My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Foam free and flameless cardboard and bark yule log

Place a large cardboard box on a flat working surface

Place a large cardboard box on a flat working surface. Trace the bottom of a round vase (as big as you want the log to be) on the cardboard.

Cut out the cardboard shapes

Cut out the cardboard shapes. You will need a few round disks for the log ends and inside supports and a block shape as big as you long as you want the log to be.

Place the vase on the flat cardboard

Place the vase on the flat cardboard...

Start to roll the vase and the cardboard

Start to roll the vase and the cardboard...

Rock the cardboard and vase back and forth

Rock the cardboard and vase back and forth to bend it into a round shape.

You will see horizontal folds in the cardboard

You will see horizontal folds in the cardboard- the more folds the nicer the curve shape.

Use a steel ruler to fold an edge on the one side of the cardboard

Use a steel ruler to fold an edge on the one side of the cardboard...

Make another edge on the other side

Make another edge on the other side.

Giving you the basic log shape

Giving you the basic split open log shape.

Glue one cardboard disk to one end

Use hot glue to glue one cardboard disk to one end...

And another disk on the other end

... and another disk on the other end

Cut the disk so that it is level with the edge

Cut the disks on both ends so that they are level with the folded edge.

Measure the leftover disks as supports.

Measure the leftover disks to match the size of the end disks to add into the log for support.

Lift the edge and fit the disk support pieces

Lift the edge and fit the disk support pieces.

Keep adding support disks to make sure the log is sturdy

Keep adding support disks to make sure the log is sturdy...

These support disks also act as dividers making it easier to design inside the log

These support disks also act as dividers making it easier to design inside the log

Go back over the cardboard shape and make sure it is firmly glued in place before designing with it

Go back over the cardboard shape and make sure it is firmly glued in place before designing with it.

Next step is to cover the cardboard to look like wood. I used Kyogi paper (a Japanese shaved wood) and bark sheets. You can also remove bark from wood (see the tutorial below) or use ribbon or wrapping paper that looks like bark or even use the wood chips you buy in bags as growth medium for orchids.

Cover the edge with Kyogi paper to create a wood veneer

Cover the edge with Kyogi paper to create a wood veneer

Again see the Tutorial below if you want more detailed instructions on how to cover something to look like wood.

Glue the paper over and around the edge

Glue the paper over and around the edge.

Do the same with the other side edge

Do the same with the other side edge.

Cover the disk on the end with Kyogi paper

Cover the disk on the end with Kyogi paper...

Do the same with the other side and cut away the paper that sticks over the side

Do the same with the other side and cut away the paper that sticks over the side.

Design note: if you are going to add snow to the edges of the design you can cover up any perfections later.

Fit the bark to the side of the paper log and glue down with a generous amount of hot glue

Fit the bark to the side of the paper log and glue down with a generous amount of hot glue.

Fold the bark under the log shape and secure with glue

Fold the bark under the log shape and secure with glue.

Glue another sheet of bark to the other side to cover it

Glue another sheet of bark to the other side to cover it.

And secure the bottom curve

And secure the bottom curve.

You can cover the strip that is now exposed as well but I found it a convenient base to prevent my design from rolling and it is not going to be seen so I left it as is.

Tidy up the edges by cutting the bark to size

Tidy up the edges by cutting the bark to size.

Flood any gaps with hot glue

Flood any gaps with hot glue to catch all those snow flakes.

Dab a bit of white paint on to the log for a snow covered effect

Dab a bit of white paint on to the log for a snow covered effect before adding the artificial snow flakes...

Pour wood glue out into a small container

Pour wood glue out into a small container.

Thin the glue with hot water

Thin the glue with hot water.

Paint the glue around the edges

Paint the glue around the edges...

And sprinkle with artificial snow

And sprinkle with artificial snow.

Once done set the log aside for the glue to dry completely

Once done set the log aside for the glue to dry completely.

Shake off any snowflakes and go over all the places that are still open and add more snow

Shake off any snowflakes and go over all the places that are still open and add more snow.

Once dry the cardboard log is ready to design with.

Of course I am not using floral foam

Of course I am not using floral foam! But I have yet another reason as to why I am using water tubes, and how I place these tubes to create levels in my design. It 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.

Fill the water tube with water

Fill the water tube with water. See the Tutorial below for more details on how I make these syringe with tubes to make it easier to fill tubes in awkward positions.

If you want to read more about how I adjust water levels in tubes according to how I intend to place them so that the flowers remain hydrated for as long as possible see my book page: 188 onwards.

Measure cut and place the flowers in the tubes

Measure, cut and place the flowers in the tubes. Again, I explain in detail how and why I did this in this way in my newsletter email.

Place the battery operated candles to nestle between the flowers

Place the battery operated candles to nestle between the flowers.

For more detailed instructions on how I crafted the wire support for the candles so that you can lift it out and switch it on and off easily see the Tutorial below.

And add more water filled tubes and fresh carnations

And add more water filled tubes and fresh carnations to fill the inside space of the log.

Place a few twigs to cross over the design

Place a few twigs to cross over the design...

Hang a few baubles from the twigs

Hang a few baubles from the twigs...

Making sure to secure it with the tiniest bit of glue

Making sure to secure it with the tiniest bit of glue.

And sprinkle a light dusting of snow over the design

And sprinkle a light dusting of snow over the design.

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

Tutorials

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.

18 November 2020 Craft a single legged wire nest to place a flameless candle into your design

Super easy to add into your design and even easier to switch the candle on... and off, without disturbing the design details.

15 December 2011 Measure the height of a table design from elbow to duck beak.

This is an easy and quick way to make sure your table design is the right hight

19 August 2015 Bark pod for growing a Pearl Oyster mushroom mini farm

Glue bark to a Papier Maché and wire frame to create a pod shaped armature

21 December 2016 Bark Christmas Stocking

Cover a wire frame to create a Christmas stocking armature

13 December 2017 Long lasting bark and Kalanchoe sleigh

Kalanchoe flowers last weeks without a water source and is the perfect way to dress up a bark and silver bell sleigh

14 December 2016 Bark and Cotton Candy Cane

Cover a cardboard shape in cotton and bark to create a floral armature

28 December 2016 Adding snow to twigs

Glue artificial snow to twigs

11 January 2017 Potted bark pod for a flowering plant

Cover a Styrofoam shape with bark to create a bowl for a potted design

17 September 2014 Bark Bowl

Glue bark onto a bowl to create a dome shape

5 February 2014 Bark Gift Bag

Cut and glue bark into a gift bag

18 December 2012 Fill hollow bark with test tubes

Glue tiny sections of pipe to the bark to fill as a water source for the fresh flower material

5 September 2012 Spiked Wire test tube catchers

Create a spiral to catch a test tube

10 July 2012 Bark covered heart

Cover cardboard with bark to create a heart shaped log

15 March 2012 Paper log stack

I made this log stack from cardboard covered with bark

13 April 2011 Wind Spinner

My inspiration for my Harnessing the Wind design was a wind spinner.

3 January 2011 Syringe with tube

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

22 January 2013 Bark Veneer Cardboard Floral Cake

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

15 March 2017 Wedding welcome and direction sign

Hang a twig and wood mobile at your weeding as a direction board

Favourite Flowers

Dianthus

Pink, Carnation, Clove Pink, Chinese Pink

Related Designs

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...

19 August 2015 Growth Medium

Design a bark and moss pod for a mushroom mini farm

21 December 2016 A Gleaming Cotton Christmas

Glue bark to a wire frame to create a Christmas stocking armature

13 December 2017 Just hear those sleigh bells jingling

Craft a bark sleigh that will last for weeks.

14 December 2016 A Candy(cane) Cotton Christmas

A floral cotton candy cane

18 December 2012 So this is Christmas, I hope you had fun…

Capilano Flower Arranging Club Designing for Christmas Workshop: Yule log

11 January 2017 As special as an almost never find

Sometimes you find such a beautiful plant that you just can't bring yourself to cut it. This design explores using the entire plant, pot and all, in a design

15 March 2017 Wedding Welcome

My article and wedding direction board design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine