I might be in Savannah, sipping sweet tea on a deck.