My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Snowy Magnolia forest floor armature

Cover a round shape with plastic wrap

Cover a round shape with plastic wrap... this is going to get messy!

Design note: I used a upturned bowl but you can even just draw a circle on the plastic, any round shape to guide the leaf placement will do.

Place a dried magnolia leaf on the shape

Place a dried magnolia leaf on the shape.

Book readers turn to page 110 to read more about preserving plant material. There are a few ways to dry your foliage and flowers, each gives you a different result that will change the way you design with it. I wanted to let the leaf curl up slightly to reveal the gorgeous velvety underside of the Magnolia leaf. If I simply pressed the leaf it would have been too flat.

For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Use hot glue to secure a second leaf to overlap slightly

Use hot glue to secure a second leaf to overlap slightly.

Position the leaves in a way that it creates pockets that will hold a lot of artificial snow

Build up the circular shape. Position the leaves in a way that it creates pockets that will hold a lot of artificial snow.

Every now and again lift the leaves from the round shape

Every now and again lift the leaves from the round shape to make sure it is not stuck to the plastic wrap. Also make sure the leaves are secure. The armature will support all the design details (including a lot of glue and snow) while being suspended over a vase.

Glue in leaves until you have a pretty circular shape

Glue in leaves until you have a pretty circular shape.

Paint a puddle of wood glue into all the pockets

Paint a puddle of wood glue into all the pockets.

Also add a thin line around the edges of the leaves

Paint a thin line of glue around the edges of the leaves to make them stand out.

While painting the glue make sure the armature is still secure.

While painting the glue make sure the armature is still secure and add glue wherever you are concerned that it might not be strong enough.

Sprinkle on some artificial snow

Sprinkle on some artificial snow.

So that it gets soaked in the puddles of glue

So that it gets soaked in the puddles of glue.

Set the armature aside so that the glue sets completely. This will take a while. Mine took about three days.

Tip out any artificial snow that is not secure

Once dry, tip out any artificial snow that is not secure.

Fill a vase with a wide opening with water

Fill a vase with a wide opening with water.

And settle the Magnolia leaf armature on the container

And settle the Magnolia leaf armature on the container.

Groom the orchid spike with a sharp knife so that you have stem to insert into the armature

Groom the orchid spike with a sharp knife so that you have stem to insert into the armature.

Design note: This orchid was a lovely surprise that formed just as the other flowers on the spike was fading leaving me with a generous and elegant curved stem to design with!

Thread the orchid stem though the leaves to that the cut in rests in the water below

Thread the orchid stem though the leaves so that the cut end rests in the water below.

Add in a few jasmine vines to curve around the stem

Add in a few jasmine vines to curve around the stem...

And in and around the armature

And in and around the armature.

Those little tips are so delicate... be careful not to snap them! I show you my trick for threading delicate tips through an armature in our email this week. The sign up is below this post if you are not yet receiving your notification email on Wednesday mornings.

Make sure all the stem ends are below the water line in the vase below

Make sure all the stem ends are below the water line in the vase below...

And finish the design with a few dew drop crystals.

One of my design rules that I set for myself for my website is not to use any tools and equipment that you don’t already have or can easily find but sometimes I discover something new that is too good to not share. You will find a link to the little turn table in this week's email. You can also read more about my design rules for all the designs I share here on the My Creative Workbook website in the email this week.

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

Tutorials

19 June 2013 Sisal Disk

Create a inflexible circle armature to hang flowers from

13 January 2016 Stacked Grass Pyramid Armature

Stack snippets of grass on a wire frame to make a floating pyramid armature

8 July 2015 Using a pin to place tiny dew drop crystals

It's sometimes difficult to place a tiny crystal or bead exactly where you want it.

28 December 2016 Adding snow to twigs

Glue artificial snow to twigs

18 October 2017 Muted Side Up Autumn Leaf Pod

Turn the leaf so that the muted underside faces outward to create a more understated Autumn colour scheme .

11 November 2012 Autumn Leaf Rosette

Great way to use all the autumn leaves you collect on walks during the season. Slowly build up the leaf rosette and let the leaves dry before adding a few more.

24 February 2021 Sink a carnation composite flower flat top platform into a vase

The trick of this Tutorial is to create a flat top platform to display Spring blossom twigs- the way it would look on moss in a forest.

6 September 2011 Autumn leaf Composite Flower

Glue a round Autumn leaf Composite Flower.

9 October 2019 Quarter fold and Thread an Autumn leaf tube armature

This armature is actually made of four times as many leaves as what it looks like to create a hinge to fan the entire leaf-tube open yet keep it's shape.

17 February 2021 Controlled breaking a thin reed to create a grass spiral armature

Carefully break... but don't snap a reed to create a curved base for a fanned out grass armature.

27 April 2022 Grass snippet globe with T-connections for a (shaded) second layer

Craft two snippet half moons to connect... and... then add a second layer of grass snippets here and there to shade the flowers.

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

11 January 2017 Potted bark pod for a flowering plant

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

9 November 2022 Roof-tile pumpkin from dried physalis pods

Carefully stack dried physalis berry husks to craft a long lasting pumpkin that you can refresh with fresh flowers and vines.

Favourite Flowers

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis, Moth orchid

Related Designs

25 January 2023 Even More

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.

21 February 2024 I'll Go First

My Spring/Easter design and the introduction article about my floral journey written by the editor, Nina Tucknott in the latest issue of Flora Magazine.

15 May 2024 Well, well, well, if it isn’t the design solution I have been procrasti-crafting on

Beautiful Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) deserves it's own elaborate frilly skirt display.

19 November 2014 Forest Floor

Glue a autumn leaf rosette armature

19 June 2013 This Moment

Create an armature design outside the vase

23 November 2016 All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate): Another perspective

This was the third design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration

10 September 2014 Creativity will come

My Twig Bridal Basket design and Tutorial featured in the Extraordinary Wedding Flowers issue of the New Zealand Floral Design Magazine

13 January 2016 Once Upon A Time

Stack and glue a Grass Pyramid Armature

18 October 2017 On the inside

For a softer autumn leaf pod turn the leaves so that the bright side faces in when making the pod.

11 November 2012 Leaves by Hundreds came

A rosette of fall leaves to celebrate the beauty of autumn

24 February 2021 Picked up some proper Pruning

An early Spring design with a twist on using an old favourite: composite flowers.

6 September 2011 When Autumn Fall

Autumn leaf composite flower

9 October 2019 With a thankful twist in the middle

Fold and thread an autumn leaf armature for a thankful Thanksgiving design

17 February 2021 From here in out

An all natural, zero waste design using only plant material.

27 April 2022 Shine Shade

Glue snippets of grass into a double layer sphere to create a sheltered floral globe.

19 August 2015 Growth Medium

Design a bark and moss pod for a mushroom mini farm

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

9 November 2022 All Pumpkind Out

A physalis husk pumpkin to celebrate the last bright rays of Autumn.