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A Technique illustrated by Ann Barr of the Wellington and Whitby Floral Art Clubs

[Click the photos for a closeup view of the design]


REQUIREMENTS:Example of pinning method using ivy to create a floral design

Plant Material:

  • Flax
  • Leaves suitable for pinning – this design uses ivy

Other Requirements:

  • Flat polystyrene board, 20cm x 70cm
  • 50mm long decorative pins or 40mm panel pins x 1.60mm diameter (or similar)
  • Water based paint to match colour of flax, for painting polystyrene
  • Sharp knife and scissors


  • Paint polystyrene to match colour of flax and leave to dry

  • Displaying the pinning method to create a floral designStrip centre out of flax leaves, leaving you with two pieces from each

  • When paint is dry, pin flax horizontally or vertically to polystyrene, keeping pins evenly spaced (N.B. as flax does shrink, overlap each piece ever so slightly)

  • In this design for good proportion, Ann has chosen the proportions of 2/3 vertical to 1/3 of horizontal line for the placement of flax

  • For a professional finish, oil ivy leaves with cotton wool and cooking oil

  • Where the two lines of flax meet, pin a row of overlapped ivy leaves

  • Trim all edges neatly for a tidy finish.



  • When using paint on polystyrene always use a water based paint as oil based paint will eat into the polystyrene

  • Leaves suitable for pinning, include: Camellia, holly, ivy, lambs ear, flax, Coprosma, Griselinia

  • Polystyrene can be cut with a very sharp knife

  • Pinning can be done on polystyrene, floral foam, dry oasis, pinex cardboard etc.

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