My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Contactless gift exchange wreath perfect to double as Santa’s Gift Bag for your front door

Draw out two half moon shapes on to cardboard

Draw out two half moon shapes on to cardboard...

Cut the shapes out

Cut the shapes out.

Break up the cells to curve the cardboard

Break up the cells to curve the cardboard...

By slowly rolling it from one side to the other

... by slowly rolling it from one flat side to the other.

Glue the cardboard halves in the middle of the rounded side.

Match the half moons and glue the cardboard halves in the middle of the rounded side.

Glue the two top sides to match

Glue the two top sides to match

Glue the shapes together from the inside.

Use your hot glue gun to glue the shapes together from the inside... move from one end to the other.

Go back over the edge and glue the outside

Go back over the edge and glue the outside to craft a sturdy shape.

Cover the one side of the half moon shape with bark

Cover the one side of the half moon shape with bark.

I have a lot more detailed instructions on how to craft a bark veneer in the Tutorials below. You can also use bits of bark broken from logs... or even wrapping paper that looks like bark.

Cut the bark to follow the shape

Cut the bark to follow the shape.

My bark sheet was slightly too small so I will have to go back

My bark sheet was slightly too small so I will have to go back and add a second sheet below to fill the gap just like with the first sheet.

Cut the bark to follow the bottom part of the shape

Cut the bark to follow the bottom part of the shape.

Go back in with the glue gun and secure the edges to make sure it is neatly finished off.

Curve the wire to follow the exact shape of the bark half moon

Curve the wire to follow the exact shape of the bark half moon.

Slip the wire into the cardboard shape

Slip the wire into the cardboard shape and adjust the wire so that you complete the moon... or circle.

Secure the wire with hot glue

Secure the wire with hot glue.

Paint the inside of the cardboard half moon with thinned wood glue

Paint the inside of the cardboard half moon with thinned wood glue.

Crumple up some brown paper

Crumple up some brown paper... you can also use gift paper or tissue paper or even fabric. I just found brown paper looks best in my rustic design.

Design note: I know it sounds weird to crumple up the paper but it really is the neatest way to get paper to follow a shape. It's a trick borrowed from cooking. If you crumple up parchment paper to line a baking tray it lines it easily following the contours of the pan or tray.

Smooth the paper out and place it into the shape

Smooth the paper out and place it into the shape...

Smooth it into the corners so that it completely lines the inside of the half moon

Smooth it into the corners so that it completely lines the inside of the half moon.

Glue the edge of the bark to the brown paper

Glue the edge of the bark to the brown paper with hot glue...

And rip or cut the paper to finish the edge

And rip or cut the paper to finish the edge.

Creating a fully lined basket gift pouch

Creating a fully lined basket gift pouch.

Hang the basket from the wreath frame handle

Hang the basket from the wreath frame handle.

Now for the fun part. I chose a different technique to complete my design.

My inspiration is a rather in-depth explanation and I want you to be able to ask questions or comment if you want to, so I moved the conversation over to my newsletter notification email. If you are not yet signed up the button is below this post. I send out one email per week, always on a Wednesday morning so that you have advance access the moment the design is up with exclusive tips for you to read relevant to the design.

Cut a long stem of Noble Fir

Cut a long stem of Noble Fir (or winter greenery of your choice) and start to weave it around the wire. I explain in my newsletter why I chose this method rather than wiring the stem so that I can purely focus on the how here in the Tutorial. But make sure to read the why... it is just as important.

Bend the pliable stem to wrap it around the wire

Bend the pliable stem to wind it around the wire...

Do the same on the other side

Do the same on the other side... hook the hard (least pliable) stem end around the wire and wind it around the wire to meet up with the first branch.

This forms the basic shape of the wreath

This forms the basic shape of the wreath... next we neaten it up.

I found that I did not need any wires or mechanics to secure the wreath... just the basic wreath weaving technique. If you are unsure of how to weave a twig wreath see the Tutorial below. In short... Bend a longer side branch around the wire....

Curl it around

Curl it around...

And tuck it into the gaps between the wire and the Fir

And tuck it into the gaps between the wire and the Fir.

Leave some of the branches untucked to balance out the heavy bottom part of the design.

Curve some of the side branches over to the front and back of the bark covered half of the wreath

Curve some of the side branches over to the front and back of the bark covered half of the wreath and secure it with a drop of hot glue.

Go back in to make sure the wire is completely covered

Have a look to see if the wire is completely covered...

Cut a smaller side branch

To cover any places where the greenery looks a bit sparse cut a smaller side branch to remove the bulk of the greenery...

Go back in and tuck in more branches

... tuck the branch to hook between the wire and the wound branches (again see the Tutorial for weaving a twig wreath if you are unsure of what I mean) ...

Weave this branch around the wire to cover it completely.

... and weave this branch around the wire to cover it completely. Secure the branch end by hooking it through the wreath.

I left a few branch tips to extend out from the wire

Your wreath is now ready to design with.

Glue in a few twigs

Glue in a few twigs.

Glue in some artificial snow

Glue in some artificial snow onto the twigs...

Glue some artificial snow into the design

... and branches.

Add copper wire curls and water tubes

Add copper wire curls (see the Tutorial below) and water tubes (also see the Tutorial for how I make my own water tubes below)

Fill the tubes with water

Fill the tubes with water.

See the Tutorial below if you want to make your own syringe pipette.

And place the orchids so that it remains hydrated

And place the orchids so that it remains hydrated.

Add in a tangle of ribbon

Add in a tangle of ribbon-

... on a personal note: this is part of my effortless style: I love the idea of a wind tangled ribbon for a Christmas design. Almost like the winter breeze whipped about and helped to decorate. It is my personal effortless style. For more details on how to explore, develop and protect your own effortless style... I wrote a whole book about that!

And finish the design with wire stars

And finish the design with wire stars... also made with the help of a cardboard base- to stay with my theme for this Christmas. See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions.

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

Tutorials

25 November 2020 Wire Stars

Wrap wire around a cardboard star for a quick three dimensional decoration.

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.

5 May 2011 Wire curls

curl wire to add to designs

4 January 2011 Drinking straw "test tubes"

When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.

28 December 2016 Adding snow to twigs

Glue artificial snow to twigs

8 June 2016 Stripping bark from willow sticks

Strip the green bark from the stems to expose the smooth wood

22 January 2013 Bark Veneer Cardboard Cake stands

A quick and easy way to make a cardboard cake stand

22 January 2013 Bark Veneer Cardboard Floral Cake

Glue a stack of cardboard circles to create a log-like floral cake

10 March 2012 Kyogi paper wood veneer

I wanted to create extremely light weight wooden blocks for my design. The easiest way is to cover Styrofoam with a Kyogi paper veneer.

4 September 2013 Weave a heart shaped basket

An easy to assemble open weave basket

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...

28 December 2016 A bark strip and fluffed cotton disk wreath

Cover a wreath frame with bark strips and fluffed out cotton

7 December 2011 Hang a wreath on a door without knocking nails into the door face

I use two methods (or a combination of both) to attach a wreath to a door.

18 December 2019 Here it is: the quickest, easiest Christmas wreath… ever!

My work is usually so labour intensive... this one came as a wonderful surprise... it really is both quick and easy to craft this wreath!

3 January 2011 Syringe with tube

Easy way to fill test tubes and easiest way to remove water from a vase

12 August 2012 Twist your own Wire Wreath frame

Make a wire wreath frame with wire and cover it with growth mesium or moss to design on

Favourite Flowers

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis, Moth orchid

Related Designs

25 November 2020 Have yourself a Merry Cellulose Fibre Christmas: Santa’s gift bag wreath

...ok not really that fancy- it’s made from paper pulp. A cardboard box gift bag wreath… really. In the spirit of 2020- I am inspired by the endless stream of cardboard boxes...

22 January 2013 It's High Time for Tea: from craft to art, taking a delicious floral journey with veneer techniques

This was my second two designs for my It's High Time for Tea Floral Craft and Art Demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging Club meeting.

18 November 2020 Have yourself a Merry Cellulose Fibre Christmas: Yule log

...ok not really that fancy- it’s made from paper pulp. A cardboard box Yule log… really. In the spirit of 2020- I am inspired by the endless stream of cardboard boxes being...

8 April 2011 Large Open Weave Twig Basket

Easter Basket used in the Durbanville Flower Club Easter Parade Demonstration

28 December 2016 A Jingle Cotton Christmas

Cover a wreath frame with bark and cotton for a textured Christmas wreath design

18 December 2019 A Happy, Merry, Jolly (easy as that!) Eucalyptus Christmas wreath

Now this is quite a discovery! And it honestly is the easiest and quickest way to go from "I still want to decorate for Christmas" to "... aaand I am done, I made our wreath"

25 November 2015 So white

A dried Baby's breath and fresh orchid wreath

14 December 2016 A Candy(cane) Cotton Christmas

A floral cotton candy cane

12 December 2012 It's a swell time…

An exceptional moment frozen in time… 12:12:12 12/12/12