My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Bat Skeleton crafted from twigs

Projects like these are excellent to train your eyes in seeing the true potential in your plant material. You are inspecting the wreath in a whole new way noticing every curve and every tiniest knot. They are all of a sudden so important… vital even to get the exact bit you need. And when you find that crucial curve it is a real celebration. I do these projects to remind me to really notice the creative potential in my plant material. You can add as much detail as your patience and time allows but I do suggest you add as much as you can. It really is a great exercise!

Print out a skeleton template for your basic inspiration

Print out a skeleton template for your basic inspiration. You don't have to follow it bone for twig but it is nice to have a reference... and also... did you know bats have a thumb at the end of their wings!?!

I got this picture on www.anatomynote.com

Carefully inspect a vine wreath

Now the fun starts... Carefully inspect a vine wreath. The older and twistier the wreath the better.

Search for knots and forks in the twigs that matches the skeleton pieces

Search for knots and forks in the twigs that matches the skeleton pieces. I prefer to search and cut all the pieces like a puzzle before I glue the skeleton.

This fork in the twig makes the perfect legs

This fork in the twig makes the perfect legs

And this knot the perfect skull

And this knot the perfect skull.... there's even an eye... you know... for an eye!

Cut a v shape out of the skull to craft a mouth

Cut a v shape out of the skull to craft a gaping mouth.

He looks like a rather happy bat

Tequila (name explanation on the design page, link below in the design section) looks like a rather happy bat. Must be all the pretty autumn leaves (... or the Tequila, come to think of it)

Shave the knot from another twig to create his other eye

Shave the eye from another twig to create his other eye.

Glue in the eye

Glue in the eye

Search for matching pieces and start to lay out the skeleton

Search for matching pieces and start to lay out the skeleton on a flat working surface.

When you have all the skeleton bits together you can start to build up the bat...

I used these small forks in the twigs to build up the rib cage

I used these small forks in the twigs to build up the rib cage.

The wings are also forks in twigs

The wings are two sets of forks in twigs.

Every now and again go back to the skeleton picture and match the bits of bat

Every now and again go back to the skeleton picture and match the bits of bat.

And carefully glue each piece to match

And carefully glue each piece to match

Glue in twigs for feet

Glue in twigs for feet...

Turn the bat around and finish the rib cage at the back

Turn the bat around and finish the rib cage at the back.

Add tiny twig thangs

Add tiny twig thangs... and make the ears a bit bigger with a twig slice... and I also added tendrils for the thumbs... of course every bat will be unique depending on what you notice in the vine wreath but...

Make your own bat skeleton from twigs

Here it is... my version of a bat skeleton made entirely from twigs. I add the head onto the skeleton once it is up in the design because the exact position adds so much character that it's worth spending a bit more time on it. (see the design note above this Tutorial)

Carefully glue the bat into the design and add the head at an angle

Carefully glue the bat into the design and add the head at an angle... it really is important how the bat is positioned.

Book readers: notice the tilt of the bat's head? It's not by accident! Read more on page 279 where I explain why I do this when I craft a floral illusion.

The Tutorial for the Levitating twig armature is below.

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

Tutorials

30 October 2019 Levitating Halloween tree with roots

Cut a slit in the branches, at the root side to suspend it over the vases rather than in the vases.

28 March 2011 Spinning a Hot Glue Spider Web or silk for a Floral Cocoon

How to spin (and remove) hot glue spider web or floral cocoon

1 February 2012 Love Bug

Heart shaped rosery vine and pine love bug

29 September 2011 Twig and skeleton leaf Stick Insect

Made from dried cherry twigs and a skeleton leaf.

19 February 2013 Manipulating stems: Snapping at an angle, Bending, Spiraling, Curling and Straightening

Most stems, twigs and even sturdier branches can be bend into shapes. It takes practice and more than a bit of patience. The main idea is to slowly manipulate the branch without...

22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

31 October 2017 Physalis Pod Stick-man

Glue twigs into a stick man for a Halloween design

6 November 2012 Stalk and Husk Scarecrow

Use husks or dried leaves to make a scarecrow or doll

28 October 2015 Besom Broom

The word ‘Besom’ derives from the old English ‘besma’ meaning ‘bundle of twigs’.

Favourite Flowers

Passiflora

Granadilla, passionflower, passion vines

Related Designs

30 October 2019 There once was a bat called Tequila, a Halloween story

An all plant zero waste, levitating, twig (with just a splatter of autumn leaves, a breath of spiderweb and float of roots) Halloween decoration with an eerie bat skeleton made...

29 September 2011 Pick-Up Sticks

A twig and stick design with sweet dumpling pumpkins and rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii). I also made a cherry twig and skeleton leaf Stick Insect

31 October 2017 Mr Twig-or-cheat

An extra Almost-a-Design for Halloween this year

6 November 2012 Mr. Stalk, the Seriously Terrifying Scarecrow, on his Day Off

An easy going design of ripped grass and calla lilies. But look a bit closer. See if you can find Mr. Stalk relaxing somewhere between the blades of grass.

28 October 2015 On Pumpkin Coloured Days

Create a besom broom to sweep up those Autumn leaves

26 April 2017 In no time at all

Hana-Kubari twig armature

26 October 2016 Harvest Moon

Fold a fine twig wreath in half to create a moon shaped armature