My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

All dried Autumn hemisphere design that will outlast even the falling leaves outside

Cover a bowl with cling wrap

Cover a bowl with cling wrap...

This step makes it possible to remove the reads and makes clean up so easy. Keep the wrap once done. You can use it many, many times.

Snip a reed bundle into sections

Snip a reed bundle into sections.

You will need a generous handful

You will need a generous handful.

Glue the first reeds to the bowl shape

Glue the first reeds to the bowl shape... create a bit of an angle so that these first reeds hook over the edge to make it easier for you to design.

Design note: glue the reeds to the reeds and not to the cling wrap.

Build up the shape

Build up the shape by gluing in new reeds to loosely follow the shape.

Make sure each reed is connected

Design tip: Make sure each reed is connected to another reed at, at least three places so that you craft a really strong armature.

Turn the bowl shape and cover the edge all the way around

Turn the bowl shape and cover the edge all the way around.

Wiggle the reed bits to make sure they are all secure

Wiggle the reed bits to make sure they are all secure.

Slip your hand between the film and the reeds to make sure it is not stuck anywhere

Slip your hand between the film and the reeds to make sure it is not stuck anywhere.

Lift the armature away from the bowl

Lift the armature away from the bowl.

Set the armature at an angle on a display container

Set the armature at an angle on a display container. Arrange a few pumpkins around the armature... and you are ready to design.

Glue in a few dried hydrangea florets

Glue in a few dried hydrangea florets...

Keep the stem on the floret

Design note: I always divide the flowers and foliage I dry into batches so that I dry them using different methods.

Each method gives a slightly different result. For instance pressing flowers are flat and great for covering surfaces bit not so great for a light and airy design like this. For this design I needed a long stem on each floret so that it hovers over the reeds rather than be compact. So letting them dry naturally is a better option... but naturally drying shrivels the flowers a bit. So my solution in drying the flowers in a microwave. See below for a step by step picture Tutorial on how to do that.

Book readers: turn to page 110 for how to select flowers suitable for drying, listening to hear when it's dry... and a whole lot more.

Glue in a few dried tendrils

Glue in a few dried tendrils...

Reshape and glue in a few autumn leaves

Reshape and glue in a few autumn leaves

In my newsletter this week I tell you my secrets for how I reshape semi or dried and brittle plant material. Make sure you are signed up to receive my one email a week, always on a Wednesday morning, always close to eight notification newsletter. I always include an exclusive tip for you so that, if it's something you are particularly interested in and you want to learn more (or share a tip with me) you can just press "reply" and we can chat about it.

And the final step is to add dried cherry blossom stamens

I finished the design with a few dried cherry blossom stamens... so impossibly fine that I had to use tweezers!

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


30 May 2012 Drying Hydrangeas: Fast, Flat or Natural

Use all three methods to dry hydrangeas to get three very different textures to use in design work.

24 July 2012 Blow away hot glue strands

When you glue a structure with hot glue there are always a few stray strands of glue stuck all over the design. Blow it away with a hairdryer.

11 May 2016 Twig snippet vase armature

Glue twig snippets to closely follow the shape of a glass vase

6 September 2011 Twig collar

Create a light and transparent collar-base for the large composite flower to nestle into.

19 February 2020 Twig snippet pillar armature

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

24 July 2012 Stacked Twig Roundabout

This is a great way to use all those bits of twigs and sticks in your design room to make a floral armature

8 January 2014 Twig Tumbler

Wire and glue a stack of sticks into a cylindrical or tube shape

29 November 2017 Autumn Screen

Craft a hanging twig and autumn leaf design

17 July 2019 Twig Dome Armature

Crafted from a hand full of twigs to give you a large design... even though you add only two stems of sweet peas.

Favourite Flowers


Hydrangea, when cultivated as a cut flower rather as a plant it is often revered to as Hortensia

Related Designs

23 September 2020 Getting a head start on all that Fall-ing

Floral styling using mostly dried material that will last the entire Autumn.

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.

11 August 2021 A bit Special... four dimensional designing

Using that little something that is unusual about your flower to make the design stand out.

8 September 2021 A good September Soaking

Exploring two soaking techniques for a subtle early autumn design

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.

11 May 2016 Pour

Glue a twig vase and melt some plastic to create a tumbling design

6 September 2011 When Autumn Fall

Autumn leaf composite flower

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.

24 July 2012 A little bit of Art and Soul

A twig structure with roses

8 January 2014 It's stick season!

Snap and stack an glue a few twigs to create a lace like armature

29 November 2017 Marcescent

Glue a delicate autumn room devider

17 July 2019 … and... a bit more... effort… to make it special

Instead of just placing a handful of twigs and two stems of sweet peas in a vase... why not...?