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How to Make a Christmas Topiary: 5 DIY Projects

Updated on November 15, 2016
A peacock feather topiary adds a festive touch.
A peacock feather topiary adds a festive touch.

Make Your Own Christmas Topiaries

Topiaries used as Christmas decorations add eloquence to the home during the holidays. They are an excellent way to decorate a fireplace, mantle, or entry way. Typical retail prices for a standard topiary start at $45.00, making them an expensive investment during an already financially taxing holiday season. With a few tools, some floral foam, a base, and some creativity, topiaries can be custom decorated by you for just a few dollars. Each is simple to make regardless of skill level. Topiaries are an excellent indoor or outdoor Christmas decoration.

A decorated grapevine topiary tree.
A decorated grapevine topiary tree. | Source
A wire tomato cage turned upside down makes a great base for a homemade topiary.
A wire tomato cage turned upside down makes a great base for a homemade topiary.

Grapevine Topiary

A grapevine topiary is a beautiful accent that adds country Christmas charm to home. To make this craft easier, you can purchase a pre-assembled grapevine topiary at a craft store. They come in many sizes.

For an authentic handmade look, a grapevine topiary can be made with a wire tomato cage.

Supplies for one Grapevine Topiary:

  • One wire tomato cage in the size of your choice
  • Wire cutters and pliers
  • Brown floral wire
  • One large spiral of grapevine.
  • Your favorite lights, berry picks and decorations

Instructions:

  1. Turn the wire tomato cage upside down with the narrow end at the top. Gather the three wire ends and secure them with brown floral wire and pliers.
  2. Start weaving grapevine at the base of the cage around the bottom section. Be sure to cover wire. Every three inches, secure the grapevine to the cage with a piece of floral wire.
  3. Continue to wrap the grapevine around the cage going up. When one round is complete around the cage, push it down to avoid gaps and secure it to the level below it with brown floral wire. Continue until you get to the top of the cage.
  4. When you get to the top, secure the last piece of grapevine securely with the brown floral wire.

Decorate your tree with lights, berry picks, and your favorite ornaments. Can be used indoors or outdoors.

To make thinner or shorter trees like in this little forest, carve away portions of the floral cone before decorating.
To make thinner or shorter trees like in this little forest, carve away portions of the floral cone before decorating.
You can make this peacock feather tree for less than $8.00. Retails for $35.00 at Amazon.
You can make this peacock feather tree for less than $8.00. Retails for $35.00 at Amazon.
Use a floral cone to make a feather topiary.
Use a floral cone to make a feather topiary.

Feather Topiary

Of all the topiaries to make by hand, the feather topiary is the simplest and least expensive of all. Basic topiaries can be made for just the cost of the floral cone and feather picks. This type of topiary can be set on a shelf as is when finished, or you can place it in a festive Christmas planter. These also work well with year round décor in your favorite colors and styles.

Supplies for one feather topiary:

  • One Styrofoam floral cone
  • A pack of 50 feather plume picks in your favorite color and style
  • Floral wire cutters
  • Spray snow or glitter if desired
  • Feather water proofing spray (if being used outdoors)

Instructions:

  1. Set up the floral cone on your workspace.
  2. Start at the bottom of the cone and insert the flower picks into the foam at an upward angle.
  3. Keep them close together so they are touching to avoid bare spots.
  4. Work to the top of the cone adding even layers of feathers at an upward angle. When you get to 3/4ths of the way to the top, trim the the feather plume picks with the floral cutters. Shorten the stems by 1/4th to 1/2" until you reach the top.
  5. When finished, you can spray your feather topiary tree with decorative snow or glitter. If this topiary will be used outside or exposed to the elements, spray the feathers with waterproofing spray.

A Christmas ball topiary is very simple to make and is an excellent project for beginners.
A Christmas ball topiary is very simple to make and is an excellent project for beginners. | Source
Use your imagination with Christmas balls!
Use your imagination with Christmas balls!
Basic construction of any topiary. Includes Floral foam and a stem.
Basic construction of any topiary. Includes Floral foam and a stem.

Christmas Ball Topiary

For a topiary with more color, try one made with Christmas balls in your favorite color or that can be customized to match your holiday theme.

Supplies:

  • A decorator pot in your favorite color and style. Consider decorating a planter with paint or Christmas paper for a festive topiary.
  • One floral block to fit the base of the planter you choose
  • One large floral craft stem to make the the topiary trunk
  • One extra large floral ball for the top of the trunk
  • Ribbon to make a large bow for the trunk
  • Christmas balls in your favorite colors. Assorted sizes add interest. If you mix sizes you will need about 84. If using all large ornaments, you will need 70.
  • Craft Glue
  • Craft moss to cover the base of the floral foam in container

Instructions:

  1. Attach the floral ball to the top of the stem.
  2. Attach the base floral foam to the bottom of the stick.
  3. Insert the foam construction into the planter. The foam at the base can be shaved down with a knife if it is too big for the planter. If this will be placed outdoors, add rocks before adding the floral foam. This will keep the topiary from blowing over.
  4. Cover the foam in the planter with decorative moss to hide the floral foam. If using a natural stem, it can be left bare. Otherwise, it can be covered with decorative material such as decorative duct tape. For a festive look, use red and white tape to create a candy cane pattern.
  5. Attach the Christmas balls to the round foam ball. Start at the top and work down, adding a touch of craft glue to each ball and pushing the hanging portion of the ball into the foam.
  6. When balls are secured to the floral foam ball, attach a festive bow to the top of the trunk. You are ready to enjoy your topiary.

Source
A pre-fabricated topiary can be purchased at a craft store.
A pre-fabricated topiary can be purchased at a craft store. | Source

How to Make a Spiral Christmas Topiary

A spiral topiary may look intimidating, but it is an easy project. You can make one from a real miniature evergreen tree such as Alberta Spruce or even a Blue Spruce. This topiary can also be made with artificial evergreen foliage.

Supplies for One Spiral Christmas Topiary:

  • One cone shaped evergreen miniature tree (it can remain in the container it comes in, or you can transfer it to a more festive, decorative container.)
  • Freezer tape
  • Pruning shears
  • Decorative Planter for indoors or out
  • Festive foil and bows to decorate the pot
  • Christmas lights if you want a lighted topiary

Instructions:

  1. Working outdoors, wind the tape around the tree starting at the top. Continue to the bottom and make a spiral shape in the branches.
  2. Next, prune the branches of the tree to match the spiral shape of the tree. Don't over snip.
  3. Remove the tape and make sure your spiral design is the way you want it. Touch up any necessary areas.
  4. As long as you keep the evergreen alive it will continue to grow. Try placing it in a bigger pot or transplanting it into the ground.

Your spiral is ready for decoration.

A Red Berry Christmas topiary adds color and elegance to your decor.
A Red Berry Christmas topiary adds color and elegance to your decor.
Sprigs of red berries make for a festive Christmas design.
Sprigs of red berries make for a festive Christmas design.
A styrofoam cone is a great way to make a simple Christmas tree.
A styrofoam cone is a great way to make a simple Christmas tree. | Source

Christmas Berry Topiary

A berry topiary is a natural and festive way to create your own outdoor Christmas décor.

Supplies for one Christmas Berry Topiary:

  • One styrofoam cone (sold at most craft stores)
  • 10-12 sprigs of dried or artificial red berries (for a medium tree)
  • One festive decorative planter in the size of your styrofoam cone

Instructions:

  1. Set the styrofoam cone inside the planter. Trim it and push into the planter to make sure it fits tightly.
  2. Glue sprigs of dried or artificial red canella berries to a cone shaped styrofoam tree with white glue. Start from the bottom and work up in sections, allowing some of the sprigs to hang over the planter for a natural look.
  3. If you are setting this topiary outdoors, you will need to anchor it to prevent it from blowing away. Craft rocks can be added to the bottom of the planter before adding the cone to it.

Which topiary design is your favorite?

See results

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I love decorating for Christmas and these DIY decorations are beautiful. I pinned to try the Grapevine Topiary. Wonderful hub article and have voted, shared and tweeted as well!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My mom and grandma used to make these....I love these kinds of crafts....well done Tammy! Maybe Bev and I will make a couple of these. Great hub!...tweeting

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Tammy,

      Wow, Wow and triple WOW!! What great ideas, I love them all!

      My mum had made the Christmas one in your main pic and i'd forgotten until I saw your hub!! I am definitely giving these a go for Christmas, thanks for such informative instructions and pics . . . Super ideas for everyone! vote up +++ and sharing :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      These are gorgeous for Christmas..Maybe Thanksgiving also. They don't seem too difficult and they will certainly decorate the home. This is a great hub with big UPs and lots of sharing.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Cool Tammy! I was at Michael's last night - I'd have gotten supplies to make one. This is so cute and I like the Berry and the Ball Topiary best but wow! This is great! Thanks - I am gonna try to make both of those.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I love the Grapevine too Janine. Thanks so much for reading and sharing!~

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Billybuc. These little things make a holiday special and they can fit right in with your frugal lifestyle.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading and commenting Suzie HQ. It is these simple things we end up remembering about the holidays.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An amazing hub! Christmas is just around the corner and it is so nice of you to churn out economical and creative hubs for this important celebration in advance! The instructions are well-explained! I voted feather topiary as my favorite design as I can visualize the peacock-feather topiary covered with little snow & glitter adding beauty to Christmas! A wonderful hub! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for commenting Carol7777. These can be made for any season or décor. I saw some in Hobby Lobby that were bright and colorful like the Lorax movie. They are cheap enough to put one in every room. Thanks so much for visiting!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for stopping by Realhousewife. You can make a set for every room to match the décor. It is fun and if you get tired of them, you can recycle and make a new one. :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Iswaryaa22. I like the feathers too. I would love to make one with a shabby chic design. I appreciate your sharing. :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'm doing less decorating each year and just focusing on a few nice pieces. I really like your ideas and voted the spiral evergreen topiary as my favorite. Up votes and sharing.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Oooh! A really nice and helpful look at making topiaries.

      Picking a favorite is difficult, but I like the ones that can be transformed from season to season. Today's mood, though, would make me pick the grapevine designs.

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very cute ideas! We tried the tomato cages with lit garland wrapped around them last year. It looked nice but it was a little tricky outdoors with wind and such.

    • jenniferrspriggs profile image

      jenniferrspriggs 4 years ago

      I love DIY Christmas decorations and Christmas crafts, thanks!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Great ideas here Tammy, thank you...finally can't ignore preparation for the season any longer...Lots of votes, tweeted, pinned & shared...cheers

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is such a clever idea. I love it..Thank you..

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Cool ideas! I've always loved Christmas ball decorations and at the end of the season you can buy the ornaments for a steal! Love the feather trees too!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading and commenting RTalloni. I love them all too. :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I didn't consider covering them with garland NicoleS. That would be pretty too, even with evergreen swags. That's is awesome. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading jenniferrspriggs!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much carter06. I appreciate your visit!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Beautiful! Fun! I love this and what wonderful ideas! It'll be fun to give one or two of these a try. Voted up/tweeted/pinned/shared. Beautiful pictures, too. :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading always exploring!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Glimmer Twin Fan. The feather trees have lots of potential for all sorts of décor. I would love a large one done in a vintage design for a shabby chic room or done in peacock feathers. Thanks for visiting!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for visiting cclitgirl. These are great for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      These all look so classy and doable but I like the feather ones the best. They give the impression of snow-covered pines, albeit with different colored snow. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      That is a great comparison Alocsin. I think a dark feather tree with snow spray would look awesome! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      My nephew is starting to get big on arts and crafts and my mom and I are really starting to get more and more frugal. I think this would be a great thing the whole family can do during the holidays! Thanks for sharing this idea, Tammy; definitely putting it to great use! :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for stopping by Keith. Things are so much more meaningful when we do them together and make some memories while we are at it. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      These are some great ideas for DIY Christmas decorations. Enjoyed the photos of your different projects and I particularly liked the red berry tree. I think I can make that one with supplies I have on hand! Voted up and shared, pinned and tweeted!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Ms. Stephanie. Thanks for visiting!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love Christmas decorations! Beautiful ideas all around. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Felt sold out in these ideas of my Own Christmas Topiaries. Have political and end of year ideas of my own for these Christmas decorations. Your examples are right on the buck. There is nothing better than Tammy to pull this off. A Romney Topiary with a 46% topping sign would be so politically correct.. to do. I don't want to give details on how to craft that one myself. Great ideas my friend. Voted up!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Tammy, Beautiful, beautiful article. These topiaries are a great idea and your instructions are so simple. Anyone can do these. They are creative and each one beautiful. I like how you set up this article. Well done and well written!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Tammy, and what a wonderful hub this is.

      This is a great Christmas idea. I'll have look into it for the holidays, which are rapidly approaching---can't believe they're just right around the corner!

      Take care and voted up

      John

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Tammy,

      Seriously, you always awe me with your creativity. Yes, I have been attracted to these mini trees, which are used as home decors and have been taken away by the high prices. Gotta try the christmas berry look...loved it.

      Your instructions are always simple that a novice like me can get a handle of how to go about it.

      Voted up as awesome and interesting and sharing it across

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Randomcreative!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. Lord de Cross has finally been inspired to do crafts. This should be an interesting topiary. Can't wait to see it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much suzettenaples. I appreciate your kind comment. :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      It is still hard to believe September is almost over! I have to agree John. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Ruchira. It is always a pleasure to see you. You always have the kindest words of encouragement. :)

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Tammy, you have some of the best ideas! You should be in the marketing field:) Once again, these are great ideas. So many different things that you could do with these. Personally, I would possible make them to sell. But you can also make the house look great with them all. Wow, just amazing Tammy. Voted up and across but funny. Shared also. AWESOME IDEAS!!

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 4 years ago

      Very creative ideas. Love them all, I will be heading out to Michaels tomorrow:) voted up and awesome.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Gypsy48!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Making Christmas Topiary will be just the thing to do with my grandchildren this coming December. Thank you tammyswallow for these 5 DIY Projects. Voted up, brilliant and useful :)

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading Martie. I hope you guys will try it and make lots of memories! :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      These are beautiful! I think I just may have to make one this holiday season. Thanks for yet another fantastic craft hub. Voting and pinning

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Mama Kim!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow tammy,

      I have always loved topiary. That very first one with the peacock feathers is just stunning. What a great hub showing off the beauty of topiary and what lovely varied ideas for the topiary during the Christmas season. I will print this one off and try a couple of them. I have English Ivey growing all over my front brick wall along the driveway, so I have often thought of making topiary out of the ivy. Voted Way Up, except funny. Very lovely dear one. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Faith. I love the peacock topiaries too. There are lots of Christmas ornaments out with this design this year. I appreciate you stopping by!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Beautiful! I love this Christmas decoration. I would try to make this for Christmas. You´re very creative tammy. I have learned a lot from you. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Thelma Alberts!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      I love your craft hubs Tammy. This one is great. I especially love the first pic with the "peacock feather topiary." Although it's festive, I think something like that one I'd leave out all year long. And I think I'd like to try the spiral Christmas tree topiary, I really like that one too. Pinning . . .

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      as always, you amazed readers with your creativity Tammy! thumbs up and sharing

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Since topiaries are so expensive, I'm happy to have your helpful step-by-step instructions. I especially like the spiral topiary. It would be beautiful dressed up for a wedding, as well. Thanks so much!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Sharyn! I love the peacock topiary too. Hobby Lobby has an entire set of blue and green peacock tree décor. It actually makes me consider redoing my tree this year. I appreciate you stopping by. :)

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Excellent job providing easy to follow instructions (even for me) to make a topiary. I really like the one with red berries to add color. I'm going to attempt to make one between now and the holidays. Shared since the holidays are fast approaching.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I appreciate that healthylife2. Making your own topiaries will save lots of money during the holidays!

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 4 years ago from Midwest

      These are beautiful! I especially like the Christmas Ball Topiary. Do you know about how much it would cost to make each of these?

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Love these ideas! I never would have thought about using a tomato cage - so creative! Thanks for sharing!

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Kimberly, Thanks for reading. The Christmas ball topiary could be made for less than $15 each. Bigger Dollar Stores sell some of the foam pieces, moss, and vases which would make it even more afforable. Hope you enjoy making this craft.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Better Yourself. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Gorgeous. The directions are precise and I like very much that they can be used in so many ways. These tomato cages are so versatile too. In one of the hubs I wrote I showed photos of a lamp shade my daughter made using one.

      Lovely ideas and well presented. Sending Angels your way. :) ps

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for reading pstraubie48. I like to explore affordable options to overpriced decorations. I am going to look for your hub. That lamp sounds beautiful!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your hub. I once made a topiary from gumdrops for Christmas. Voted up.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      That is a very creative idea moonlake! That would be an interesting hub! Thanks for reading!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Those are beautiful. I've never tried a topiary, but it looks like fun. Voted up and shared.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 4 years ago

      The Berry topiary not only looks stunning I am surprised to realise I could make that one.( Thanks to your instructions.) Christmas will be fun this year. Voted up and beautiful.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much Sherry. These are a better alternative to the expensive ones you can buy in stores.

    • tammyswallow profile image
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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks so much for commenting seanorjohn. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Beautiful stuff, Tammy! I'm seeing the feather topiaries all over the place this year. How timely! :)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      I just love the craft projects you publish. This one makes putting a topiary together look so easy and they all look beautiful. I'm thinking these instructions would be good for any holiday or even a seasonal topiary. Voting you up and beautiful, and will pin you to my "Crafts Board."

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