Reclaimed Silk Flower Topiary

This reclaimed silk flower topiary started out as an idea I had after making some miniature topiary center pieces for a bridal shower. For the miniature topiary base I used some shot glasses that I purchased at a local thrift store. As I looked through my craft box, I found I had all the materials needed to make a big topiary from leftover craft materials I had collected over the years. I found a large shabby Styrofoam ball, a dowel rod, a variety of silk flowers and leaves left over from my many previous floral craft projects. I had an old planter in the basement that I cleaned up and decided to use for the base.

I first painted the dowel rod with a brown craft acrylic paint so that it would resemble a tree branch. Once the painted dried, I inserted the brown dowel rod into the center of the Styrofoam ball. The Styrofoam ball was kind of beat up, but it didn’t matter because it was going to be covered with the flowers and leaves.

I had many large yellow sunflowers, purple little blossoms, and many leaves in various shapes, sizes and shades of green, so I decided these were the materials I would use to make the topiary. I then separated all of the leaf varieties and chose the ones I would use to cover the background surface of the Styrofoam ball. I started by cutting the flower stems and leafy branches to a uniform length, leaving the stems long enough to insert into the Styrofoam ball. On a table, I laid out the flowers and leaves to get an idea of how to evenly distribute them over the surface of the Styrofoam ball. I then started inserting the flowers and leaves in a small area, and continued until I found a very nice pattern, which I continued until I covered the entire surface of the Styrofoam ball.

Once I finished covering the surface with the flowers and leaves, the topiary looked very nice and full, but then the dowel rod looked kind of thin in comparison to the volume of the topiary, so I went to my backyard and found a couple of small tree branches that I thought might look good tied to the dowel rod for extra dimension. It worked, because after using some gold ribbon to tie the branches to the dowel rod, the branches definitely added more bulk, but also made the dowel rod look like a branch as well.

For weight, I mixed some Plaster of Paris and poured it into the planter and held the dowel rod in the center until the plaster dried enough to let go. I let the plaster dry for a few hours before touching up the flowers. I added a few remnant leaves and flowers at the base of the topiary to hide the smoothness and white color of the plaster base. And although I used Plaster of Paris, other items such as rocks, dirt, cement and reused Styrofoam can also be used to weigh down the topiary. So have fun looking through your craft supplies and maybe you’ll be surprised to find that you have a lot of fun materials to make your own topiary in any size, shape and color.

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