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How I Made the Midsommar Dress

Becoming Ari Aster's Infamous May Queen

By Samantha HearnPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 4 min read
Top Story - October 2022
Handmade with tedious love. Photo and costume by Samantha Hearn.

For Halloween, I love to go ALL OUT. This costume was no exception.

I wanted to make the Midsommar May Queen dress from the moment I saw Ari Aster's film in all of it's psychedelic, horrific glory. I'm no stranger to making costumes and playing dress-up, but I knew this would be a serious undertaking. Most of my costume skills involve hot glue, and seeing as I sewed through my finger in Home Ec class during high school, I had to call on my mom for help to get started.

We began with the base - around 4 yards of sturdy, dark green duck canvas. I wanted it to fit sort of like a cape with arm holes, so we cut two slices on either side and fastened the front with Velcro for an easy open and close. My mom helped me sew this part up with her trusty Singer machine, so I really can't take credit for the structure. She made sure it was wider on the bottom with enough room for a hoop skirt to really get that blooming, expansive effect from the movie.

Once the base was completed, it was time to gather the rest of the supplies. I needed a crown, so I went to JoAnn Fabric for a small, styrofoam wreath form. I also got some long, skinny wooden sticks while I was there to complete the headpiece. I knew I'd need a LOT of fake flowers, so instead of forking out several thousand for them at JoAnn or Michael's, I went to the Dollar Tree and got about a hundred bunches for $1 each. I ended up having to go back for a second, third and even fourth round, but it was still less expensive than getting them from a bigger chain store. I also grabbed a bunch of hot glue sticks, which I ended up having to go back several times for as well. I think I went through like 500 glue sticks.

The most tedious part? The fake flowers. Fake flowers and their leaves have these little plastic pieces on the bottom that have to individually be taken off one by one, and so before I even put hot glue gun to fabric, I was spending hours and hours just removing these little pieces so my greenery would be flat enough to glue a leaflike base. This took SO LONG and my fingers were sore every single day of making this. Worth it? Yes. But wow.

I set it up on a mannequin to create for the whole process. It was much easier this way than trying to lay it down flat. Once I started gluing the greenery and had a solid base covering, I realized I could begin to add more flourish. This is when I started to keep some of the plastic pieces on the flowers, because there was enough on the first layer to hold the shape. Hours and hours and lots of hot glue burns later, the dress was really coming along! I had finished my crown first, and gluing the flowers to the long sticks was honestly really painful. I was basically holding hot glue together with my fingers to get the flowers stay in place on the crown. The dress came along in a similar fashion, pinching the flowers to the duck canvas through the other side so that it would hold and stay. My biggest worry was that the flowers would fall off but, surprisingly, hot glue really works. Since it's creation I've had maybe 10 flowers fall off which is not bad at all!

A little bit of the process - greenery first, flowers second. Crown in process.

It was truly a labor of love, and it took me a solid 30 days of working on it every day and/or night to get it done. All in all, I would say I spent about 200 hours creating this dress, and my total expenses were around $1,000 for fabric, flowers, and glue. My back hurt, my fingers were burned and my brain wanted to explode sometimes, but I am so proud of this costume! I now rent it out for photoshoots and it's definitely such a fun piece to have in my collection.

How it turned out!

What's the most elaborate Halloween costume you've made? I'd love to hear about it in the comments! In the meantime, here are how a few of the official photos turned out for this one :)

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About the Creator

Samantha Hearn

Hi! I'm Sammy Hearn, a photographer and artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. I like to write all sorts of things - DIY how-to costume stuff, photo series, short poems, fiction, you name it. My work can be found at

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Comments (17)

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  • Darkos19 days ago

    Love it !

  • M Lee4 months ago

    This is awesome! You & your mom are very talented. What great memories you made together.

  • Phil Flannery5 months ago

    I appreciate the dedication, and the result is amazing. Well done. My daughter wanted to run a food truck. I thought that would be easy. 7 years later, I'm very near the end. It has been a love hate thing and a relationship strain, but I'm glad I stuck it out. I'm glad Mike Singleton put your link up.

  • That dress is stunning, we are featuring your excellent Top Story in our Community Adventure Thread in The Vocal Social Society on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • Hannah Arianna Ashtonabout a year ago

    Wow, lots of respect for this! I'd love to see a story about your favorite Halloween looks. Mine was an authentic Anne Boleyn :)

  • Vivian R McInernyabout a year ago

    This is wonderful. When I covered the fashion beat at a daily newspaper, I loved writing stories about people like you.

  • Ramie Lewisabout a year ago

    I think this is fabulous! I love Halloween and I honestly am inspired to maybe "Midsommer" this year too! Awesome work.

  • Amy Hallabout a year ago

    Loved and subscribed! Can't wait to read more of your work! Consider having a look at mine and if you like it, please subscribe... there's a lot to come! I look forward to seeing more of your work!

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  • Erica Wagnerabout a year ago

    Was just writing something about Midsommar, then I saw this. Wow! Such awesome work. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Carol Townendabout a year ago

    That is really impressive. You have done really well to have made that dress.

  • Jessica Noelabout a year ago

    This is incredible! Talk about a project! It looks fantastic — well done!

  • Steffany Ritchieabout a year ago

    Love it! Fantastic effect, looks just like the film!

  • Justin @ Vocalabout a year ago

    You just won the unofficial Vocal Halloween Costume Contest 🔥. Check your Vocal Wallet

  • News Erenaabout a year ago

    when I see this creativity My Words ohh wow....

  • Willow Cindersabout a year ago

    Aah love this! How fun and it looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your process!

  • Amy Writesabout a year ago

    This is so awesome!! It looks just like the dress in the movie! well done!

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    Ohhhhh! I love this dress and I love the horror behind it. Excellent

  • This comment has been deleted

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