My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Catch Blossom Petals in a Pussy Willow tray basket

Place pussy willow stems on a flat working surface

Place pussy willow stems on a flat working surface.

Every week I highlight something more to learn and discuss it in our weekly notification email. This week I am telling you how to craft the basket so that you have catkins all over the basket design rather than it be concentrated only where they have opened on the stem. You can sign up for the free weekly email and you are welcome to reply to the email if you have a comment to share or a question to ask. The subscribe button is below the post.

Cut three wires and bend them in half

Cut three wires and bend them in half.

Hook the wire around the first pussy willow stem

Hook the wire around the first pussy willow stem...

Give the wire a firm twist

Give the wire a firm twist.

Move up to the other end and hook and twist the wire to secure

Move up to the other end and hook and twist the wire to secure.

Hook and twist all three wires over the twig

Hook and twist all three wires over the twig.

Give the wires a twist to create a spacer

Give the wires a twist to create a spacer.

And hook and twist in the next twig

And hook and twist in the next twig.

Hook and twist in the third twig

Hook and twist in the third twig... and the next... and the next...

Design note: the quickest way to add the twigs is to bend open the wires wide...

Slip the twig between the wires

Slip the twig between the wires...

And twist the wires to secure

And twist the wires to secure.

Build up a large tray of twigs

Build up a large enough tray of twigs to be shaped into the size basket you require.

Bend the wires to curve

Bend the wires to curve into the shape of the basket.

Cut two pussy willow twigs

Cut two pussy willow twigs...

And place them one above and one below the top twigs on one side

And place them one above and one below the top twigs on one side.

Secure the twigs with bind wire

Secure the twigs with bind wire.

Book readers turn to page 36, where I talk about wires you might want in your tool box. I show you how to make your own bind wire in any colour to perfectly match the design.

Turn the basket and secure the other side with two twigs

Turn the basket and secure the other side with two twigs so that the basket keeps its shape while you work on it.

Wire in a ladder of twigs to close up the sides of the basket

Wire in a ladder of twigs to close up the sides of the basket.

Bend the wire into a hairpin

Bend the wire into a hairpin...

Hook the wire to cross over both the twigs

Hook the wire to cross over both the twigs and secure it with a figure eight twisting it at the back.

Match two long pussy willow stems

Match two long pussy willow stems...

Twist a wire around both stems

Twist a wire around both stems...

And secure the twigs to the side of the basket with a figure eight wire

And secure the twigs to the side of the basket with a figure eight wire.

Wind the stems

Carefully wind the stems. Make sure not to break any of the catkins off of the pussy willow twigs. Gently curve the twigs to bend over the basket towards the other end.

Secure the longer pussy willow twigs to the other side of the basket with wire

Secure the longer pussy willow twigs to the other side of the basket with wire.

Weave in a few more pussy willow twigs to create a more substantial handle for the basket

Weave in a few more pussy willow twigs to create a more substantial handle for the basket.

Tucking the ends into the twigs to secure

Tucking the ends into the twigs to secure.

If you are unsure of how to do this see the Tutorial below where I show you how to weave a wreath with twigs.

Set the basket aside for the twigs to dry out

Set the basket aside for the twigs to dry out.

The pussy willow basket is now ready to design with

The pussy willow basket is now ready to design with.

To use the basket as an armature to keep the blossoms in place:

Place the basket on top of a vase

Place the basket on top of a vase...

Fill the vase with water

Fill the vase with water.

Now for my design I wanted to capture the magic moment when the blossom petals are blowing everywhere... my favourite mess of all messes...

Shake some petals from the blossoms

Shake some petals from the blossoms... keep it aside.

Place a few blossoming stems into the basket

Place a few blossoming stems into the basket with their stem ends in the water so that they remain hydrated.

Carefully pick up a petal

Carefully pick up a petal...

And glue it into the design so that it dries in place

And use floral glue to glue it into the design so that it dries in place.

Float a few petals on the surface of the water

Float a few petals on the surface of the water...

Remember: floating plant material in water will spoil quicker. But it looks so pretty and it is fairly easy to replace the water without disturbing the design. But it fits the look I was going for more than a pristinely clean vase... so.

And add a few dew drop crystals to finish the design

And add a few dew drop crystals to finish the design.

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how I add the crystals.

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

Tutorials

1 November 2011 Weaving a twig wreath

For my design I wanted the wreath to look wind blown so I added a few loosely woven twigs into the weave. I also wanted to emphasize the autumn colours so I added a twirling...

22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

4 September 2013 Weave a heart shaped basket

An easy to assemble open weave basket

26 April 2011 Weave a willow twig blind

Weave twigs in parallel to create a twig blind with strong but natural horizontal lines.

17 February 2016 Stack a Twig Enclosure

Loop and tie a few stacked twigs to create an enclosed floral armature

18 January 2017 Chain-link string and twig armature

By removing every other twig you open up space for larger flowers to nestle in

9 January 2019 Winter white Tulle bridal basket

Craft a delicate bridal basket from twigs and tulle.

18 April 2018 Clematis Vine Swing

Weave a delicate nest for a small spring design.

21 March 2018 Craft a Spring basket from a wreath

A wide gap nearly basket for nearly spring

30 October 2012 Midelino Harvest Moon Basket

This is a great flat and open basket to take outside when “harvesting” your fall leaves, pods and flowers. Who knows, you might even find a ghost pumpkin or three…

11 April 2017 A little nest for Easter chocolates that naturally hooks over the edge of a container

Weave a tiny nest with a twig hook so that you can hang it in a design

3 August 2016 Hanging Willow Nest

Bend and weave a nest shape from fresh willow stems

25 March 2015 Jiyek Braiding a Pussy Willow Twig Blind

A design inspired by traditional Jiyek braiding techniques

19 February 2020 Twig snippet pillar armature

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

31 July 2013 Ladder-frog

Lash the orchid stems together to create a ladder for the flower to rest on.

30 April 2015 Willow twig Corsage Platform

To create a layered look for a corsage tie a foundation of twigs with fresh willow stems

30 March 2016 Construction Lumber and Dowel Spike Armature

Drill holes in a piece of lumber and insert dowel sticks to create an armature

Related Designs

3 March 2021 Spring Tray-ning

A Spring basket design for catching falling blossom petals.

4 September 2013 Been there, Seen that

My article and woven heart basket design featured in the third anniversary issue of DIY Weddings Magazine

17 February 2016 Where would you put it!?!

Tie a twig armature enclosure for fresh flowers

18 January 2017 Look at you!

Tie twigs to shape a hanging armature

9 January 2019 Magical Craftsmanship

My article and winter white Tulle bridal basket design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine.

18 April 2018 Swing Vine

Weave a delicate vine swing to nestle a small vase with spring flowers in

21 March 2018 Bring some Spring

Just like the weather is only hinting at spring, so is this design only hinting at being a basket

30 October 2012 Frightis Botrytis!

Weave a Midelino cane coil harvest basket to display ghost pumpkins and frightful woolly "botrytis" in. Have a fun Halloween everyone!

11 April 2017 Well… we did it again!

Blossoms and chocolates for Easter

8 April 2011 Large Open Weave Twig Basket

Easter Basket used in the Durbanville Flower Club Easter Parade Demonstration

3 August 2016 Practice

Weave a willow bird nest

25 March 2015 Pulling some Strings

Braid a twig blind armature

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.

31 July 2013 Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer

A tiny orchid stem ladder keeps the orchid suspended just above the water line

23 October 2012 Everlasting

Design Inspiration Video: Take a few twigs, snippets of air plants and succulents and combine both traditional wire and tape techniques with more contemporary methods to embed a...

15 February 2017 Step Along

Create twig steps to display the orchids