Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TUTORIAL: How to Make a Ribbon Topiary

As promised, this morning I am going to show you how to make the topiaries I made for my friend's daughter's Sesame Street birthday party over the weekend. These are fairly easy to make and add a lot of color to a party. I have made them for baby showers in the past and decided to make these even more whimsical. I knew my mission was accomplished when the birthday girl saw these on her cake table and exclaimed, "Whooooa!" (Okay, maybe she said that about the cake, but I'd like to think these played a role.) :D

To make one ribbon topiary you will need:

-About 6 spools of ribbon in various sizes cut into 2.5 inch long strips
-Topiary frame or dowel rod and styrofoam ball
-Flower pot
-Paper shred
-Spray paint
-Hot glue
-Pipe cleaners

You can make these using a styrofoam ball and a dowel rod, but I find that it is cheaper and less labor intensive to purchase a pre-made topiary form if you can find one (I have seen them at A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby.)

I spray painted my topiary frame and flower pot white. Allow to dry overnight. Insert topiary into flower pot (mine fit perfectly and did not require any additional securing.)

Using your hot glue gun, place glue along the base of your topiary and attach paper shred to cover it. (Just glue the base; the rest of the shred will pile on top.)

Next hot glue ribbon around the base of the flower pot and tie a bow toward the top of the stake.

The next step is where you will spend the majority of your time. Take the ribbon pieces and fold them into a loop. Use your pins to attach the ends of the loop into the foam circle. Repeat this process again and again to fill in the gaps. Start with the larger ribbons and fill in with the smaller ones. I start at the top and work my way to the bottom, keeping in mind that the bottom layer is important as your guests my be sitting at a table looking up at it. (Note: I use two pins for pieces of ribbon one inch or wider and one pin for the smaller ribbons.)

If you would like to add "squiggles" for an extra whimsical punch, wrap a pipe cleaner around a marker to curl it. Then slide the pipe cleaner off of the marker and stretch the ends out a tad to give them some volume.

Take a pencil and poke a hole into the foam where you want your pipe cleaner to be. Then insert the pipe cleaner into the hole (no glue needed.)

Continue adding pipe cleaners until have you achieved the look you're going for.

And VOILA! You're done. :)

After the paint dries, this project should take you about an hour to an hour and a half or so per topiary. They can be adapted to any holiday or occasion and used from year to year, so the time investment is worth it!

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy crafting!


  1. Amy I am soooo obsessed, they are PERFECTION!!! You are such a decorating genius!! Hope you are well sweet friend - glad we can keep up on Instagram now! :) xoxo Have a great week!

  2. These are adorable! Love the fun touch the pipe cleaners add :)

  3. Way too cute - I'm glad I found your blog from Hopsy's! What a great idea and so many uses if you vary up the color of ribbons.

  4. I've never seen anything like this....absolutely adorable!