Topiary by Stephie McCarthy

Make a
topiary from living branches

by Stephie McCarthy

Small topiaries from woody branches look great
as table decorations and they are so easy. These are
living branches that can be rooted later to grow
in soil. In the meantime, they live in water.

boxwood topiary from live branches

The topiary above is 4-5 branches from a large boxwood shrub.
We bundled them together with two large rubberbands then
wrapped the stems in rush fiber which helps the water
to wick upward, hydrating the stems.

topiaries from live branches

The topiary above is made from blueberry branches and
even had berries growing on them (until we ate them!)

Boxwood cuttings for topiary arrangement

Look for woody shrubs or trees with small leaves that
will look dense when bundled together. Choose stems that
are growing as straight as possible. You can
straighten them somewhat when you lash the
stems together with rubberbands.

Topiary floral arrangement

Keep your stems in large bowls or buckets of water. Now you can
look for the straightest stems and begin removing sprigs to
create the topiary look.

Live branch topiary

Pull off some of the lower branches and leave a good sized
cluster at the top of your bundle.

How to make a topiary effect

Slide rubberbands over the stems and roll them into place
to hold the bundles together. Line your container with a
ceramic cup or plastic bag that will hold water.

Florist Rubber Bands

We save heavy rubberbands from produce, but if you
are making a lot of topiaries for a party, you can buy enough
green rubber bands for a ballroom from our Amazon store.

Make a topiary from scratch

Here's an example of using a baggie for the water supply.

Florist topiary DIY

Hold stems in place with marbles or chunks of florist foam.

DIY topiary arrangement

Hide the water reservoir with something like fluffy moss.

Moss for Crafts

making a topiary from live branches

Add a rustic bow and here is the finished blueberry topiary

Easy to make topiary from live branches

You can also wrap your bundles of stems as we did below.

Topiary craft by Stephie McCarthy

Here's the product with which we wrapped the boxwood
topiary. The rush pulls apart and flattens like ribbon.
Wrap the rush from top to bottom, tucking in the
ends. It will wick water from the reservoir hydrating
the stems.

buy Fiber Rush

Here are the two styles of topiaries … the topiary on the left
is trimmed boxwood. On the right is untrimmed blueberry.
Myrtle and many other shrubs are great for this craft.
Keep your eyes open and you will find what you need.

Topiaries by Stephie McCarthy

Here's an example of boxwood bundled together …

Boxwood bouquet

… wild and untamed …

trimming a topiary at home

… until it gets trimmed, and trimmed, and trimmed
until it's something like a Tootsie Pop. The trimming
is messy, so you may want to do this outdoors.

Spear and Jackson Secateurs

And treat yourself to a dream pair of secateurs
for practicing your trim work. These topiaires are easy
to replace so you can make them again and again.

Miracle Gro Rooting Hormone

If you dip the stems in rooting hormone and put damp sand in
the reservoir instead of water, you'll be encouraging roots
which will allow the topiary to be planted in soil later.

Indoor topiary

These look great indoors or out. Here's ours next to our
faux-bronze horse which is the very first project we made
for HomeTalk in January 2019!
To see how we made this horse from a toy, a brick, and some
craft paint … click here

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