Saturday, January 8, 2011

DIY topiaries

Topiaries come in all shapes and sizes, even Disney characters can be found in the form of a topiary. There is nothing like a classic topiary to add a beautiful touch to your mantel, table top or kitchen counter. They are extremely versatile and never go out of style. I've always tried to keep the live topiaries...well alive...but they always turn brown and died or lost their shape too easily. Way too high maintenance for me! So instead, I created traditional topiaries with dried moss. Same "real" look but without all the maintenance. Below are simple instructions on how to make your own topiary. I've created a standard topiary in this post but get creative with the design (pictures are great inspiration)!

  • container(s)
  • topiary form OR styrofoam balls and dowel
  • moss 
  • glue gun
All of these supplies can be found at your local craft store.

topiary form and container (this form was already started)


Step 1 (for topiary forms):
Once you have heated your glue, begin by placing a dime to quarter shape of glue on the top most ball.

Step 2:
While glue is still hot, take a small amount of moss and press firmly on to glue, being careful not to burn yourself. Be sure that the moss is thick enough to cover the form so that it can't be seen. 

Step 3:
Continue attaching moss using the hot glue, being sure that the moss is layered evenly throughout. Always press the moss into the glue so that it will not only stick but also be more uniform. 

Step 4:
Once all of the topiary balls have been covered in moss, insert the form into the selected container. Place a small amount of glue around the edges of the form to hold it in the container. 

Step 5:
Using the same moss or different moss (for added texture), cover the remaining portion of the form at the base of the container. Using scissors, trim any strays so that it looks even and uniform. 
Two types of moss are used here to add texture

If you can't find a pre-made topiary form, follow these instructions:

Step 1 (if using styrofoam balls and dowels):
Drill a hole through the center of each styrofoam ball slightly smaller than the dowel.

Step 2:
Insert the dowel and create your topiary shape as you like

Step 3:
Place a small line of glue around the joints of the dowel and styrofoam balls. 

Step 4:
Follow instructions for standard topiary forms (above).

Viola! You now have a topiary to use to add class to any spot in the house. They look great paired on a mantel; clustered together on a table or put simply as an accent.

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