Spend Less, Jingle More

How To Make Your Glue Gun Burns Worth It, Mum Making Tips With Junior Katana Riley


Katana Riley

At a friend’s request, junior Katana Riley gathers her materials at her table to create a school themed mum.

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Green, black and sparkly ribbons spread across the kitchen table. Bells jingling and glue gun burns. For many high school students, making a mum is part of what makes their homecoming. Supplies for mums can be bought at nearby craft stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Joanne’s. However during the end of the season, ribbons and additions are hard to find and high in prices. Someone who has been making mums for herself and for those who request one, this year’s junior homecoming Duchess, Katana Riley, has some tips and tricks to spend less and jingle more.

Some may not be on board with making a mum without green and black, but often ribbons that are not the typical colors run cheaper. Riley takes advantage of this, making her friends’ mums with themes such as Alice and Wonderland.

Not everyone’s cup of tea is a green and black mum. Another mum made for Riley’s friend, she themed this one for her friend’s love for Alice in Wonderland.

She sees mum making as a way to show her individuality during homecoming.

“I’m an artistic person and making unconventional mums gives me the opportunity to show my creativity,” Riley said.

Even if the ones she makes aren’t always school colors, Riley tells how she loves the concept behind mums in general.

I love the school spirit aspect of it,” Riley said. “You and your friends spend money and work on something, just to wear the mum to school for one day. I think that’s awesome.”

Riley listed a few key things she does to keep prices low while making her mums:

  1. Go to Michael’s over other craft stores

As someone who goes to these types of stores frequently, Riley has compared the prices and chooses Michael’s over all other popular craft stores. She says how she appreciates the mum displays at their stores.

They have mums hung up near the ribbon section that you can purchase,” Riley said. “You can also use those for inspiration.”    


  1. Buy your ribbon by the spool

With a whole spool of ribbon, there’s no saying what you could create.

“Hobby lobby sells pre-cut ribbon and I think there is less freedom with that,” Riley said. “They sell spools of non school-colored mum ribbon for about $2.00 and it’s pretty nice.”


  1. Use a paper plate for back of mum

The paper that the mum attaches to can ring up a few more dollars alone, so Riley prefers taking the cheaper DIY route of a paper plate.


  1. Check the stores before the season

Riley says it is a good idea to pop in to the craft stores before the homecoming craziness to budget what you are going to buy. Sometimes one store has cheaper prices on certain items, and if you want to spend the least possible then Riley recommends planning your purchase out beforehand.


  1. Never wait unitl the last minute

She stresses how important this step is. If you shop for supplies within a week or so of homecoming, be prepared for lines of moms and girls with carts full of ribbon and accessories. Don’t count on getting the best ribbon, or even your school colors if you wait too long. Just swing by the craft store a few weeks in advance to pick up some supplies and you can avoid the last minute stress.


  1. Don’t be afraid to go all out when personalizing your mum

Whether this means putting your name on the ribbon, or making a theme as Riley does, make your mum your own. After all, you may keep it for awhile as a high school memento, so Riley says to be sure to add some personal touches, even if this means not blending with the crowd.


Taking over 20 Ring Pops to create, Riley created this themed mum for her boyfriend. Riley says how it is important to show a little piece of you within your mum. “When you see a mum, I think you should be able to see something about that person,” Riley said. “By theming my mums, I know that mine won’t look the same as the next person’s.”

I believe everyone should be able to decorate their mum however they want,” Riley said. “School colored or not, just make it awesome and personalized.”

It may cause a mess and take some planning, and you may only wear it a single day. However to Riley and many others, mums will be a way to look back on their time in high school.

“It gives you an item to look back on from high school and brings back the memories you had when you’re older,” Riley said.

So in saying this, get out those glue guns, girls.


If you would like a mum from Katana Riley, contact her on Twitter @sethackispawn