I know topiaries are not very crafting rebellious. I am somewhat of a contradiction. I like pink leopard, have bleached platinum hair, sport some tattoos, (you get the idea) and yet I like old school decorating like chinoiserie, and damask. I like that mix of old patterns and new ones, and I have always loved topiaries. I saw the paper mache deer at Michaels at 50% off and decided I would use them as topiary forms. I wanted an English garden look so I purchased a package of sheet moss, and figured with glue gun handy I would whip them up in no time flat. I soon discovered they were not very fast to complete (except the cone was pretty fast), and quite messy. You definitely want to create these in an area that can be cleaned up easily, or outside. The moss stinks, but luckily the smell fades. The topiaries were just as cute sitting on the tabletop before staked into planters, so that is definitely an optional step. I purchased LED ultra slim wire lights so they would be lit at night. The LED lights caused the project to get a little pricey, but they are definitely the way to go if you want your topiary lit. The wire and lights are so thin they blend in with the moss. Even after the mess and time involved I was pretty happy with the topiaries. If I see any other interesting paper mache animal form I may make another moss topiary in the future. Just not too soon as I am still sweeping up.
For this project you will need:
Paper mache topiary forms. I used holiday deer from Michael's $4.99 and a cone ($1.25) from their paper mache area.
Sheets of moss. I used a bag of sheet moss from Michael's labeled "Moss Table Runner"
Green spray paint (optional)
Hot Glue Gun
LED Ultra Slim Wire Light Set (optional) These battery operated lights are on very thin green wire and have a 6 hour timer. I used Martha Stewart and Starlite brands bought at Home Depot.
Floral Foam (optional) I found my foam blocks at The Dollar Tree
Start by deciding if your paper mache animal needs any fixes to it. I felt the antlers were too short on the ones I purchased so I hot glued cut straws to make them longer.
Spray Paint green (optional). This is up to you. If you miss any moss it won't be as noticeable.
Cut strips of the moss sheet. Make sure the moss isn't folded over on itself. I had to pry two sheets apart a lot. Also remove any tissue paper attached to the back of the moss sheet.
Start hot gluing moss strips in sections. I noticed the glue dried so quickly that I couldn't do much larger than 4 or 5" strips.
Working like a puzzle keep cutting and matching the strips to fill in the form.
*The cone is the easiest topiary to make. Just cut and wrap a long piece of the moss sheet around the cone hot gluing as you go. Trim the excess.
When completed spray the forms with acrylic sealer. (optional) This is supposed to help hold the moss on, but it still will lose little bits when moved, even after the sealer.
If you would like your topiary potted go outside and find a nice stick. The cone can just be set onto a pot (no stick needed).
Cut a small hole in the bottom of the topiary and insert the stick.
Hot glue around the stick to keep it in place.
Use a block of floral foam in the bottom of a container to secure your topiary.
Cover with additional moss.
If you would like your topiaries lit, I recommend battery operated ultra thin wire lights. The cords the LEDs are on are thin green wire so they blend in with the topiaries. Plus they are on a 6 hour timer and will come on automatically every evening.
Start by wrapping the end of the light cord to the top of your topiary, so that you will end at the bottom of the topiary. Place the remote box behind the topiary or in the pot. Turn your lights on at the time you would like them to come on every evening. They will automatically turn off 6 hours later, and come back on the next evening.
Combine them with our Vera Bradley Inspired Battery Operated Candles Project for a nice glow.
Check back soon for a very fun tutorial involving a rockin' clothing accessory!
I love this next project...definitely not an old fashioned one.
The Rebel Crafter