The ancient art of topiary was brought to this country by the early colonists. You can carry on the tradition with these easy projects. Making cone and ball artificial topiaries take about an hour to make. You can use all sorts of different materials to create a topiary from your minds eye. This year we created a fun Christmas topiary for the website using glazed fruits and ribbons.
- 4″ clay pot (bigger depending on the size topiary your make)
- Two 4″ Styrofoam balls (or appropriate size to fit the pot)
- Green spray paint
- Serrated kitchen knife
- 10″ stick from the yard (or a stick twice the height of the pot plus 2″)
- Low-melt glue & hot glue gun
- Little Dipper glue pot
- Dried boxwood branches cut 3″ to 5″
- Variety of dried flowers
- Wood floral pick
- Spanish moss
- 2 to 3 yards each of two colors of 1/8″ ribbon
- U pins
Using a serrated kitchen knife, slice off one of the 4″ Styrofoam balls approximately one-third of the way down. If you’re having difficulty slicing through the Styrofoam, run wax over the blade of the knife. Push the ball into the clay pot with the flat sliced side up. If desired, hot-glue the ball into the planter. You may add small stones to the bottom of the pot to add weight and stabilize the pot, but it is usually not necessary.
Apply a little low-melt glue (which won’t melt the Styrofoam) around the stick to hold it in place and then push the stick into the center of the Styrofoam so it stands straight up.
Spray the second 4″ Styrofoam ball with green spray paint so it won’t be seen through the boxwood branches. Make a hole in the ball by pushing it onto the stick; remove the ball.
Place your left index finger in the hole and, holding the ball with your left hand, use the wood floral pick to make small holes in the ball to hold the boxwood branches.
Dip the boxwood branches into hot glue in the Little Dipper glue pot, and place them in the holes of the ball. Continue until the ball is covered.
Add a variety of dried flowers, balancing colors around the ball. Dip each flower in hot glue, and glue in place among the boxwood branches. There’s no need to punch additional holes in the ball.
Apply a little hot glue to the stick to hold the ball in place and then push the boxwood-and-flower-covered ball onto the stick in the pot.
Apply a little hot glue around the top of the Styrofoam in the pot, and add small pieces of Spanish moss to hide the bottom ball and create a finished look.
Make a small bow by looping two colors of 1/8″ ribbon together, then secure to the upper ball with a U pin.
The fragrance of dried fruit and cinnamon sticks adds to the seasonal impact of a ball topiary.
Cover a heart-shaped Styrofoam base with rosebuds to create a topiary wreath.
About Philip Travers