Introduction: Cardan Greenbriar Crown

Warning spoilers are imminent!

From Holly Black's The Cruel Prince series, we have the crown Cardan wears for the majority of the books as High King. Whether it be for cosplay, a decoration, or you fancy yourself as Grimsen, here is a tutorial to make the Blood Crown. Instead of plotting against an entire royal Faerie family, just make it!


  • Ruler
  • White pencil crayon
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Elmer's glue(or something similar)
  • Glossy Finish Mod Podge
  • Embroidery floss
  • Gold acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Thin wire(I used 20 gauge)
  • Thick wire(I think I used 12 gauge)
  • Hot glue

Step 1: Choose/ Design Your Reference

Browse around until you find a reference you like, or feel like you can make. Sometimes less can be more.

I choose to base mine off of an image I found of Cardan as the High King by PhantomRin. So, I made a sketch of it to try and better understand its composition. When you like your design and are satisfied you an do it, you're all set.

Step 2: Draw the Leaf Patterns

Sketch the pattern you will be using to make the leaves of the crown.

The crown was depicted as being a simple gold crown made to look like it has oak leaves.There are many different types of oak leaves out there, so you have a lot to play with. I ended up choosing a white oak leaf from a reference and made four versions of varying size. In the end, I didn't use the four inch one as it was huge, I went with the ones that better fit my head. So I used a one, two, and three inch pattern.

Step 3: Measure Your Head and Cut the Wire

Using the fabric measuring tape, measure the crown of your head. If you plan on wearing a wig with this, measure with the wig on.

If you want a full circle style crown, measure as you normally would and record the number. If you want the sort of partially open crown, measure like you are wearing the crown. Measure the back of your head forward, leaving the gap with the start point of the fabric measuring tape and wherever you end on the other side. Record the number.

Then, measure out the number on the thick wire and cut to length. Leave a little extra room so you can loop the ends in on themselves.

Step 4: Bend to Shape

Using the pliers, loop the wire over itself so it doesn't catch on anything.

Then, using your hands, bend the crown into a circular shape, one that fits your head.

It doesn't have to be perfect as this is easily fixed any time.

Step 5: Trace and Cut Out All Your Leaves

Using the black craft foam, leaf patterns, and white pencil crayon, trace out your leaf patters onto the foam. There isn't a set number of leaves you will need to do, as your reference or head size may require more or less. I made extras and ended up with thirty six and used only 21 leaves.

Next, cut all of them out.

Step 6: Detailing and Leaf Construction

Now we start to detail.

Using the exacto knife, score the designs onto the cut out foam leaves. I put in the veins of leaves on them to make them more realistic, but you could just as simply do whorls or other designs. Make sure you do not cut through the whole leaf.

Next, take your leaves and some thin wire. Cut the wire so you can use it as a spine and stem for the leaves. Using the hot glue, fasten the wire stems to the center back of the leaves.

Once you have done that, take the gold paint and paintbrush, and paint the leaves, front and back making sure to cover the hot glue. Paint until you have it to desired look.

Finally, paint on the mod podge, front and back, to seal and give a nice glossy finish.

Step 7: Attach Leaves to the Crown

Take the crown, the finished leaves, and your trusty hot glue gun once more, and begin construction.

Pick a point to start from, I started on one end and moved back and forth from the left and right sides, and begin securing the leaves to the crown by the wire.

I had some trouble at this point, but a lot of glue and so so much patience made it work. So be warned.

Step 8: Wrap Wire With Embroidery Floss

Once all the leaves are secured to your liking, begin wrapping the wire in embroidery floss.

Gold worked best to polish off the whole look. Again, pick a point to begin wrapping. As you go, put lines of Elmer's glue down to help secure the floss in place. Wrap it tightly and close together for best effect. Wrap the crown in its entirety, including the stems.

Step 9: Arrange to Your Liking and Enjoy!

Gently bend the stems of the leaves to sit how you like, and shape the crown so it fits your head once more.

At last, you can put it on and claim the throne, because your all done!

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