Friday, 6 December 2013

DIY - Rustic woodland topiary tutorial using natural and found items

Currently, I'm without a vehicle. It's in the shop right now with a couple of issues, so in a sense I'm grounded at home for the time being! Because of this, my goal is to keep cabin fever from setting in. This led to rummaging through my garden shed for items that I could use to make something. I found a few old clay pots, a styrofoam cone, some oasis and a whole lot of burlap, things that have been kicking around for a while, and thought I could put something together with them. I haven't made a topiary in quite a while, so that's what I decided to do!
First thing is to put some oasis in the claypot and find a branch that is a suitable size for the topiary's trunk. It has to be sturdy enough to sink into both the clay pot's oasis, and the styrofoam cone form. I had my glue gun on hand to secure it a bit around the base so it's sturdy and won't wiggle while it's being decorated.
 Next, I cut strips of burlap and folded them in half, pinning them onto the cone with fern pins. It's kind of like roofing in the sense that you start at the bottom and work up, which means each layer covers the previous one. The burlap loops should be larger at the bottom and gradually get smaller as you go up, which mimics nature. The top worked out well as the burlap was naturally frayed a bit, so it made a good nest for the bird!
 Because I wanted to make a natural looking topiary, I decided not to doll it up with plastic stuff. I didn't want it to be too flashy so I decided to go with orange slices. Apple slices work well too, and I was so pleased with the look, I'm going to dry more and make a wreath. (But that will be another post!).
The orange slices were also pinned on the form, just underneath the burlap, which will hide mechanics, i.e. the fern pins.
Moss, birch bark, cinnamon sticks, grapevine, oak disks and mushroom birds
Other assorted natural items that can be used on a topiary. Think wreaths and dried arrangements, too! The little mushroom bird shown here in the picture ended up on the top of my tree!
The finished product! When I look at it now, it occurs to me that I could have whitewashed the pot. I might also add bits of moss throughout the burlap too, just for more decoration. The moss on the base is great for hiding the oasis. You can use cinnamon sticks instead of a branch, which is a nice alternative for the topiary trunk.

If you look at the jade plant next to the topiary, (right in bottom photo)  you'll see a star made of branches. That was a quick creation with a few extra sticks and the glue gun. Very easy to make!

Thanks for stopping by! Fingers crossed that my car is ready soon so I can get out and get some Christmas shopping done!


Gardeningbren said...

I do like this..especially the burlap, a comfort of earthy texture and the smell of the dried oranges. Great idea.

Wall Flower Studio said...

Thanks very much, Bren!
It was really easy to make. I was thinking that dried apple slices would work well, too. But yes, the oranges do smell nice!
It's very cozy here right now with all the snow falling.
Enjoy your week. : )