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How to Make a Christmas Topiary: 5 DIY Projects

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I love decorating for the holidays, but not when it costs a bundle. DIY projects help me stay festive without breaking the bank.

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 entryway. 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 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.

3. 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 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

© 2012 Tammy

Comments

C E Clark from North Texas on June 24, 2013:

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."

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on December 14, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 09, 2012:

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

seanorjohn on December 09, 2012:

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.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on December 09, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on December 01, 2012:

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

moonlake from America on November 30, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on November 22, 2012:

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!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 21, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on November 18, 2012:

Thanks so much Better Yourself. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on November 18, 2012:

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.

Better Yourself from North Carolina on November 18, 2012:

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

Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on November 18, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on October 23, 2012:

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

healthylife2 on October 22, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on October 15, 2012:

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. :)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on October 13, 2012:

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!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on October 13, 2012:

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

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on October 12, 2012:

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 . . .

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on October 08, 2012:

Thanks so much for reading and commenting Thelma Alberts!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on October 08, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on October 06, 2012:

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!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 06, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on October 01, 2012:

Thanks so much Mama Kim!

Sasha Kim on September 30, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 25, 2012:

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

Martie Coetser from South Africa on September 25, 2012:

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 :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 25, 2012:

Thanks Gypsy48!

Gypsy48 on September 24, 2012:

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

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on September 24, 2012:

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!!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 24, 2012:

Thanks so much Randomcreative!

Ruchira from United States on September 24, 2012:

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

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on September 24, 2012:

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

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on September 24, 2012:

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!

Joseph De Cross from New York on September 24, 2012:

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!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 23, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 23, 2012:

Thanks so much Ms. Stephanie. Thanks for visiting!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on September 23, 2012:

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!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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. :)

KDuBarry03 on September 22, 2012:

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! :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on September 22, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

Thanks for reading always exploring!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 22, 2012:

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. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

Thanks so much carter06. I appreciate your visit!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

Thanks for reading jenniferrspriggs!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 22, 2012:

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

Claudia Mitchell on September 22, 2012:

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!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 21, 2012:

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

Mary from Cronulla NSW on September 21, 2012:

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

jenniferrspriggs on September 21, 2012:

I love DIY Christmas decorations and Christmas crafts, thanks!

Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on September 21, 2012:

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.

RTalloni on September 21, 2012:

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.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 21, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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. :)

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on September 21, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on September 21, 2012:

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

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 21, 2012:

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.

carol stanley from Arizona on September 21, 2012:

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.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 21, 2012:

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 :-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 21, 2012:

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

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on September 21, 2012:

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!!

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