My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

A wild "found it this way" thorn and overgrown tulip design with a ribbon tangle instead of a bow.

Design note: Book readers turn to page 150 for a more permanent way to fix an armature to a container.
For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Place a container on your working surface

Place a container on your working surface.

now... this design requires you to work really hard in the beginning and then once everything is stable you can just have fun. But first that beginning... I explain more in this week's email. Make sure you are signed up to follow along and get the main bonus tip each week. The sign up is below this post.

Pick out the branches to display the flowers carefully

Pick out the branches to display the flowers carefully. You will not be able to go back and replace them if you change your mind.

Let the branches settle

Let the branches settle over the opening of the container. Wiggle it a bit to find a naturally comfortable spot... but then also go back in and glue the branch (I chose quince) to the container with hot glue.

Fill the container with water only once the branches are securely glued to the vase

Fill the container with water only once the branches are securely glued to the vase

Pop open a few of the mature tulips to reflex the petals

I wanted my design to look "found" so I added a few wild and overgrown details such as popping open a few of the mature tulips to reflex the petals.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how to reflex tulip.

And set the flowers in the water

And set the flowers in the water... but honestly for me the real star of the show are three viridiflora tulips (those ones with the green stripe) included in my bunch.

I placed these three tulips together

I placed these three tulips together in a way that they look like they are chatting... pretty, right?

Clean the water with a paint brush.

Remove any debris with a paint brush.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how I clean the water.

Cut a few thorn twigs at a sharp angle

Cut a few thorn twigs at a sharp angle...

And glue more thorns back into the design

And glue more thorns back into the design.

The angle helps you to place the twig so that it looks like it is growing out of the branch. See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions.

Design note for gluing the twigs

Design note: I always glue in these tiny design details to add a touch of "impossible".

It would be impossible to get the tulips in the branches if those thorny twigs grew like that. I do this because our brains are really great at finding solutions. And if something does not make sense to us it makes us lean in to get a closer look. Immediately it captures our imagination. You get a sense of there's something quite magical happening here.

Lastly to complete my design I tangled in a few ribbons

Lastly to complete my design and to pull in the "found" theme I tangled in (rather than adding a neat bow) a few ribbons in the exact same colours as the over grown Tulips. It must look like the early summer breeze finished the design for you.

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


3 March 2011 Reflex Tulip Petals

Tulip petals can be opened or reflexed to create a fuller bloom

24 March 2021 A Spring Sprout Wreath Flower Frog

Craft an everything is still growing spring design to celebrate... what we love!

19 June 2012 Tapping away Tulip pollen

Tap away most of the pollen from a fully opened tulip

20 January 2021 Trapped Bubble Double Shallow Vase Design

Trap air between two vases to create a third circle... and frame for a small feather hint to a hopeful Spring

21 March 2012 Where to cut Tulips to condition

Here is a trick to make sure your tulips will condition thoroughly

26 February 2020 Weave a grass Platform for an opening Tulip bud

Tulips continue to grow as they open. This means you not only have to be mindful of their proportions as they are now... but also as they will be once open.

6 February 2019 Winter White Twig Screen

Glue twigs to screen delicate flowers for a wintry design.

4 August 2021 Scattered dried grass with raindrop crystals

Craft a light and airy grass halo to suspend tiny drop crystals around gorgeous roses.

27 October 2021 Hovering golden wheat Ghost Ship armature

Using dry and fresh floral material in one design without the dry becoming soggy and the fresh drying out.

19 February 2020 Twig snippet pillar armature

A great do-in-advance and reusable design solution for a winter, early spring floral display.

16 January 2019 Delicate Twig Hammock Armature to keep tulips upright in a shallow container

Craft a suspended armature to create a clear winter design.

4 April 2018 Tap in a Twig Support

Wedge snipped twigs into a glass vase to act as a support for your flowers

27 January 2016 Sprouting willow armature

Carefully manipulate and bend green willow stems to place in water to sprout as an armature for tulips to mature and open

21 January 2015 Braiding three Tulip stems

Plait Tulip stems

30 April 2014 Scattered grass armature

An grass armature that looks scattered but is actually very secure

11 April 2018 Pick up any bits of plant material floating in the water

Use a wet brush to lift any tiny bits of plant material floating on and in the water to keep your container clear.

25 September 2019 Spin a tiny glue bead around a thin stem to secure it at an angle in a design

This is a trick for attaching fine details at exactly the right angle.

7 April 2021 Spring breeze tangled ribbon wreath

Using branches pruned from a fruit tree... with a few dried flowers and just a few orchids to make a fresh Spring design.

Favourite Flowers



Related Designs

1 June 2022 Found it!

A very secure thorn branch armature to hold overgrown Tulips in place

1 February 2023 Why When

An old tulip trick in a new way to keep the flowers fanned out

24 March 2021 To two too!

A Spring Tulip celebration design... with a special message

20 January 2021 Hope Bubble

That good old double vase trick... but this time I deliberately added a bubble between the two layers to create a third circle in the design.

26 February 2020 To top it all off

This is a great "space-keeper" design. The tulip will continue to grow into the vase height as they open... but until then the grass platform part of the design diverts your...

6 February 2019 Tread softly on winter

A delicate winter twig armature to show off the delicate beauty of these early spring coloured tulips.

4 August 2021 Counting Raindrops

Grass crisscross that makes you want to lean in closer to count the late summer raindrops around these gorgeous roses.

27 October 2021 Ship Shape

The dry wheat stems are suspended from the outside of the container so that they remain dry and the flower stems can gently rest inside to remain hydrated.

19 February 2020 The Upside of being Inside

A creative design that has some height to it without blocking the view. This can easily be scaled up or down to match the environment you want to display it in.

16 January 2019 Every. Single. Week.

Stand tulips upright in a shallow container with a suspended twig armature.

4 April 2018 Grow on it

Wedge twigs into a vase to create a grid.

27 January 2016 Well, I'll be

Manipulate fresh willow stems to create a sprouting armature for long tulip stems

21 January 2015 Tiptoe through the Tulips

Braid Tulip stems to set in water

30 April 2014 Scattered

Scatter some dried grass to make a floral armature