Leaf Topiary

What better way to bring bright fall foliage inside than in the shape of a tree. In this case, it's a 2-foot topiary, just the right size for a side table or a fireplace mantle. A sleeve of birch bark encircling the pot adds to the tree theme.

  • One 4-inch plastic-foam ball
  • Dried 3- to 5-inch leaves; gold, red or tan
  • Gray Spanish moss
  • Hot-glue gun; glue sticks
  • 15-inch kiwi stems
  • 5-inch terra-cotta clay pot
  • 6-inch sleeve of natural birch bark
  • Plaster or floral foam support
  • 2 yards of 1/4-inch burgundy/metallic gold cording
  • 2 yards of 1/4-inch matte gold cording
  • Thin wire
  • Fabric glue or clear tape


Editor's notes: A plaster base makes the topiary more stable than a floral foam support. Check with your florist for kiwi stems.

1. Plug the hole in the bottom of the clay pot, and fill pot two-thirds full of plaster. Follow manufacturer's directions. Place the kiwi stems in the center, making sure that they are straight from all sides. Let plaster harden.

2. Glue plastic-foam ball to the top of the stems. Glue small bunches of Spanish moss on the ball. Using tip of the hot-glue gun, make a small hole in the ball, leaving a dab of glue behind. Insert a leaf stem. Continue adding leaves around the ball, keeping the leaves right side up. Mix the colors evenly around the ball. Fill all spaces. Let Spanish moss trail out between the leaves.

3. Tie each type of cording into a 3-inch loop bow. Secure bows firmly with thin wire. Seal the ends of the cording with fabric glue or clear tape to prevent fraying. Attach bows to top of kiwi stems with thin wire.

4. Slip birch-bark sleeve over the pot. If the sleeve does not slip over the pot, soak it in warm water for 15 minutes. When it is wet, you can re-form and trim it. Cover plaster in pot with Spanish moss.


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