Topiaries are a nice way to dress up a tabletop for the Christmas holidays, and making them is relatively simple and fun to do. Here’s how:
Basic Materials You’ll Need:
-A pot or small urn
-Twigs (trunk for a round topiary)
-4 – 5 inch Styrofoam balls or 10-12 inch cone
-Florist Clay or foam
-Toothpicks, ball head pins, glue (Styrofoam or hot glue gun)
-Decorative material to cover Styrofoam (see ideas below)
Christmas topiary assembly directions:
-Cut florist clay to fit pot or urn and secure in pot with glue or two sided tape.
-Cut twig sticks to 8 to 10 inch lengths, depending on size of pot.
-Use four or five twig lengths to form truck of topiary, which is inserted into florist clay in pot and bottom of Styrofoam ball.
-If using a cone, the “trunk” is not necessary.
-Cover the Styrofoam with chosen decorative material.
Holiday Topiary themes
The ideas for a topiary is limitless. Create topiaries with one or a combination of these themes:
Cranberries or kumquats – attach by using toothpicks to attach to ball or sphere
Fresh magnolia, holly, mistletoe or dried bay leaves – Attach with hot glue and/or ball headed straight pins, overlapping leaves
Dry beans, rice, nuts, peas or macaroni – add hot glue to Styrofoam, and push onto glue, compacting with a square of wax paper.
Silver confetti and bows – spray Styrofoam with spray glue or drizzle hot glue and sprinkle confetti over glue, compacting with wax paper. Tie bows from thin satin ribbon and attach with ball headed straight pins.
Pine cones, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves – hot glue mini-pinecones and broken cinnamon sticks and pierce the styrofoam ball with the whole cloves.
Fresh herbs – For a fragrant kitcheb topiary decorate with rosemary, sage leaves, etc.
Buttons and 1-2 inch strips of fabric – cover Styrofoam with fabric by securing strips of material close together with a straight pin, allowing material ends to stick out. Add buttons randomly or in a pattern using hot glue or a ball headed pin that does not slip through the button hole.
Shiny craft beads, small craft apples, and craft “picks” – cover with an equal amount of beads and apples and fill in any exposed Styrofoam with moss or baby’s breath.
Furniture nail heads – use brass nail heads to divide the ball or cone into sections and fill in between nail heads with other decorative items.
Christmas Topiary Toppers and Finishing Touches
You can finish off the topiary by adding several textures to the top or base.
Toppers: Try orange peels that drape down from the center of topiary, a flower bloom or arrangement of leaves, a craft apple or two, a sprig of mistletoe, or curled ribbon that cascades down the sides. Top it with a craft pick that contains a white dove or red cardinal.
Base finishes: Tie a raffia ribbon around the trunk right below the topiary ball. Trail ivy from the pot or urn or fill the pot or urn with dried moss, polished rocks or colored glass. To add fragrance, fill the base with crushed cinnamon sticks and small pinecones.
There are many ways to use one material or a combination of material to create a beautiful topiary for the table this Christmas. The rules are: 1) take it slow 2) use some type of a design rather than randomness, 3) assess periodically and alter as needed, and 4) take care not to burn fingers with glue gun.
That’s all there is to it! Creating a homemade topiary to sit proudly on the dining room or hall table is a project that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike!