DIY Topiary: step by step instructions
DIY Topiary: step by step instructions

The history of the creation of topiary goes back to the distant times of the Roman Empire, where gardeners beautifully decorated patrician gardens, cutting bushes and trees. Many centuries have passed since then, but the art of creating such structures has been preserved to this day. Needlework masters came up with their own, reduced form of artificial trees that serve as decor items in the room.

coffee bean topiary

Do-it-yourself topiaries are made from absolutely any materials, however, there are general rules for working on such crafts.

In the article we will consider in detail the main methods for making small trees, where it is better to start work, what materials to purchase. We will also describe several options for self-manufacturing the crown of a tree of the desired shape. After reading, even novice masters can easily cope with the task.

Required Materials

In order not to be distracted from the process of creating a topiary with your own hands, you need to prepare all the components of the craft in advance. First of all, the shape of the crown of the tree is chosen - a cone,spherical, heart shaped. Sometimes for a man's birthday, the top of the tree is decorated in the shape of a dollar. Traditional do-it-yourself topiary has the shape of a ball. In needlework stores, you can buy ready-made foam figures. It is most convenient to use them in your work, but if you didn’t find such a blank or they simply don’t sell it in your locality, don’t be discouraged, the article will also discuss the independent production of crown blanks at home.

shell and sisal topiary

Every tree must have a trunk. With this object, too, you can dream up. You can strengthen the crowns on one thick and short stem using a wooden stick or cardboard sleeve, attach a branched tree branch, or twist it into any irregular shape from thick wire.

The resulting tree is placed in a flower pot, tin can or any decorative object, such as a cup or teapot.

Next, consider step-by-step instructions for a do-it-yourself topiary.

Crown base

If you bought a ready-made balloon or a heart made of foam, you have greatly simplified your work. If not, then let's look at two options for making the base yourself.

homemade ball for topiary
  1. You can perfectly make a ball from several layers of newspaper. The paper is first crumpled in the hands, then twisted in the palms into a ball and turns into the next sheet. So that the newspaper does not unwind, the last layer is made of napkins,glued around the ball on PVA. You can additionally strengthen the structure with threads - simple, knitting yarn or thin hemp rope.
  2. If you recently had a repair and left a can of mounting foam, then you can make an excellent DIY base for a topiary out of it. You will need a balloon, the inside of which is washed with water. Then it is stretched with a hole on the nose of the can, and the foam is blown into the rubber product. Do not overdo it so that the balloon does not burst! With your hands, while the foam has not yet hardened, you can give the base any shape - a ball, a cone, a heart, etc. When the whole mass has seized, the rubber coating is simply cut off and thrown away.

Top decoration

The article presents photos of do-it-yourself topiary, of different shapes and using a variety of materials. On the prepared base, it is easiest to stick the same paper flowers cut out according to the template on the PVA. If this is your first time doing crafts with a child, then this option is perfect. Be sure to choose double-sided paper. In the middle of bulk flowers, you can insert pebbles or beads. It is advisable to fix heavy and bulky parts with a glue gun.

Let's take a closer look at what you can create the crown of an artificial tree from.

how to glue a ball of topiary

It could be:

  • Flowers or satin ribbon bows.
  • Coffee beans.
  • Sisal fibers (can be twisted into small balls).
  • Artificial flowers or DIY made fromcrepe paper or napkins.
  • Pieces of organza or balls of fabric with synthetic winterizer inside.

This is the basic elements we have covered. To cover the entire ball of parts, you need to prepare a lot, so the preparatory work is carried out in advance.

Additional craft items

If you glue the shape of the ball only with flowers or coffee, then the craft will look poor and simple. It is better to add bright accents to the topiary already made with your own hands (you have already read the instructions for making). These can be shells and cinnamon sticks, star anise cones and stars, dried lemon or orange mugs, plastic ladybugs or butterflies. You can alternate elements, for example, stick one sisal ball, and glue a paper flower next to it.

paper flower topiary

Also carefully choose the color scheme of the elements so that they look aesthetically together.

Finishing the stem

The rod should match in size with the shape of the top of the craft. If the ball is large, then it is better to make the stem short and even. Sometimes a tree is made using a natural branched branch, on each end of which a ball is put on. They can be from 2 to 5 pieces. You will get a small artificial bonsai.

Many masters experiment not only with the crown, but also with the shape of the stem. To create an exclusive version of the topiary with your own hands (step-by-step explanation below), you need to prepare a strong thick wire. With the help of pliers, it can be given any shape, for example, a twisted spiral ortwist several parts together, as in the photo in the article.

satin ribbon topiary

If you use a bark-free branch, then you can not decorate it with anything, but simply paint it in the desired color with acrylic paints. If there is a wire in the work, but its diameter does not suit you, you can always increase it. To do this, use additional layers of paper or fabric, any napkins. So that the thickening is not visible, the entire rod is wrapped with threads or a thin rope. Many craftsmen spiral around a stick or cardboard sleeve with green or brown satin ribbons.

How to strengthen the rod

If you want to make a durable craft, then you need to use gypsum or alabaster to strengthen the stem. A mixture of powder and water is poured into the container prepared for the topiary. It is better to knead it with a spatula or an unnecessary spoon in a separate bowl. When the consistency of thick sour cream is reached, then everything is done correctly, you can pour it into a tree stand. If you get a liquid mixture, then add gypsum, if thick - water.

pouring plaster into a pot

The solution is poured into the flower pot not to the very top. It is necessary to leave a couple of centimeters for decorating the surface so that the gypsum is not visible. Until it hardens, a stick or wire is inserted. Be careful that the arrangement is perpendicular, otherwise the topiary will turn out to be crooked. You can cut a support out of cardboard so as not to hold the item in your hand for a long time. After hardening, the cardboard can be cut off. The ball can be put on a stick orimmediately, or after the solution has solidified. It doesn't matter much. The main thing is that after making a hole corresponding to the diameter of the rod in the crown, drip a little inside the glue. Then the branch will firmly hold the craft. You will not need to worry about the integrity of the product when carrying. If you want to make a tree as a gift to a loved one, then use polyethylene gift wrapping to save the topiary on the road. To do this, the pot is placed in the center of a large square, all edges are bent to the middle, above the tree, and the ends are tied to a magnificent satin ribbon bow. You already know how to make a topiary with your own hands, let's look at a few festive craft options.

Christmas tree

Recently, fighters for the conservation of nature recommend that all the inhabitants of the planet for the New Year do not buy live trees, but make festive handmade crafts. It is easy to make a New Year's topiary with your own hands. Use small Christmas balls left over from last year, tinsel, colorful rain, plastic hearts or snowflakes.

New Year's topiary

A flower pot can be decorated with a bunch of thin serpentine, plant a small Santa Claus on it or insert sweets for kids. On the festive table, you can make a temporary topiary of tangerines and chocolates. In this case, the rod is installed not in gypsum, but in a piece of foam, which is cut to size and tightly inserted into the container. Give the child the opportunity to show imagination and paint tangerines with markers by drawing funny faces - eyes, mouth andnose.

Wedding gift

A pair of heart-shaped topiary can be made for a wedding feast. Such trees are placed on a table intended for gifts or for a cake. The contours of the foam hearts are wrapped with jute or sisal rope. A beautiful curl hangs down the center of the notch. Then both the stem and the heart are wrapped with a white or contrasting thread, between the turns of which half beads are attached. The halves of the upper parts are decorated with artificial roses. The pot is chosen light or white. The top piping is pasted over with a satin ribbon with a bow. The plaster base is covered with small bouquets of flowers.

heart-shaped topiary


The article presents several do-it-yourself topiary in the photo, a step-by-step explanation will help novice masters do this job with ease. Bring your creative ideas to life with our tips. Good luck with your work!

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