Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Potted bark pod for a flowering plant
Thin wood glue with warm water.
Rip up some brown paper in irregular shapes and place the shape on a flat working surface
Soak the brown paper in the thinned glue and smooth it to cover the shape
Overlap the brown paper to fully cover the white shape with brown paper. The brown paper covering will harden as it dries and form a protective layer between the foam and the bark. It also makes it easier to remove the bark and re-use the Styrofoam sphere
Smooth down all the brown paper pieces to closely follow the shape
Flip the shape over and cover the sides and top
Follow the curves of the shape
Set the shape on a vase to dry overnight
For more information on using Papier Mache see the Tutorial below
The paper covered bowl is now ready to design with
Cut away any extra bits of paper
Rip bark into long strips and glue it to the paper covered shape
Work your way outwards leaving long strips pointing into the shape. This will secure the plant and somewhat cover the growth medium around the orchid roots.
Glue in a second layer of bark
Turn the shape around and glue strips of bark to the underside
The bark shape is now done and ready for the potted plant
Make sure not to plant plants with different water and soil needs in the same design. For my design I added the rosary vine (a succulent) in it's own tiny containers with soil and the budding twigs in small test tubes (see the Tutorial below) and the orchid is in a growth medium making it easy to water each plant as it requires hydration.
Measure the depth of the plant with your fingers
Measure the size of the plastic pot
Cut the pot smaller if need be.
Slip a loose fitting bag over the pot to catch any water that drains out of the pot. You can also place a small bowl under the plant or let the water drain out into the Styrofoam but I added the plastic because I wanted to add more plant material into the potted design and required padding
I also wrapped a sheet of tissue paper to conceal the bag and give the test tubes and plant containers something to nestle into. Place the plant in the bark covered shape
Lift the strips of bark to cover the pot, plastic and tissue paper. The entire design should be snug and secure.
Special note: Orchid roots should not be completely covered. Make sure it can still get some light
Make sure it is easy to water the plant to keep it beautiful for as long as possible
I save all the thin tissue paper or un-printed newsprint papers that are wrapped around the flowers that are delivered to me to make batches of Papier Mache with. These sheets...
When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.
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Press a wooden skewer into the Styrofoam to help the cones stand upright when displayed
Glue a stack of cardboard circles to create a log-like floral cake
Glue bark to a Papier Maché and wire frame to create a pod shaped armature
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Using dried floral material is so trendy right now. But the longer lasting the design elements the more effort you have to put in to stop it from looking lifeless.
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This orchid developed at the very end of a long stem... right as the rest of the flowers started to die back so I made a special armature to display the cut stem.
Glow and sparkle bark armature to celebrate the first signs of Autumn
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My bark bowl design and tutorial featured in the Centrepiece Wedding Magazine
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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.