My creative workbook

Christine de Beer Floral Lifestyle Design

Ripping Flax

After harvesting the flax leaves set them aside to dehydrate slightly. If you condition them in water they will be very moist when ripped. I prefer not to let them dehydrate in full sun because it causes the leaves to roll up making it harder to pull through the Kenzan teeth.

How to rip Flax

Wipe the leaf clean and cut the hard stem away. Cut into thin strips.

Ripping Flax

Place the Kenzan (pin cushion) on the edge of your working surface. With the palm of your hand press the lower end of the leaf to catch in the teeth.

Kenzan and Flax

Kenzan and Flax

Drag the leaf down and through the nails.

The ripped sections will first dry to a beautiful grass green, then a grey green and later a stone green. I have also bleached my flax strips to a sand colour for my Forest Experience design.

Clean your Kenzan regularly to remove all plant material.
This will prevent bacterial growth in future designs

Cleaning a Kenzan

Clean the Kenzan with a wooden skewer



Dress the Kenzan with an old stocking before you rip the Flax and simply lift away the left over fibers.

Other ideas to use ripped Flax:

Cover a test tube with Flax

Cover a test tube with Flax

Beaded Flax string

Beaded Flax string

Weave thin strips of Flax and beaded wire together and allow to air dry.

To permanently curl Flax strips:

Permanently curling Flax

Wrap the Flax fibers tightly around a paper tube and secure with a hair pin. Set aside to air dry.

Curled Flax

Loosen up the curls to create a light veil of fibers.


Flax gathered - Inspired by Nature

Secure the fibers from the roll in a bunch and use them as a "pony tail".

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

Christine de Beer

This is my ongoing creative workbook to research and capture design projects and techniques. You will mostly find ideas for floral art but I will also include some other projects such as gift packaging, cards and even cake decorating with a few lifestyle projects arranged in between.

Everything you see in this workbook was designed, made and photographed by me, unless specific credit is given to another designer.




Flax, New Zealand flax


Cattail, graceful, ribbon grass