My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

The plastic inside of a roll of Florist tape becomes a Wrist Corsage

Used the Unusual to Use as Usual, again
Up-cycling design 3

In January I touched on the subject of up-cycling in Floral Art- in fact you will notice that I often up-cycle or even down-cycle or just plain recycle items in my art. Let me explain the difference between down-cycling and up-cycling.

Down-cycling is what we understood traditionally as "recycling". Take the life-cycle of a beautiful sheet of paper. Recycled it would become a slightly off colour paper towel then compressed in a pulp mould to become a mushy cup holder and then a really ugly egg box or electronics packaging before its boiled pulp is so useless it can only be (burnable) waste.

Up-cycling is the process of converting waste materials into products that are more valuable, better quality or of a higher environmental importance. Beautiful paper, when up-cycled becomes wallpaper. Burned out candle stumps become floral vases. An old wool jersey becomes felt pebbles. A cardboard box becomes the base of my Floral Hourglass sculpture. Re-purposed wire and fishing line found between the rocks on the beach becomes my In the bag Design.

Successful up-cycling in design always appear to be seamless and never forced.

Consider adding details only if it is the natural solution to a design problem. If you force "recycling" into a design it attracts too much attention and distract from the beauty of nature- which is still the point of Floral Art.

See below for a few up-cycling designs links

Wrist Corsage

I love the idea of body flowers.

You don't really need a reason to wear a floral wrist corsage but up-cycling the inner ring from your finished floral tape is most certainly cause for celebration: Yippee! I am getting a new roll of tape and Yippee! I am reducing the amount of trash my design room generates.

Succulent wrist corsage.

And to take the idea of ecologically sound design another step further: The succulents in the corsage will lasts for more than a month before some of the leaves will develop tiny roots that can then be picked off to plant.

Long lasting Echiveria wrist corsage

Echiveria wrist corsage, simple and elegant

Design note: I left the corsage on my desk to see how it ages. This is the corsage one month later. If you look carefully you will see tiny roots forming on the succulents

Succulent bracelet featured in Blossom Zine

Thank you Blossom zine online Magazine for featuring this design.

To view the online Winter issue of
Blossom Zine

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


15 April 2011 Decorate the wrist corsage

Glue rosette shaped succulents onto the wrist corsage

12 September 2012 Infinity fold for storing ribbon

Neatly roll you ribbon to store flat in a drawer

5 March 2014 Harvesting succulents

Severing the rosette to design with

Favourite Flowers


Echiveria, Hen and chicks

Related Designs

26 July 2011 Echeveria ring

Succulents are really trendy right now. Not just as potted plants but also in designs. All the way from floral accessory to fashion accessory- right on trend!

29 April 2011 Copper wire Spiral pot scrubber becomes a Tiara

Design 3:Wedding Tiara. This is a real Cinderella design, one moment scrubbing pots and the next getting ready for the ball.

25 April 2011 Drinking straws become flower test tubes

Design 2: Up-cycle drinking straws to make tiny test tubes to hold the orchids on my willow twig blind.

5 August 2015 Wear it Well

Wrap a ribbon around an up-cycled plastic ring for the most comfortable wrist corsage

31 August 2016 Leftovers

Using bits and snippets to create an everlasting moss and succulent design

20 September 2017 You Wear It Well

My article and body flowers design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

19 October 2022 Point Witch (or Wizard) Way

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

29 January 2011 Ground Breaking

Water stream breaking through ground in an autumn forest.