My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Using the new growth on blossom branches as a base for a woodland design

Perfect way to use your blossom branches once the blossom petals start to drop.

New growth is always so beautiful that it is hard to resist adding them into a design. Only to find that they are wilted within a few minutes after cutting. Now I add so much more detail for the reason for this in my book (with a new design using new growth that I actually think is one of my favourites... ever! See page 74. Let me know what you think, book readers) but the trick is.... I grow it. It's all about limiting trauma, and yes, I have an entire chapter dedicated to this.

Measure the branch so that you can display the new growth

Measure the branch so that you can display the new growth.

Give the branch a clean cut and place it in a clean vase.

Give the branch a clean cut and place it in a clean vase.

Yes, I know. We hear the "clean cut" advice so often that it has become part of our design language. Do you know why, though? Once you know the why the how will make so much more sense to you. It is also really important for this design. So don't skip it. If you want to brush up on the reason why we condition flowers the way we do turn to the first pages of my book where I explain more about First Aid for your Design Elements.

Glue in a few water tubes to the branch

Glue in a few water tubes to give the fresh flowers their own water source. See the Tutorial below for detailed instructions on how I make water tubes.

The reason why I do this is two fold: firstly I want to place the tiny stems that I use in the design in specific positions and it is easier to control if they are in their own water source. And secondly, I am going to drop petals in the water which will make the water spoil. If the tiny stems are in a design of their own it is easier to lift out the entire branch, replace the water, replace the branch without disturbing the design.

Fill the tubes with water

Fill the tubes with water.

See the Tutorial below for how I make my own pipette from a syringe.

Add the fresh flowers to the design

Add the fresh flowers to the design.

Do not cut the stems shorter... in fact the wilder and crazy the stems the better. I discuss this in our email this week. If you are not yet signed up make sure to do so. I send out one email a week, always on a Wednesday morning (Vancouver time) to notify readers that the design is ready and to discuss a weekly bonus tip.

Add a few fern fronts into the water tubes

Add a few fern fronts into the water tubes and carefully position them to look just right.

Glue in moss or lichen to cover the tubes

Glue in moss or lichen ( I loved the yellow against the blue!) to cover the tubes and add to the overgrown woodland look to the small design.

Book readers: for a tip on how to divide the moss or lichen so that it looks more natural turn to page: 95

Glue in a few mushrooms

Glue in a few mushrooms.

I buy these from the grocery store and then air dry them overnight to get these fun and crazy twists and angles. I have a bit more information about this in my book but to get you started I also have a Tutorial for you that is linked below.

And lastly add a bit of fairy sparkle

Add a bit of fairy sparkling dew drop... well... crystals, really.

See the Tutorial below for why and how to add the crystals with a pin.

Add a few dried tendrils

And add a few dried tendrils... just because they are pretty.

Fill the container with water

Fill the container with water so that the branch continues to grow into an ever changing design.

And sorry to state the obvious but you can, of course only replace the flowers with fresh ones for a really long lasting and ever growing design.

Sprinkle a handful of petals over the design so that they fall and float and flutter

Sprinkle a handful of petals over the design so that they fall and float and flutter all over.

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


22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

4 January 2011 Drinking straw "test tubes"

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

3 January 2011 Syringe with tube

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

13 February 2019 Willow and Rose heart armature

Weave willow stems into a heart shaped armature.

18 January 2012 Butterfly hairclip claws to hold twigs in place while glue dries

Butterfly hair clips are the perfect little claws to help you hold tiny items in place while you wait for glue to dry

28 January 2015 Well Rooted Sprouting Willow Weave

Weave a sprouting armature

22 November 2017 Acorn fork

Wire and glue a few acorns into the fork of a twig to create an Autumn armature

26 April 2017 Hana-Kubari twig

Slip a twig over the side of a container to keep an elegant flower stem upright

3 January 2018 Using a fork in a twig to “peg” a stem in place

A easy to use Hana Kubari technique

9 May 2018 Incise waxy Gardenia foliage to decorate the edge of a container

Cut a small wedge out of a stack of waxy leaves to keep the flower and twig in place.

26 August 2020 Create a tighter fit with pebbles so that you can wedge a twig securely into a vase

It all started with my twig being just too small to wedge into the glass vase tight enough to keep my orchid stem in place...

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.

10 January 2018 Long lasting flower wand

Create a long lasting wand with Kalachoe.

23 May 2018 Trailing Ceropegia woodii vines from a Heliconia flower

Set the rosary vines into the natural cavity of the flower head.

Related Designs

21 April 2021 All A-flutter

Adding a few fluttering petals to a design.

13 February 2019 Pick Love

Craft a willow heart to display 12 red roses to celebrate Valentine's Day.

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

22 November 2017 How do squirrels Cache a tree?

Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.

26 April 2017 In no time at all

Hana-Kubari twig armature

3 January 2018 Happy Coincidence!

Some designs really do just make themselves. I received this tiny vase for Christmas from Marius (thank you, Marius!) and while cleaning out my design room I found this little...

9 May 2018 What is the meaning of this?

Create a minimal design with a few leaves to keep is all upright.

1 November 2011 On The Street Where You Live

A floral design snapshot of what it looks like when walking down the streets of Vancouver this week.

16 September 2020 The circle of making new things:

A wreath armature design for early Autumn... this takes the split armature Tutorial I showed you last month a little bit further.

26 August 2020 It starts with WHY

Add design elements that serves a purpose for a minimal summer inspired floral design.

26 September 2018 Cover Story

The design for the cover of my book, the effortless floral craftsman, crafted from Fiddlehead Fern and Red Lipstick Hanging Heliconia.

30 August 2017 If

Place a water tube at an angle in lumber so that the Zantedeschia float just above the base to show off the delicate grass snippets scattered up the stem

10 January 2018 Let some magic find you

My article and floral wand design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

23 May 2018 In Summer!

A contemporary cascade of rosary vine and dried petals.