My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Add plant material and a wire support to sisal armatures

Sisal armatures are rigid and ready to use as is, but if it needs to travel to a location before you design with it or if it is going to be handled often, it is safer to add a chicken wire frame to the design.

Cut the chicken-wire to fit your shape. Add a wire frame if it suits your design

Slip the sisal around the frame and secure with wire

And glue in the additional plant material

See the Tutorial below for detailed instructions on how to make the leaf curls

More design ideas:

Fit the chicken-wire inside the disk shape.

Dip the tepals of a protea flower in thinned glue and scatter... conceal the wire

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how to peel a protea flower.

Or cover a few disks with Protea bracts and Leukadendron leaves

Or wrap the shape in a sphere of chicken-wire

and dip some Tortum snippets in glue and scatter all over the frame and sisal

Or place the wire inside the shape and wrap in copper wire and shape.

I used a copper pot scrubber that I unravelled to make twig garlands, curls and baubles with. See the Tutorials below for more detailed instructions

Weave the copper twig garlands around and through the armature frame

The armatures are now ready to design with. I placed my armatures on three legged acrylic tubes. See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions on how to design on three legs

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


28 August 2013 Unravel Sisal string to get Sisal Fibers

I purchase a huge roll of sisal string to use... sometimes as string, but mostly I unravel it for the fibers

22 March 2017 Using sisal and wood glue to make a rigid and versatile foundation for floral art armatures

Wrap thin, glue soaked sisal fibers around a balloon or ball to create a barely there armature

22 March 2017 Pin Protea foliage into a curl

The sturdy Protea leaves holds it shape even when dried when pinned into place

22 March 2017 Add plant material and a wire support to sisal armatures

Customize sisal armatures by adding a wire skeleton and interesting bits of plant material

22 March 2017 Skewered Foliage Garland

Create a garland that dries well with rolled up leaves

5 January 2011 Peel a Protea flower

Peel away the tepals and bracts from a Protea flower hear to make a large composite flower orb

29 March 2012 Use a BoutStix Floral Magnet to hang test tubes

This is a fast and easy way to hang test tubes in a design

5 May 2011 Unravel wire from a copper pot scrubber

Up-cycle a pot scrubber to get a huge roll of very pretty copper wire

5 May 2011 Wire baubles

Make baubles from wire

5 May 2011 Wire curls

curl wire to add to designs

26 July 2011 Wire Tendrils

Curl the wire at irregular intervals to create a natural wire tendril similar to that of a passion fruit plant

7 September 2012 The Three legged trick for Upright Constructions

When in doubt, always give your armature three legs. Two legs are simply not enough and four legs will wobble if it is even slightly off balance.

2 October 2013 Twig garland

Add a dangling garland of twigs to the design

14 January 2011 Beaded wire

Thread thin wire with tiny beads

24 August 2011 Stain wooden skewers with natural dye

Using fruit, berries, flowers, leaves and grasses to naturally stain design details for floral art relies on the same techniques as using paint or any other dye.

7 April 2012 A Neighbor friendly way to deflate a balloon

Apart from avoiding the noise popping a balloon makes this is also a less violent way to deflate a balloon when you make Papier Mache items

8 May 2013 Glue a Sisal Fiber Bubble

Mix Sisal fibers and glue to make a bubble

19 June 2013 Sisal Disk

Create a inflexible circle armature to hang flowers from

Related Designs

22 March 2017 Biomimicry

A design demonstration and workshop at the Floral Trends Design group in South Africa exploring how we emulate nature’s best biological ideas to solve our modern day design...

22 March 2017 Biomimicry Demonstration and Workshop video

Looking back at the preparations and my Biomimicry design demonstration and workshop at the Floral Trends Design Group in South Africa

17 May 2017 Nobody move!

Weave a small basket with a lid to keep fluffy treasures in

11 June 2012 Wish Upon a Dandelion Star

A sticky shooting star made with gypsophila stems and fluffy dandelion seeds

26 June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Waterfall

To commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the 20th Anniversary of Friends of Government House Gardens Society a Horticultural event was hosted in the gardens and...

8 May 2013 So happy together

Glue a sisal bubble for a few delicate flowers to rest in

19 June 2013 This Moment

Create an armature design outside the vase

27 May 2015 Limelight

My <strong>RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015</strong> Limelight Floral Art Design. <br> My Limelight design was inspired by a slice of lime. But I wanted it to look like it was spun...

9 September 2015 Fall Treasures

A sisal mat armature for fall twigs flowers and leaves