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Here’s how to make your own flower crown at ACL Fest

Eric Webb

Sometimes you forget to bring the essentials from home. At Austin City Limits Music Festival, that could mean clutching your head and thinking, “I wish I had brought my flower crown.”

Lauren Beck, a friend of Craft owner Eli Winkelman, volunteers at the flower crown tent at Austin City Limits Music Festival on Friday, Oct. 14, 2017. (Eric Webb photos/American-Statesman)

If that’s you, you’re in luck. Craft, which owner Eli Winkelman describes as a “walk-in buffet of arts and crafts for adults,” has partnered with ACL Fest for the first time to bring a DIY flower crown table to Zilker Park. Under a white tent in the Art Market, passersby will find a long table covered in fake flowers and greenery, piled high and ready to be assembled into chic headgear.

“We have a whole special technique that we’re sharing with our guests,” Winkelman said of the “rugged” crowns. “They can handle a festival or two.”

Fake flowers are used because they’re easier to work with and provide more variety, Winkelman said. Making a crown at the booth costs $22.

How did East Cesar Chavez Street-based Craft end up helping festival attendees glam up their looks with floral accessories? ACL Fest reached out to the business, Winkelman said, in what she thinks was an effort to bring more interactivity to the festival. But say flower crowns aren’t your thing. No worries. Craft also offers tie-dyeing and hand-painting activities. Considering the heat, painting your own parasol or fan might be more up your alley. At the front of the tent is a drying rack full of tie-dyed garments (including underwear, which some confused patrons have thought were dirty, Winkelman said). The dye is solar-activated, Winkelman said, so its colors don’t pop until they’ve been left out in the sun for a bit.

Craft’s visitors can also paint postcards using a pre-designed template — printed light enough that it looks freehand when painted — and write their own messages on the back. Winkelman’s team retrieves the postcards from a little white mailbox at the front of the tent and takes care of mailing them off.

“Who does that anymore? Who writes a letter?” Winkelman said of the joy she takes in seeing festgoers compose messages to family and friends.

Eli Winkelman sorts through hand-painted postcards at the Craft tent at ACL Fest.

When they hear “artist” in reference to ACL, most people think of music acts like Jay-Z and Chance the Rapper. In one quiet part of the park (except for the boom of the American Express stage yards away), that word is free to mean just about anything.

“We had person who came back to us because he was really hot, he was wearing black pants, and he wanted our help converting his pants into shorts,” Winkelman said. “It’s out of our normal offering at the festival, but we’re glad someone sees us as a creative resource.”