Fall Topiary

This two-foot topiary is just the right size for a side table or a fireplace mantel. A sleeve of birch bark encircling the pot adds to the nature-inspired theme.

What You Need:

Bring bright fall foliage inside.
  • One 4-inch plastic foam ball
  • Dried 3- to 5-inch leaves: gold, tan, or red (you can use real dried leaves or purchase craft leaves)
  • Gray Spanish moss
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • 15-inch kiwi stems (check with a florist)
  • 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


1. Prepare the base. A plaster base will make the topiary more stable than a floral-foam support. If using plaster, plug the hole in the bottom of the clay pot, and fill pot two-thirds full of plaster, following manufacturer's directions. Place the kiwi stems in the center, making sure that they are straight from all sides. Let plaster harden. If using floral foam, cut foam to fit into pot and insert. Place the kiwi stems in the center, ensuring they are straight from all sides.

2. Attach foam ball, leaves, and moss. Glue plastic-foam ball to the top of the stems. Glue small bunches of Spanish moss on the ball. Using the 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. Make bows. 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. Decorate pot. 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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