I’m so excited about this post because I’ve been wanting to make these Valentine’s Day topiaries for quite a while, and this blog was a good reason to finally try it out. I have seen similar topiaries with little rosebuds in stores like Pottery Barn and online from Wayfair, but they are so expensive. I’m going to explain how to make these and show you with simple steps. And did I mention that you can even find many of the materials at Dollar Tree?
I will show you two ways to make these topiaries. The first one we’ll call “The Crepe Paper Topiary”. Listed below are the materials needed. Many of the materials for either topiary were found at Dollar Tree, but in case you don’t live near a Dollar Tree or the one near you doesn’t have these materials, I’m going to give you links to Amazon, so that you can easily order what you will need to make your own.
**Just a note about the acrylic paint… The link above is for a set of 20 bottles of various colors. I was very happy with the quality, variety and price of this set. Much cheaper than buying one bottle at a time. (I like to pass it on when I’m especially happy with a product.)
Step 1 – cut crepe paper into strips
You will first need to cut 24-inch strips of the crepe paper streamers. If you don’t have crepe paper, you could substitute tissue paper, however, you will need to cut 2” x 24” strips. I don’t know the exact amount of strips you will need, but I can tell you that it’s a lot. When making my topiary, I would cut about 10 strips at a time and then roll them and glue them on, and then I’d cut some more.
step 2 – paint styrofoam ball
The next thing I did was paint the Styrofoam ball with acrylic paint to match (approximately) the color of the crepe paper. This is probably an unnecessary step, but I figured that this would prevent any of the white Styrofoam ball from showing, in case my little “rosettes” were spaced a little too far apart. In reality, though, you are gluing them so close to each other that I don’t think you can really see the Styrofoam. But I hate when people show you how to do something and they don’t quite give you ALL of the tips to make it exactly the way they did, so I’m just trying to prevent you from thinking that I was holding out on you.
Step 3 – stretch out crepe paper and fold 1/3 edge down
Take one of the strips of crepe paper and just roughly crumple it up and then straighten it out again. This is just to sort of “fluff up” the paper so the flowers have a bit more of a natural look to them. After you lay the paper back out on the table in front of you, flatten it out so that you can fold about 1/3 of it down, lengthwise. The purpose of this is so the edge of the rosettes look more finished and natural when you roll up the strips of paper. The edge of the paper that isn’t folded will be the side that gets glued to the ball.
step 4 – roll up rosettes
Now take one end of the strip of paper and start rolling it up. You want it to be fairly tight, but not super tight. I’m sorry – I hate when instructions are kind of ambiguous like that. You want it to be tight enough to stay together, but you also want it to look like layers of petals. Hopefully the photos I’m providing will give you a clearer picture. As you are rolling, keep pinching the non-folded side of the paper together, tightly. This is the side that you will glue to the Styrofoam.
step 5 – glue end of crepe paper down
When you reach the end of the strip of crepe paper, add a little dab of hot glue to it so that it doesn’t start to unroll. You also want to sort of push the middle of the rosette so that the roll is flush on the end. I’m so glad I took pictures because I never realized how difficult it can be to write clear instructions for some of my projects!
step 6 – glue rosette to styrofoam ball
Now that you have your rosette formed, place a decent-sized little area of hot glue on the ball and hold your rosette there for just a few seconds. Perfect! One down and about a million to go! I’m kidding, but there are a lot. This is easy, mindless and tedious work (I’m really selling it, aren’t I?), so it’s the perfect project to work on while you are sitting down watching TV or listening to a podcast. And, the end result is so pretty that it’s worth the effort, in my opinion.
step 7 – paint flowerpot (optional), cut floral foam to size and glue in flowerpot
You can leave the little flowerpot the way it is, but I painted mine pink with some acrylic paint (Magicfly Pink Macaroon). After it dries, take your piece of floral foam and set your flowerpot on top of it. Trace around the bottom of the pot so that you can cut out the floral foam to the exact size. I then used an exacto knife to cut the foam to size. Add some hot glue to the bottom of the pot and press the floral foam into the flowerpot.
Step 8 – Make the stem/tree trunk
To make your stem (or trunk?), take an unsharpened pencil (or a dowel, cut to the size of a pencil) and paint it with some acrylic paint (Magicfly Spring Green). I used a light green, but you could use any color you like. The easiest way to paint it is to push it into the center of your floral foam so that you don’t have to hold it as you paint. Also, put a dab of hot glue to the end of the pencil before pressing it into the Styrofoam ball.
Next, add another dab of hot glue onto the other end of the pencil and push your Styrofoam ball onto it, making it finally look like a topiary. You are almost done!
step 9 – finish it off with spanish moss and ribbon (ribbon is optional)
Finally, spread some hot glue onto the top of the floral foam and press some of your Spanish moss into the top of the pot to hide all of the foam. And, last but not least, I used hot glue to add a small strip of ribbon lace (or lacy ribbon?) around the top of the flower pot. It’s cute, right?
Your second (and much faster) option for making a topiary is to purchase little foam flowers and glue them to the Styrofoam ball instead of making all the little flowers with the crepe paper. It’s very pretty and easier and just gives a different look, but I like both methods. When making this style topiary, you can skip Steps 1-5, above.
For this topiary, I used four packages of foam mini-roses and each package contained 18 flowers.
An alternative idea for this project is to put these flower-covered Styrofoam balls into a pretty bowl in the center of your table to make a beautiful centerpiece. These topiaries will be a perfect Valentine’s Day decoration or gift, but you could also use them at baby showers or bridal showers for your table centerpieces or decorations, because you could use any color to fit any theme.
If you are someone who prefers to learn a project through video, click THIS LINK and you can watch my tutorial on YouTube.
BONUS Crafter’s Tips:
- I like to use the center part of a mason jar lid to sit under my hot glue gun and catch any drips of glue that fall when I’m working on a project. After the drips cool, just pull them off and you have a clean surface to use again next time. (see photo below)
- Keep a small bowl of ice water nearby when working with hot glue. If you accidentally get some of the hot glue on your finger, dip your finger into the water immediately and it will prevent the burn from getting worse and you can easily remove the glue from your hand.
I hope you make one of these topiaries, and if you do, I’d love to see a picture, so post them below in the Comments section of this page! If you enjoyed the content of this blog post, I would greatly appreciate it if you would click “Share” on the Facebook or Pinterest buttons below. Thank you so much for stopping by my website. Have a great week, and find something to celebrate!