All the dried flowers that I used in this design can be grown and harvested from your garden or purchased from a craft store. If you want to grow your own, sow the seeds or plant transplants in the spring and collect the blooms over the course of the summer.
- 6″ terra cotta pot
- 6″ plastic foam ball
- 3 twigs about 21″ long
- Duct tape
- Plaster of Paris
- Disposable container to mix plaster of Paris
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
- floral u-pins
- Jute twine
- Dried flowers (Allen used cock’s comb, celosia ‘Pink Flamingo’, sunflowers, bittersweet, gomphrena ‘Strawberry Fields’, maples leaves and Mexican sage.)
- Sheet moss
First create the form. You will need a clay pot, a round foam ball, and a bundle of sticks to create the trunk. I used 3 strong stems about the diameter of a pencil and tied them together with some jute twine.
These topiaries can be top heavy, so it is important to add weight to the terra cotta pot to keep it from toppling over. This can be done with plaster of Paris. Not only does it weigh down the container, but it also allows you to anchor the trunk of your topiary.
Cover the drainage hole of the terra cotta pot with duct tape.
Mix your plaster of Paris according to the directions.
Next take the bundle of twigs and place them in the center of the container and pour in the plaster of Paris up to about 1/2 inch from the top. Hold the twigs in place until the plaster sets, which takes about 2 or 3 minutes. Then allow the plaster to dry. Depending on the humidity, this may take 30 minutes.
Once the plaster hardens, trim off any excess trunk from the top so that it rises 16″ above the plaster of Paris base.
Next push a hole into the bottom of your foam ball by pressing it down about 4″ onto the end of the trunk. Pull it back off the trunk to begin adding dried flowers.
Now it’s time to have some fun and get creative. You can use all kinds of dried flowers and berries to decorate the foam ball. Select several sizes of flowers. Use large blooms to create visual impact, as well as medium to small blooms as soft fillers. For this topiary I used an assortment of dried cock’s comb, celosia ‘Pink Flamingo’, sunflowers, bittersweet, gomphrena ‘Strawberry Fields’, maples leaves and Mexican sage. If these aren’t available in your area, improvise with flowers you can find.
Begin by attaching the larger flowers, such as sunflowers, to the foam ball with hot glue.
Fill in with bundles of the smaller flowers by pinning them with the floral u-pins.
Once the entire ball is covered, attach it to the trunk with a little hot glue. Then wrap a bit of the bittersweet or similar vine around the trunk, also attaching it with hot glue.
To complete the project hot glue pieces of sheet moss to the plaster base in the terra cotta pot. This will conceal the plaster and give the topiary a finished look.