Saturday, 24 March 2012

DIY: Faux Boxwood Topiary

Kristen (my right-hand woman, partner in crime, best friend, drinking pal, etc.) was looking to make a centerpiece for her Baba's 80th birthday shindig next weekend. For those who don't have a Baba, that's Croatian for 'grandmother'. Anyway, Kristen decided on making a faux boxwood topiary with little pink flowers for accents. She also wanted the centerpiece to be homemade, so we incorporated natural pieces from the backyard (and other places, but we'll get to that).

Kristen had picked up a few things from the dollar store:

"Boxwood" plastic wreath
  • 3 "boxwood" mini wreaths
  • a tapered steel planter pot
  • bag of moss
  • a little bunch of pink faux flowers
And a couple of things from Michael's:
  • floral arrangement wire
  • one good sized (technical, I know) Styrofoam ball
  • a block of floral foam

We chatted away while plucking the "foliage" from the three wreaths. I placed the Styrofoam ball on the planter pot and we got to work sticking the foliage in, making sure that no Styrofoam was left visible. It was tedious. And I developed a callous on my index finger. But it was easy.

Halfway there!
While I was stabbing Styrofoam, Kristen was outside with a flashlight (and the dogs), hunting down some nice sticks to use as the "trunk" for the topiary. She trimmed the three sticks downs and secured them with the floral wire.

One of the most enjoyable things about DIY is finding on-the-spot solutions. How would we make a decent (but clean) hole in the Styrofoam ball for the "trunk" to fit in? Hmm. Kristen's lightbulb moment came and she rushed to the kitchen and came back with a melon baller. Of course!

After jamming the sticks into the Styrofoam ball, the other end was pushed through the floral foam inside the steel planter. Then, we decided it needed a little more weight in the bottom of the planter to hold the topiary up. Plus, a little filler around the floral foam would make sense, right? So, road trip. What? It's 10p.m. on a work night! But, we needed rocks. Or gravel. Or something. So we drove somewhere and filled a bag. I'm not going to lie - we felt like criminals. And maybe .... technically, we are. But sometimes, crafting is dangerous. And we're bad-ass crafters.

We packed the bagged moss on top of the rocks and placed some little pink faux flowers throughout the topiary and ... voila! A cute centerpiece for a birthday. Or a mantel. I really like it on Kristen's mantel.

I seriously love how Kristen used branches from her own backyard. Even though the dollar store "boxwood" is relatively impressive, the real branches lend an even more believable quality. You like?

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