Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
You Wear It Well
My article and body flowers design featured in
DIY Weddings Magazine
Body flowers present an opportunity for today’s DIY bride to express their own individual style. The options extend well beyond traditional corsages and boutonnières, with floral-necklaces, Hath panjas (Indian hand jewelry) and even floral key chains to suit any DIY bride’s naturally creative spirit. These tiny floral accessories and design details can be tricky and fussy to create, especially the mechanics that bind them.
Body flowers requires design on the smallest possible scale, and is a large scale test for mechanic design skills. Training and experience becomes the focal point because a unique creation of our imagination can quickly become a time consuming struggle without the finer “how-to’s.” Here is a checklist for fashioning body flowers this season.
Story: Let the flowers tell your story. Flower and plant material should always predominate in any floral design composition. Use wires, pins and beads, but do not over accessorize your design.
Durability: Your creation should last when handled, admired and worn with pride. A clumsy and fragile design will be a distraction. Succulents are well suited for body flowers because they last without a water source and are surprisingly robust.
Comfort: Take extra care to finish the design smoothly. There should be no sharp edges or wires that could snag on delicate fabric, cut or scratch. Then go beyond merely not hurting the wearer, and add comfort and even a bit of soft luxury by covering the inside of a bracelet with soft fabric ribbon, creating a soft feather base or a cool petal handle that feels wonderful worn close to your skin. Also give attention to make sure the design is light and well balanced. Remember to try on the design as a final comfort check. If possible make the design adjustable for a tighter or looser fit according to the wearer’s preference.
Scent: Floral fragrances are magnificent but make sure the recipient wants to wear something fragrant and that it does not overwhelm or contrast with their perfume.
Condition: Creating body flowers is labour intensive, whether you choose to wire the design or simply glue the components in place. Most body flowers will wilt rapidly because they have no water source. Make sure the flowers you choose for the designs are well conditioned and handle each bloom with care. You can ask your local florist for advice if you are unsure. Dehydrated flowers also bruise easily.
Allergies: As a rule avoid any plant material that may cause allergies. It is also best to avoid any flowers with a milky latex sap that should be caramelized when conditioning, any fuzzy foliage that can cause itching and flowers in full bloom with lots of pollen. Some people are also allergic to daffodils and tulips.
Stains: Seal any pierce wounds in flowers or fruit to prevent juice or sap from leaking. Dyed flowers will also stain fabric and skin, and it is best to avoid using them altogether. Rather incorporate unusual colors into a neutral color scheme by adding ribbons or beads or other accessories. Always remove lily pollen.
Craftsmanship: Make sure you finish the design impeccably. There should be no bits of glue showing and no visible mechanics. Each component should be secured and every stem securely tied. Remember that stems dehydrate and shrink out of water and the binding might come undone if you do not tie the design firmly. The neater the craftsmanship, the more professional (and valuable) the piece will appear. Give attention to the back of the design to make sure it looks just as good as the front. Add something personal or interesting to the back of the design, such as the wearer’s initial, as a special added extra.
Instruct: If you are designing something more unusual, and you needed to use every trick in the book to accomplish the results, make sure you instruct wearer in the correct way to fasten, hold and wear the design. A design can look different once pinned or tied than what it looked like on the design table. Wear the design and look in a mirror to see the effect. Look at the design from every angle to make sure it has a profile when viewed from the side
Variety: Use a combination of fresh flowers, dried material and accessories to construct the piece. This way you can do some of the preparations ahead of time and add only the freshest plant material at the last moment.
These are just the basics of body flower designing, leaving sufficient scope for creating exciting flower designs while ensuring the wearer will have a positive and memorable experience. Remember body flowers should always be luxurious.
Thank you DIY Weddings Magazine for inviting me to contribute.
Inspired by Hath panjas or Indian hand jewelry an easy and comfortable alternative to a corsage
Create a large and flat base to secure the fresh plant material on
Cut the plastic, sand and wrap with ribbon
Easy and fast way to include succulents in designs
The BoutStix Floral Magnets “stick” is the backbone of the design, strengthening the narrow heart shape and adding support and balance.
Cut and bend flat wire (or any other wire you choose) into a “U” shape to follow the shape of your head. Similar to an Alice band
The finish of every design should be flawless. Make sure there are no bits of glue visible in your design by carefully removing all traces of spills.
Cover a mask shape with moss and succulents for a long wearing mask
Bend a coffee stir stick and cover in wool for an easy to wear bracelet
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!
Up-cycle the inner plastic ring from a roll of floral tape to make a wrist corsage. This design was also featured in the Italian floral design magazine Blossom Zine
The elongated heart shape Echeveria waist corsage is meant to be worn low around the hip as a trailing ribbon clasp.
21 ideas for how and where to attach corsages using Floral Magnets. For more detailed instructions on how to make these corsages see my video: Crafting Corsages in 3 ways with...
My article and succulent floral crown design featured in the spring issue of DIY Weddings Magazine
Delicate cherry twig, rosary vine and oncidium orchid enchanted forest masquerade masque.
Bend a few stir sticks to cover with wool to make a few floral bracelets
Design One from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different contemporary...
Design Two from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different contemporary...
Design Three from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different...