DIY May Crowning When You Don’t Have a Mary Statue

We decided to try our first May Crowning this year. But our plans had a fatal flaw: we have no Mary statue.

I had to come up with another idea.

So I began eyeing random items around my house, scheming to turn something into a makeshift Mary we could crown.

Here’s what I came up with!

She’s pretty beautiful, for being a house-scavenging project, right? I’d love to share my “creative” process so you can be inspired to make your own Mary Statue / Garden Painting (with removable crown!), too.

Things I used:

  • A shelf I took out of a particle board bookshelf
  • A printed photo of a Mary statue
  • Metallic gold spray paint
  • Old ugly fake flowers
  • Craft paper and Acrylic Paints
  • A whole lotta mod podge
  • A piece of bark my kids found in the yard for me
  • Two different sized nails
  • A piece of ribbon I found in our craft bin
  • A hot glue gun

Time needed: I obsessed about this project and worked on it for an entire day… in which time I finished it! But my house was a disaster due to me letting my children run amok.

So, you could finish it in a day… or you could pace yourself and do the project over the course of a few days.

1. Prepare the Board

First you need a board for your project.

Some thoughts that came to my head: I wished I had a cork board, a bulletin board, a canvas, or some other similar appropriate crafting board.

But since I had none of these, I pulled a particle board shelf off of our bookshelf. When it comes to art, no sacrifice is too great!

Whatever size/shape board you find will be just fine! Mine was about 1 ft x 2.5 ft. It turned out to be perfect.

Take that board outside and spray paint it gold (or whatever other color you desire). Remember to paint the top and sides, too.

2. Pick out a Mary “Statue”

You’ll want a picture Mary you love to be the centerpiece of your crowning.

I chose the picture of Mary we used because she looked like a garden statue. You can use the same picture I did by downloading and printing this pdf.

Or, you can search a free image site like Cathopic to find your own image. If you choose to do this, I would recommend finding a picture of Mary that doesn’t already have a crown on her head, as you will be making her a crown later on.

Print her out, and then cut around the edges of her silhouette. When your gold board is dry, mod podge Mary onto the center of it.

3. Paint Your Mary Garden

I used this video tutorial to paint a flower garden for my Mary “statue.”

You can use whatever paints and colors you happen to have lying around the house. We didn’t have the same colors the artist in the video used, but we were able to paint lovely flowers with what we had!

The plan is to cut out the flowers after they dry, and mod podge them on to the board. Keep this in mind while you’re painting. My advice: follow the video for inspiration on types of flowers, but not composition.

I painted the flowers far apart from each other, so I could cut them out separately and mod podge them onto the board later.

Paper recommendation: I used a mid grade watercolor paper (not the expensive stuff, but also not the plain paper that tries to pass as watercolor paper for kids). It’s more of an all-purpose art paper. If you have cardstock or heavy craft paper on hand, that would work too.

Alternatively, you could paint the flower garden straight on to the board, but you will lose a little bit of the collage look of the piece.

When the flowers are dry, cut them apart and mod podge them on your gold board, making them into a flower garden on both sides of Mary.

If any of the flower stems happen to stick off the bottom of your board, let them dry and trim them off later.

Make sure to cover the entire surface with mod podge for a smooth look.

4. Make a Crown for Mary

Gather up some fake flowers from around the house (or at the dollar store). It doesn’t matter what color or style they are.

Cut the fake flowers off the stems and spray paint them gold. (Tip: Lay them on the back side of your board to paint them – then the over spray will also cover the back side of your piece, giving it a finished look!)

Find a piece of {anything} to use as backing for your crown. We came up with a piece of bark my children found in the backyard. You could also use a piece of very stiff cardboard.

Break or cut the bark to be just a bit wider than Mary’s head. Then cover it with a layer of mod podge so that the bark won’t be too flaky.

Take two smaller nails and nail them into your piece of bark, one on either side, angled slightly downwards. Use a dot of hot glue on each to make sure the nails stay in place.

Once the nails are in place, arrange the flowers on the bark and hot glue them in place. Make sure none of the bark is showing! The nails should be sticking out of the back of the crown.

5. Add the Finishing Touches

You’re almost there! The trickiest part is making sure the crown can be placed on Mary’s head.

Take your finished crown, and place it where you want it to rest on Mary’s head. The nails are sticking out in the back, so put a slight amount of pressure on them to make a small indentation in the mod podge.

Now, remove the crown, and using a slightly larger sized nail, pound it into the board right where you made the indentations. Make sure the nail is angled downwards, so the crown slides in nicely and doesn’t fall out.

Remove the nail and test the crown to make sure it fits nicely.

Now, take a wide piece of ribbon and stretch it horizontally across the back of your board. Using two small nails on each side, fasten the ribbon to the sides of the board. Make sure it’s pulled very tight, or it will sag and the ribbon will show when you hang the artwork on the wall.

6. It’s Time for Your May Crowning!

Now, it’s time to sing Ave Maria, have a little procession in your living room, and crown Mary as queen of your family!

Here’s our Mary before we crowned her:

And here, our 7 year old is putting her crown on! Notice how the metallic gold shimmers at a different angle.

And finally, the finished Mary, crown and all!

I hope you loved this project.

You don’t have to do it exactly as I did – whatever inspiration comes to you, and whatever materials you find around your house – use it and roll with it!

I would love to see your pictures of your finished Mary Garden Statue / Painting… Art… :). Please share on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @tojesussincerely!


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great post

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