Tuesday, August 7, 2012

D.I.Y Boxwood Topiary :: Take That, Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs!

Many thanks to my recent addiction to design and home decor blogs, I've been jonesing to streamline our mantle which is currently home to no less than 13 framed pictures, 2 candlesticks and a large monogram "M." If I'm being honest, I've been jonesing to streamline our entire family room- transforming it from "less family" to "more Pottery Barn chic." 

However, let's be honest. I don't have a Pottery Barn Budget. 

After spotting this set of topiaries in a recent Ballard Designs catalog, I knew they would be the perfect addition to my streamlined mantle but at $69.00 for a single low ball topiary, my mantle had another thing coming. 

After scouring the internet for a cheaper alternative and coming up empty-handed with each hit of the "enter" key, I thought to myself, "this can't be that hard to make!" And so I set about hitting up the nearest Michaels and gathering my supplies. 

Before I share the DIY, take another look at the finished product:

Although a lot a bit time consuming, this project is absolutely worth the monotonous plastic-leaf-picking and floral-foam-sticking. Allow yourself roughly two hours to complete a single topiary such as the one pictured above. 

Here's What You'll Need: 

1. Artificial Boxwood garland
2. Floral Foam Ball (4" pictured above)
3. 1 small Floral Foam Brick
4. Stick (trimmed to desired length; I found mine in the backyard)
5. Moss (variety as desired, can be found in the floral aisle in most craft stores)
6. Newspaper or other "hearty" paper to crumple
7. Hot glue gun and 3-5 glue sticks
8. Decorative pot or other planter of your choosing

Here's What You'll Do: 

1. Begin by plucking off the flowerless boxwood stems from your garland. This is the most time consuming part of the project and the most frustrating. You only want to use the boxwood "leaves" and stems for this project.

2. Trim down your stems, leaving enough stem to stick in the foam ball. Each "branch" yielded two "stick-able" boxwood pieces. 

3. Place your floral brick into the base of your planter. Trim if necessary. Fill in the sides of your planter with crumpled paper (helps to secure the brick). 

4. Place your stick into the center of your floral brick. Place your empty floral foam ball on top of the stick. 

5. Remove the stick from both the brick and the ball. Apply hot glue to the inside hole in the foam brick base. Insert your stick and apply pressure until set. 

6. Begin sticking your boxwood stems into your foam ball. Repeat until the entire ball is covered- Do not fill in the hole made by the stick. 

7. Apply hot glue inside of the hole in the foam fall. Place ball on top of your stick and apply pressure until set. 

8. Last but not least, begin applying hot glue to the floral brick and newspaper in your planter. Attach moss as desired- making sure coverage is even. 

Ta-da! A gorgeous addition to any mantle and for a fraction of the retail price found in those "popular designer stores!" 

Happy crafting, Loyals!


  1. So I'm a huge fan of looking through the Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids catalogs to steal all my decorating ideas. My Dad is a carpenter so he has made a TON of their pieces for a fraction of the cost. I have also made a few wreaths and other little decor. It is such a satisfying feeling when you can achieve the same cuteness for a fraction of the cost. Bam!! LOVE your topiary. You did a fantastic job mama :-)

  2. Very, very cute, AP! My mantel thanks you! It has been in need of some cute decorations to go on it when it's not Halloween and Christmas (basically the only time it's decorated).

  3. Wow, that's quite a bit of a price difference. :) It looks great.

  4. DONE AND DONE! I love this. Onto my new mantle it will go :) My Christmas wreath is Pottery Barn inspired and only cost me 1/4 of the price to make! I almost think it looks better than the $100 PB version.

  5. Hello...you did AWESOME!! I'm thinking my mantle may need one {or three} of these! Good job mama! Love the price too!

  6. Get it, Martha! Looks great especially with your big M inital!


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