Topiary (or "tree of happiness") is a small ornamental tree, which acts as an interior decoration and is often used as an element of the festive table setting. It can be made independently from any artificial or natural materials, and it will take very little time. From this material you will learn how to do topiary with your own hands in several variations, and step-by-step photos and videos at the end of the article will help simplify the task.
The basic scheme for creating topiary
Having mastered this master class for beginners in the production of topiary, you will be able to create trees of various designs, performing the basic steps and changing only the material.
Initially, you need to decide on the style, colors and materials, depending on the purpose and future habitat of the tree of happiness.
Stage 1. Preparation of materials and tools
- Ball of foam, plastic or floral foam (diameter 8-12 cm). You can also use a tennis ball,
- Decor for crown,
- Pencil, strong clean stick or twig - for the trunk,
- Paint, varnish or ribbons for the decoration of the stem,
- A cup, a mug, a small earthen pot, etc.
- The fixing composition based on alabaster, gypsum, putty or cement-sand mortar and tools for its mixing,
- Materials for masking fixative mixture (dry moss, grass),
- Scissors or cutter,
- Glue gun,
- Nippers or side cutters.
Stage 2. Create a crown
- Denote on the ball the area of attachment of the trunk and mark a small border around. This will help to fix the barrel, without touching the decor,
- We carry out the design of the base: first we “pretend” the part to the right place, then apply glue on it and fix the selected element. It is necessary to work with glue quickly so that it does not have time to soak,
- First you need to glue the largest elements, then smaller, then the smallest,
- The white base can be painted in the color of the decor elements so that it is not visible if there are small gaps.
Stage 3. Mount the trunk
In the manufacture of crafts, the stem part deepens in the ball and in the pot, so you need to correctly calculate its length. This will help the formula:
- Barrel length = 1/3 of the ball's diameter + desired barrel length between the crown and the pot + the height of the pot.
In the previously marked area make a hole about 2-3 cm in depth to secure the trunk. Fill the bottom with hot melt glue, then insert a branch or pencil until it stops. You also need to gradually fill the remaining space with glue to the top and mask the place of attachment.
Stage 4. Binder mixture
- Dilute the mixture according to the instructions and fill it with a pot, departing from the edges of 2.5 cm,
- We fix the topiary tree and keep it in solution until it grasps, then we leave it overnight until it hardens,
- The best option is alabaster. One pot is enough 1 kg of powder, mixed in 600 ml of water to the consistency of thick cream.
Corrugated Paper Topiary
This simple original topiary on March 8, made with your own hands will be the perfect decoration on this festive day.
- Ball diameter of 12 cm
- Barrel (30 cm in length) and ribbon for its design,
- Medium density corrugated paper,
- Mix for fixation
- Moss dry for decoration,
- Glue gun.
How to make a paper topiary:
- From corrugated paper we cut out strips 60 cm long and 5 cm wide, we turn them in roses. To do this, turn the paper ribbon to 1/3, then bend one of its ends diagonally at an angle of 45 degrees and roll it into a “sausage”, making 3 turns: the heart of the bud will turn out. We wrap the free end to the outside, and we continue to fold the bud - this is how the first petal will turn out,
- We continue to twist the bud by tucking the free end until the tape ends. The base of the roses fastened with a glue gun. It will take about 80 such blanks,
- Mark up the ball and begin pasting paper blanks, then fasten the barrel,
- Fill the pot with a mixture or floral foam and fix the tree at the base,
- We decorate the near-barrel space with dry moss, gluing it with hot melt,
- Topiary is decorated with a beautiful bow tied to a stem.
Money topiary can often be found in many homes. It not only fits perfectly into the interior, but also, according to popular beliefs, attracts wealth to the house.
For manufacturing will require:
- 10-kopeck coins,
- Ball made of foam rubber
- Thick wire
- Satin Ribbons,
- Scotch tape, scissors, glue.
Instructions for making a photo:
- Glue the surface of the foam ball with adhesive tape
- We plant coins on glue, starting from the center. The following money is fixed at a slight inclination, as shown in the photo,
- Thus, we paste over the whole ball, leaving a place for the trunk,
- We wrap the wire with ribbons, cover one of its tips with glue, then connect it to the base,
- We decorate the tree crown with rhinestones using PVC glue,
- The pot can be replaced with a simple cup, covered with "golden" sparkles,
- We make small loops of ribbons, connect them together, glue the stem top,
- We decorate the crafts with large beads.
Artificial Flower Topiary
Such a tree made of artificial flowers is a perfect decoration for a mantelpiece, a dining table, a coffee table.
- Clay pot,
- Ball base (10 cm in diameter),
- Brush roller from foam rubber,
- Artificial flower hydrangea - 2 pcs. (or other flowers),
- Cotton ribbon in contrasting colors,
- Awl or stationery knife,
- Pencil or branch,
- Glue gun,
- Acrylic paint,
- Nippers or side cutter.
The scheme of work at home:
- Paint the ball under the tone of the flowers with paint, give to dry,
- We separate the “flowers from the stalks”: with the help of a side cutter or nippers, we leave tails 2 cm long from the wire stalks. If the flowers are without wire, cut the "stalks" at the root. In the future, such products can simply be glued,
- On the ball, allocate space for the stem part, sticking flowers with the same gap between them. The petals should, as it were, lay over each other in such a way that the ball under them is invisible,
- In the ball we will cut a hole for the trunk with a knife (or an awl), fill it with glue, attach the base according to the recommendations of the 3rd step of the Basic Instruction. Then glue to the base of the crown one or more leaves (photo below). You can fix a sheet of hydrangea with a pin. After we decorate the empty near-barrel space with flowers,
- We will put the tree of happiness in a fixing mix (Basic instruction - Step 4) and “disguise the soil”,
- We make a bow of cotton ribbon and tie it on the trunk to the very crown.
Satin Ribbon Topiary
Beautiful crafts made of satin ribbons will look great on a ceremonial table for any occasion.
- Glue gun,
- Satin (or any other) ribbon of different colors - a lot,
- Floristic foam or fixative mixture
- Any pots or earthen pot,
- Ball of floristic foam or foam,
- Material for decorating the base of the tree,
- Tailor-studs (with small caps).
How to make a topiary of tapes with your own hands:
- Take the spray paint and paint the pot, let it dry,
- Insert a stick into the ball according to the Basic Instructions (Step 3),
- Set the tree harvesting in fixing the mixture (Step 4 according to the basic instructions). You can use and floral foam
- We will cut the ribbon bundle into a large number of ribbons 7-8 cm long. Do not mix tapes that are different in color. So it will be easier for you to evenly distribute them over the ball,
- We take the ribbon and make a loop from it (photo below). In the place where the ends of the tape are joined, we stick a carnation, then insert it into the ball completely. Repeat the manipulations until the full decoration with ribbons of the entire ball,
- After making the crown crafts, put in a pot of stones, paper, quiet or other material for decoration.
- Stick or branch,
- Bright napkins - a few pieces,
- Gypsum (or other mixture),
- Scissors and stapler
- Polymer adhesive,
- Sphere basis (from polyfoam or plastic),
- Different laces and ribbons, paper (can be cloth) and decor for the pot.
Topiary napkins do it yourself:
- First we make simple flowers out of napkins and clips. Fix a stapler napkin, folded in several layers, cut out in a circle and in the form of petals. It will take 15-20 flowers,
- We paste the ball with a napkin to make it easier to secure the workpieces, we wrap the trunk with tape, dry it,
- Pour over the ball with napkin flowers, decorate the tree with beads, lace, bows,
- We will dissolve the plaster and “plant” the tree of happiness in the pot with the trunk, fill it with plaster, hold it until the composition hardens,
- Decorate the pot outside, decorate the plaster.
Coffee Bean Tree
To make a coffee topiary you will need:
- Brown acrylic paint
- Barrel (tubule, stick, branch),
- Waste paper or newspaper
- Coffee beans,
- Base (foam or plastic ball),
- Glue sticks and glue gun,
- Burlap or similar fabric,
- Fixation solution,
- Decor for the decoration of crafts.
Mastering the topiary of coffee beans with your own hands:
- Connect the ball (crown base) and a tube or stick (trunk),
- Tape the base with newspapers or paper, paint brown, dry,
- At this time, prepare the "pot". To do this, we bag a sacking,
- Paste the crown with coffee beans, dry it,
- Fill the pot with a fixative composition and set the happiness tree from the coffee into it,
- After the mixture dries, decorate it with coffee beans,
- Next, decorate crafts according to your desire.
The art of topiary has a long history. If now this is one of the directions in needlework, then earlier topiary was called a garden with decoratively cut shrubs and trees.
In ancient times, the art of cutting trees and shrubs was very much appreciated. The first mentions of this refer to the times of the Empire of Rome and the famous gardens of Semiramis. The nobility had gardeners who were considered to be true masters of their work and could create original shapes from the crowns of trees and bushes. The flowering of this art falls on the 16-17 centuries.
And in the beginning of the 18th century, the fashion for vegetable architecture came to Russia. Skilled craftsmen created figures of people, animals and birds from the bushes.
Now interest in this art is still gaining momentum, especially in the countries of Europe.
In Britain topiary brought to perfection and have long been the subject of national pride. They decorate parks, squares, alleys and hedges.
Designers, decorators and simple needlewomen from all over the world made their own topiary tree, gaining increasing relevance.
Master classes on creating topiary made of various materials (artificial flowers, satin ribbons, felt, organza or chiffon, sisal, coffee, napkins, seashells, etc.), see our Grandiose article about topiary yourself!
Basic instructions for beginners
Topiary even the most complex design are made about the same principle. Having mastered the basic manufacturing technology, you can create a variety of topiary, changing only the materials for decoration.
So, to make a mini-tree with your own hands, you need to create it:
Step 1. Design planning
Topiary can be different not only in design, but also in service life. Before you get to work, think about why you need a “tree of happiness” and where will it live? The purpose and future place of topiary will determine its style, color scheme and even materials for its creation.
If you want to make topiary for a festive table setting, then the materials can be used not too long-term - paper, napkins, sweets, fresh flowers, fruits. If you want to make a topiary as a gift or for interior decoration, it is better to use a more reliable decor - cones, artificial flowers, coffee beans, ribbons, organza, etc.
In the next selection of photos you can learn ideas for the design of thematic and festive topiary.
Sweet candy sweets for a children's party
Halloween decoration with potted sweets
Halloween decorations for pumpkin seeds, ribbons and sweets in tea cans
Easter trees of eggs, artificial flowers, satin ribbons and moss
Christmas topiary made of artificial leaves and holly berries, cones and ribbons with a stem from a branch
Candy tree for the holiday table
Topiary for a festive table setting of artificial flowers, natural twigs, dry moss and satin ribbons
Fresh flowers topiary for the holiday table
But a selection of photo examples of design exclusively interior topiary (scroll through!).
Step 2. Preparation of materials
To make your own topiary, you will need:
- Foam ball with a diameter of 8-12 cm (sold in many stationery and art stores) or a ball of floristic foam (sold in stores for gardening and flower shops).
If desired, the ball can be made independently of foam, the same floristic foam, foam, papier-mâché, etc. However, the crown base can be not only in the shape of a ball, but also in the form of a heart, a star, numbers, letters, animal figures and etc.
- Decor for the crown - depending on your idea, use flowers, satin ribbons, organza, coffee beans, bank notes, etc.
- Barrel - it can be made from a dry and clean branch, a simple pencil or any other stick. In addition, the trunk and the pot can replace a high candlestick.
- Decor for the barrel - the barrel can at least be covered with a matt varnish or painted. And at most - wrap one or two tapes.
- Cache-pot - it is most convenient to pour the mixture into a clay pot, but also any nice cups, mugs, vintage buckets, etc. will do.
- The fixing mixture is best for making topiary with your own hands a mixture of alabaster, as it quickly hardens, almost does not crack and is cheap. You can also use a cement-sand mortar, gypsum or putty. However, not only binding mixtures can fix a tree in a pot, but all the same foam, floristic foam or stones.
- All for mixing the mixture - capacity, water, chopstick, etc.
- Decor for masking fixing mixture - to create an imitation of the soil cover, it is best to use natural materials: dry moss, small pebbles, expanded clay, sisal fiber. Also artificial moss and stones will do. Candies and dragees can be put into the pots of “edible” topiary.
- Glue gun and a few sticks of glue - if necessary, it can be replaced with glue like "Moment", but the best thing to do is not, because the glue in the gun is more convenient, and most importantly - allows you to remove random "web".
- Scissors or cutter.
- Tailor's studs with a very small cap (optional, used in addition to or instead of glue, for example, for fastening beads).
- Side cutters or nippers for cutting the trunk or any decorative elements.
At the preparatory stage, divide the decorative parts for the crown into groups - for example, large, medium and small. So it will be more convenient for you to alternate the decor and distribute it evenly over the ball.
Step 3. Create the crown
First, you need to mark up on the ball - mark the place for fastening the trunk and around it mark the border beyond which, for some time, you don’t need to go pasting the decor. Thanks to this technique, in the future you will be able to easily fix the barrel in the ball without spoiling the decor.
Marking for mounting the trunk
As soon as the glue warms up, proceed to the design of the ball in the following order: “fitting” the part without glue — applying glue to the right place — fixing the part. Remember that you need to act quickly so that the glue does not have time to be absorbed into the foam. That is why the decor is better to first apply and try on.
Here are a few more details:
- It is necessary to glue the decor on the ball from the large elements to the small ones. For example, if you make a topiary of artificial flowers, then first glue on the ball the largest buds, then the middle ones, and only then small flowers and additional beads.
- Some decor can be fixed on the ball with the help of tailor pins-studs. But the best way to combine cloves with glue.
- If some parts have bases of wire (for example, the same artificial flowers), then their “tails” should be left about 2 cm. Then you can not only stick the decor, but also stick it into the ball.
- To make the white base ball less noticeable in the gaps between the pasted parts, it can be painted to match the decor.
Step 4. The trunk decor and its attachment to the crown
Now we need to work with the barrel. As already mentioned, making it your own hands is not difficult from a branch, pencil or any stick.
If you use a branch, then you can not paint it, but only cover it with a matte varnish so that the natural beauty of the tree can be seen. Если вы используете деревянную палку, то ее можно лишь слегка затонировать, искусственно состарить и пр. Если же вам хочется замаскировать поверхность ствола полностью, то вы можете обмотать вокруг него атласные ленты, ткань, бумагу, веревку или полностью покрасить.
Какой же длины он должен быть? Так как ствол углубляется как в горшок, так и в шар, то рассчитать его длину можно по следующей формуле:
- Barrel length = 1/3 of the ball's diameter + pot height + desired barrel length between the crown and the pot.
To fasten the barrel, you need to make a hole in the ball about 2-3 cm deep in the ball (depending on its size) at the marking with an awl and a knife. When the hole is ready, fill its bottom with thermo-glue and push the crown onto the barrel until it stops. Then continue to hold the barrel and gradually fill the hole with glue around the barrel.
Fastening two twisted trunks
- Keep in mind that thermo glue will melt the foam and deepen the hole even more. In order to prevent the barrel from penetrating into the crown more than 1/3 of its diameter, small pieces of paper can be laid between the layers of glue.
As soon as the trunk is fixed in the ball, disguise the place of fastening with the decor.
Step 5. Preparation of the binder mixture and fixing the tree in the pot
It is time to “plant” the resulting tree in a pot. For this you need:
- Departing from the edge of the pot about 2.5 cm, put a mark - to this level will be poured the mixture. If there is a hole at the bottom of the pot, you need to close it with scotch tape or thermal glue.
Filling the hole in the pot with glue
- Dilute the mixture according to the manufacturer's instructions and fill the pot with it.
- Align and fix the topiary in a pot, holding its stem until the mixture hardens.
- Leave the mixture overnight-day until completely dry.
Fixing the trunk in a mixture of alabaster
Hint: As already noted, it is best to use alabaster as a binder mixture. To fill 1 medium pot, dilute about 1 kg of alabaster with 600 ml of water. The mixture is kneaded for about 1-2 minutes to the consistency of thick cream, and then quickly poured into the pot and topiary is fixed in it for 2-3 minutes.
Step 6. Dressing the cover of the "soil" and the pot
Hooray! The topiary is almost ready, it remains only to create an imitation of the soil in the pot and mask the fixative mixture. If you use sisal fiber (see photo), shells, artificial grass or moss, then they need to be fixed with a small amount of glue.