My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

It’s not that it is inexpensive… it’s priceless!

The hardest part… by far… of working on my book, the effortless floral craftsman, a floral crafter’s guide to crafting with nature was not sharing my designs with you as I went along. So here it is: not just a peek… but a full on “let’s open the book on page 252-253 and have a good look” kind of look.

Handcrafted sandals from The Effortless Floral Craftsman book

Yes, this design is in my book. It is part of the bit where I talk about Mastery, more particularly mastering coiling and braiding techniques. It is also the first design from the book featured in a magazine: Thank you DIY Wedding Magazine , I am so happy to share this with you!

There are many, many reasons why a bride and groom decides to DIY their special wedding details. Cutting costs might be one reason. Very few couples have an unlimited budget. Realistically speaking, it is natural to want to cut cost on some design details when you set your budget for your wedding. Fortunately, as a DIY bride or groom you have many ways of improving the quality of your event details other than focusing on cutting cost.

The best reason for choosing to DIY at least some of your design details is not so much cutting cost but rather being able to afford adding those unique, special touches that makes your wedding design details priceless.

How do you turn the design objects you craft into priceless keepsakes?
The short answer: by focussing creating quality rather than cutting cost.

Braid foliage to make sandals

Take my design as an example: giving each guest at your beach wedding a pair of handcrafted slip on sandals costs a little bit more in time than it does money, but the result is a level of luxury that can not be bought and will not go unnoticed by your guests. It is impossible to calculate the value of beautifully handcrafted design details that says thank you for sharing our special day with us.

Understanding the relationship between quality and cost can help you make tough choices when it comes to your wedding budget, and it all starts with knowing what you value. By creating design details that are meaningful to you, it will be meaningful to your guests.

Here are a few things to consider when creating meaningful quality:

Handmade wedding favors

Value your own effortless style and adding that to your design details: In my book The Effortless Floral Craftsman, a floral crafter’s guide to crafting with nature I write about how we find and develop our own style so that we can add it into our creative efforts.

That is the magic ingredient that you add that makes your design details memorable. Add bits of yourself and your own distinctive and unmistakable signature style by drawing on your traditions, individual background and shared experiences to your wedding details.

Create with the best: For my sandals I only bought ribbon, but it is the softest most luxurious ribbon I could find. Choose the absolute best of whatever you are using, from the plant material you are using to equipment and everything in between. Some items will be expensive, but most not so much. Suiting your needs is what makes them the best. You can struggle for hours trying to snip away at your ribbon with blunt scissors or you can reach into your toolbox and know your special ribbon scissors will get the job done in no time. Go to a florist to order your flowers and special plant material, even if you do not plan to use their design services. A florist can explain to you how to condition, store and design with your chosen flowers in a way that will significantly extend their life and the quality of your design details.

Reduce waste: I am not just talking about wasting plant material or off cuts but also energy and time wasters. It is expensive trying to hide things you do not like by covering it up, so is trying to make a plan at the last minute. It pays to take a deep breath, stand back, and take a fresh look at the task at hand. Take the time to prepare better and spend a bit more time to design your details and calculate your raw material. It will be significantly less frustrating and expensive than spending time to “make do.”

Coil slip on sandals

Practice: Like any art or craft form, you need to practice. Focus on the quality of your craft. You will become more efficient and your mistakes less costly. Good craftsmanship is always recognised as valuable. Take a lesson from a florist, buy a design book that teaches you the finer details, invest time and invest in your skills.

Create quality by improving your skill set. Study your craft. Focus on the execution. Don’t compromise on value; even better, create added value by adding a bit of yourself to your designs and your wedding design details will not only be remarkable and unique, they will be priceless keepsakes that will be remembered long after the memory of cost has faded.

You can now order advance, signed copies of my hardcover book: the effortless floral craftsman, a floral crafter’s guide to crafting with nature. I will start sending those out in September. Or, if you would prefer an ebook, you can pre-order your copy exclusively on Amazon

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.


29 August 2018 Coil slip on sandals

Braid ripped flax and coil it into shaped slip on sandals.

14 January 2011 Ripping Flax

Flax can be ripped into fibres creating long and versatile strips

25 April 2012 A plait, a braid or a French knot grass collar

"Plaid" and "braid" are synonyms, and where you are from will most likely dictate whether you use plait (British) or braid (American or Celtic). Some people also refer to...

14 January 2015 Weaving Slippers from Foliage

Weave slip on shoes from palm leaves

1 May 2013 Weaving a Straight Edged Strip

A beautiful woven strip that is quite easy to make

17 June 2015 Weaving Zori-inspired slip-on Sandals

Sandals made from bamboo, grass and sisal and a bit of satin ribbon for luxury

20 July 2016 Twisted Lily Grass sun hat

Twist and weave a sun hat from blades of lily grass

Related Designs

26 September 2018 Cover Story

The design for the cover of my book, the effortless floral craftsman, crafted from Fiddlehead Fern and Red Lipstick Hanging Heliconia.

19 June 2019 Club together

Last Wednesday I had such a flowery fun evening teaching a collaborative floral carpet workshop focusing on braiding and weaving ideas from my book the effortless floral craftsman...

22 July 2020 Step It Up

Dress up a pair of hand coiled flip-flops with succulents.

21 July 2021 High-Strung

String up a tiny hammock for a dreamy summer vacation design

13 July 2022 Blue…

The tiniest flower adds some much needed coolness to a summer floral design.

19 October 2022 Point Witch (or Wizard) Way

A wire framed witch or wizard hat that can be reshaped.

14 January 2015 Take a load off

Weave slippers from foliage

17 June 2015 This Summer

Weave slip on summer sandals

20 July 2016 A Shade of Summer

Twist and weave a lily grass summer hat