Topiaries are unusual and expensive. Whether you purchase large ones to set outside, or small ones to decorate a table, they’re not going to be cheap. But, you can easily make your own topiaries which are every bit as nice as the more expensive ones. It only takes a little time to make one and then you can use it to decorate the Thanksgiving day dinner table. Or, make some to set in the bathroom, an end table or even a dresser. You’ll need some inexpensive craft supplies to make the topiaries but you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save over the purchased ones.
It’s up to you how large you want the topiary to be. No matter what size you’ll be making you’ll need a clay or plastic pot to begin. The topiary will look magnificent if you decorate the pot first. Use paint to create the design you want on the pot. For a plastic pot it’s necessary to use paints made specifically for plastic. It might take more than one coat to cover the pot completely. Only the outside of the pot need be painted.
Use a Styrofoam ball, slightly smaller than the diameter of the pot, to create the base for the topiary. So, if the pot you’re using is four inches in diameter you’ll need a ball that’s about 3.5″. Cut the ball in half and use hot glue to affix it inside the pot. Push it all the way to the bottom of the pot to secure. Push a wooden dowel into the center of the ball which is inside the pot. The dowel should be painted brown or green. The dowel should be proportionate to the size of pot you are using. Also, the dowel should stand tall enough to hold two or three additional Styrofoam balls. Push it into the ball, remove it, then squirt in some glue and replace the dowel. This will ensure that the dowel doesn’t begin to lean after awhile.
Use Spanish moss to cover the ball. Glue the moss all over the ball and even let some sprigs come up and out of the pot. Work around the wooden dowel but glue the moss all around the dowel, and up against it. Instead of moss you can use things like tiny flowers or even leaves and twigs. The purpose is to cover the half-ball inside the pot so you choose the things you want to use to cover it.
When the pot is completed slide two or three Styrofoam balls onto the wooden dowel. The balls can be all the same size or they can diminish in size as they go up. Slide a large ball on first, a medium one on next, then a smaller one on top. To make sure the balls don’t slip you can use a ring of hot glue around the dowel, just under each ball, or simply wrap a piece of clear tape around the dowel, below each ball. The balls should be evenly spaced, with one very close to the pot, one in the center of the dowel, and the last one at the top. Don’t push the dowel all the way through the last one; push it in enough to hold it but not enough so that the dowel can be seen above the top ball.
Now you’ll begin gluing Spanish moss, tiny green leaves, small flowers or other things to the Styrofoam balls. Although you have many choices as to what you’ll use to cover the balls each one should match the others. Decide on one thing, like Spanish moss or small leaves, to cover all the balls. Glue the moss or other items onto the balls, working your way from the bottom ball up to the top ball. Hot glue works well to secure most any plastic or silk items to the balls. It can be helpful to paint the balls before sliding them onto the dowel. That way, you ensure the fact that the white Styrofoam doesn’t show through the greenery. When you’re finished covering the balls completely the topiary is done.
Some people find it easier to first cover the balls with flowers or greenery and then push them onto the dowel. When using this method, leave a small, bare area on the top and bottom of each ball – but on the bottom only of the top ball. After the balls are decorated, and then slid onto the dowel, you can use small pieces to finish covering any exposed areas.
You can make huge versions of these topiaries to set outside, by the steps or on a deck. Although the pot, Styrofoam balls and greenery are all waterproof you’ll need to make sure you use glue that is also waterproof if you’ll be setting the topiaries outside. For indoor use, you can make tiny topiaries that decorate a mantle or various sizes to make a grouping of topiaries on a kitchen or bathroom counter top. The finished topiaries look great in just about any area of your home. They’re very easy to make and you have lots of options on how to create them. Make the topiaries to give to friends and family members as gifts or just make ones to decorate your own home.
Make unusual topiaries by choosing small, colorful flowers to cover the balls. Or, make traditional topiaries that are covered in your choice of greenery. No matter how large or small you make them, and no matter what colors and designs you use to cover them, they’ll stand proud on any flat surface and grab the attention of all who see them.