How to make a topiary with your own hands – 4 instructions for beginners and more

Topiary (“tree of happiness”, “European tree”) is a small decorative tree that is used to decorate interiors and exteriors, and is also often used for table setting. Topiary are good because they look very beautiful, and you can make them with your own hands in just 1 evening from scrap materials.

  • This means that you can make several decorations at once, for example, one pair for New Year’s serving, another for Easter, and a couple more for the mantel..

In this material you will find 1 basic instruction on how to make a DIY topiary for beginners, as well as 3 step-by-step master classes in addition to it and 45 photo ideas for inspiration..

Basic instruction for beginners

Topiary of even the most complex design is made according to approximately the same principle. Having mastered the basic manufacturing technology, you can create a variety of topiary, changing only the materials for decoration.

So, to make a mini-tree with your own hands, you need to create it:

  • Crown;
  • Trunk;
  • Base of the tree.

Step 1. Planning the design

Topiary can be different not only in design, but also in terms of service life. Before starting work, think about why you need a “tree of happiness” and where will it live? The purpose and future place of the topiary will determine its style, color scheme and even materials for its creation..

If you want to make topiary for a festive table setting, then materials that are not too durable can be used – paper, napkins, sweets, fresh flowers, fruits. If you want to make a topiary as a gift or to decorate the interior, then it is better to use a more reliable decor – cones, artificial flowers, coffee beans, ribbons, organza, etc..

In the next selection of photos you can get ideas for the design of thematic and festive topiary.

  • Wedding topiary An example of a wedding topiary made by hand from pearls, silk flowers and flowers, twisted from satin ribbons on a candlestick base
  • Wedding topiary Wedding topiary with a crown of pearls
  • Wedding topiary
  • Wedding topiary Wedding topiary made of natural branches with a crown of fresh flowers and floral foam

Sweet candy topiary

Sweet candy topiary for a children’s party

Topiary for Halloween

Potted candy halloween decoration

Topiary for Halloween

Halloween decorations from pumpkin seeds, ribbons and candies in tea cans

Easter topiary

Easter trees made from eggs, artificial flowers, satin ribbons and moss

New Year's topiary

Christmas topiary made of artificial holly leaves and berries, cones and ribbons with a stem from a branch

Topiary for a festive table

Candy tree for a festive table

Topiary for a festive table setting

Topiary for festive table setting made of artificial flowers, natural branches, dry moss and satin ribbons

Topiary of fresh flowers for a festive table

Topiary of fresh flowers for a festive table

  • Corrugated paper topiary idea Corrugated paper topiary
  • Corrugated paper topiary idea Corrugated paper topiary

And here is a selection of photo examples of design exclusively for interior topiary (scroll through!).

  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Interior topiary
  • Imitation of a live topiary
  • Imitation of a live topiary
  • Imitation of a live topiary

Step 2. Preparation of materials

To make a topiary with your own hands, you will need:

  • Foam ball 8-12 cm in diameter (sold at many stationery and art stores) or floral foam ball (sold at gardening and flower shops).

Styrofoam ball

If desired, the ball can be made independently from polystyrene, the same floral foam, polyurethane foam, papier-mâché, etc. NS.

  • Crown decor – depending on your idea, use flowers, satin ribbons, organza, coffee beans, banknotes, etc..
  • Trunk – This can be made from a dry and clean branch, a simple pencil, or any other stick. In addition, the trunk and the pot can replace the tall candlestick.
  • Barrel decor – the barrel can be at least matt varnished or painted. And as a maximum – wrap with one or two ribbons.
  • Planter – It is best to pour the mixture into a clay pot, but any cute cups, mugs, vintage buckets, etc. will do..
  • Fixing mixture – the best for making topiary with your own hands is a mixture of alabaster, since it quickly hardens, almost does not crack and is cheap. You can also use cement-sand mortar, gypsum or putty. However, not only binding mixtures can fix a tree in a pot, but also the same foam, floral foam or stones.
  • Everything for mixing the mixture – container, water, stick, etc..
  • Decor for masking the fixing mixture – to create an imitation of soil cover, it is best to use natural materials: dry moss, small pebbles, expanded clay, sisal fiber. Artificial moss and stones will also work. You can put sweets and dragees in the pots of “edible” topiary.
  • Glue gun and a few sticks of glue – if necessary, you can replace it with glue like “Moment”, but it’s best not to do this, since the glue in the gun is more convenient, and most importantly, it allows you to remove random “cobwebs”.
  • Scissors or cutter.
  • Tailor’s pins-studs with a very small head (optional, used in addition to or instead of glue, for example, to fasten beads).
  • Side cutters or nippers for cutting the trunk or any decorative elements.

At the preparatory stage, divide the decorative details for the crown into groups – for example, large, medium and small. So it will be more convenient for you to alternate the decor and distribute it evenly over the ball..

Step 3. Creation of the crown

First, you need to apply markings to the ball – mark the place for attaching the trunk and mark the border around it, beyond which until some time you do not need to go by sticking the decor. Thanks to this technique, in the future you can easily fix the barrel in the ball without spoiling the decor..

Barrel markings

Barrel markings

As soon as the glue is warmed up, proceed to decorate the ball in the following order: “fitting” the part without glue – applying glue to the desired place – fixing the part. Remember to act quickly so that the glue does not have time to soak into the foam. That is why it is better to apply and try on the decor first..

  • Crown creation
  • Crown creation Crown creation

Here are a few more nuances:

  • You need to glue the decor on the ball, starting with large elements and ending with small ones. For example, if you are making a topiary from artificial flowers, then first glue the largest buds on the ball, then medium and only then small flowers and additional beads..
  • Some decor can be secured to the ball using tailor’s pins. But it is best to combine carnations with glue..
  • If some parts have wire bases (for example, the same artificial flowers), then about 2 cm should be left from their “tails”. Then you can not only glue the decor, but also stick it into the ball.
  • To make the white base ball less noticeable in the gaps between the glued parts, it can be painted to match the decor.

Step 4. Decor of the trunk and its attachment to the crown

Now we need to work with the trunk. As already mentioned, making it with your own hands is not at all difficult from a branch, pencil or any stick..

If you use a branch, then you do not need to paint it, but only cover it with a matte varnish so that the natural beauty of the tree is visible. If you use a wooden stick, then it can only be slightly tinted, artificially aged, etc. If you want to mask the surface of the barrel completely, then you can wrap satin ribbons, fabric, paper, rope around it or completely paint it.

How long should it be? Since the trunk goes deep both into the pot and into the ball, you can calculate its length using the following formula:

  • Barrel length = 1/3 ball diameter + pot height + desired barrel length between crown and pot.

To attach the barrel, you need to make a hole in the ball about 2-3 cm deep in the ball at the place of marking with an awl and a knife (depending on its size). When the hole is ready, fill the bottom with hot glue and push the crown onto the barrel until it stops. Then continue to hold the barrel and gradually fill the hole with glue around the barrel.

Fastening two intertwined barrels

Fastening two intertwined barrels

  • Keep in mind that thermal glue will melt the foam and deepen the hole even further. To prevent the trunk from going deeper into the crown by more than 1/3 of its diameter, small pieces of paper can be placed between the layers of glue..

As soon as the barrel locks into the ball, mask the attachment point with decor.

Step 5. Preparing the binder mixture and fixing the tree in the pot

Now is the time to “plant” the resulting tree in a pot. For this you need:

  • After stepping back about 2.5 cm from the edge of the pot, put a mark – the mixture will be poured to this level. If there is a hole at the bottom of the pot, you need to close it with tape or hot glue..

Filling the hole in the pot with glue

Filling the hole in the pot with glue

  • Dilute the mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fill the pot with it.
  • Align and fix the topiary in the pot, holding its trunk until the mixture hardens.
  • Leave the mixture overnight until it dries completely.

Fixation of the trunk in a mixture of alabaster

Fixation of the trunk in a mixture of alabaster

Hint: As noted, it is best to use alabaster as a binder. To fill 1 medium pot, you need to dilute about 1 kg of alabaster with 600 ml of water. The mixture is kneaded for about 1-2 minutes until the consistency of thick sour cream, and then quickly poured into a pot and the topiary is fixed in it for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6. Decorating the cover of the “soil” and the pot

Hooray! The topiary is almost ready, it remains only to create an imitation of soil in a pot and mask the fixing mixture. If you are using sisal fiber (see photo), shells, artificial grass or moss, then they need to be fixed with a little glue..

Pot decoration

Pot decoration

Master class 1. Corrugated paper topiary

Topiary with paper flowers is especially suitable for decorating a festive table or festive interior decoration. So, for example, this rose topiary was made for Valentine’s Day..

Topiary made of paper flowers


  • Base ball with a diameter of 12 cm;
  • Corrugated (crepe paper) of medium density (in the master class, corrugated paper in the form of a ribbon is used, but you can use regular rolls);
  • Floral foam bars and / or any fixing mixture (see basic instructions);
  • Planter or flowerpot for the base of the topiary;
  • The trunk is about 30 cm long;
  • Dry moss for pot decoration;
  • Barrel decoration tape;
  • Glue gun.

Step 1. Cut the corrugated paper into strips 60 cm long and about 4.5-5 cm wide. If the paper is too thick and stiff, remember the strips a little to make them more flexible.

Step 2. Now you need to roll the resulting ribbons into rosebuds. This is done very simply, just a couple of workouts and the principle becomes clear. Take one of the resulting paper strips and fold it 1/3 as shown in the photo below..

Making a rosebud from corrugated paper

Then fold one end of the tape diagonally at a 45-degree angle and start rolling it into a roll. After three turns, you have the core of the bud. Now wrap the free end to the outside, and continue to roll the core of the rose – woo-ala, you have the first petal.

Making a rosebud from corrugated paper

Continue twisting the bud roll as well, while tucking the free end of the tape until it runs out. At the end, fasten the base of the rose with a speller or glue in a pistol.

You need to make a lot of such roses – about 80 pieces, so it’s more pleasant to twist them while sitting, say, while watching a movie.

Step 3. Take the ball-base and mark on it the place for attaching the trunk. Next, start gluing the ball with flowers..

Making a crown of paper roses

Making a crown of paper roses

Step 4. Once the crown is completely covered with roses, attach the trunk to it (see Step 4 of the Basic Instructions). In this master class, the barrel was pre-painted with spray paint in white.

Step 5. Next, fill the pot with floral foam (see photo) or fixing mixture (see Step 5 of the Basic Instructions), and then fix the tree in the base.

Topiary base made of floristic foam bar

Topiary base made of floristic foam bar

Fastening the topiary to the floral foam base

Fastening the topiary to the floral foam base

Step 6. Lay the dry moss on the “soil” and glue it in some places with thermal glue. Finally, tie a bow to the trunk..

Topiary with a crown of paper roses

In the next selection of photos, other ideas for the design of topiary are presented that you can do with your own hands in this master class, not only from corrugated paper, but also from satin ribbons, paper in silence, etc..

Topiary decor ideas with crepe paper flowers

Topiary decor ideas with crepe paper flowers

Paper topiary made of tissue paper

By the way, paper can be used to make not only roses, but also lush peonies or hydrangeas. Methods for making such flowers are easy to find on the Internet.

material: DIY paper flowers – 4 master classes for beginners.

Master class 2. Topiary from artificial flowers

Topiary made of artificial flowers can become a permanent decoration of a dining table, display cabinet, coffee table, mantelpiece. Moreover, in most cases, it is better to make two identical trees at once in order to create a sense of symmetry in the interior. And also a topiary made of artificial flowers is a great idea for a gift or wedding decoration..

Artificial flower topiary


  • 2 pcs. artificial hydrangeas or several other flowers;
  • Base ball with a diameter of 10 cm;
  • Acrylic paint to match the colors (for painting the ball);
  • Foam roller brush;
  • Clay pot;
  • Trunk (this project uses a trunk and a pot from a factory topiary);
  • Cotton ribbon in contrasting colors;
  • Glue gun;
  • Stationery knife or awl;
  • Side cutter or wire cutter for flowers.

Materials for making topiary hydrangea

Step 1. First paint the ball with paint to match the colors and leave it to dry.

Step 2. While the ball is drying, separate the flowers from the “stems”.

  • If your flower has wire “stems”, then leave tails from them about 2 cm long. Use a side cutter or nippers for cutting.
  • If the flowers have no wire, it doesn’t matter. Cut off the “stems” at the root so that in the future the flowers can be simply glued.

Step 3. Mark on the ball the place where the trunk will be attached and start gluing the flowers, keeping an equal interval between them. It is desirable that the petals go over each other so that the ball under them is practically invisible. Leave the area near the barrel attachment without flowers.

  • Attach flowers on a wire to the ball in the following sequence: creating a hole for the “stem” – filling the hole with a drop of glue – planting the flower until it stops (see photo below).

Decorating a topiary ball with artificial flowers

Decorating the topiary ball with artificial flowers

In this master class, flowers were staggered at intervals of about 2.5 cm.

Decorating a topiary ball with artificial flowers

Step 4. Make a hole in the ball for the barrel with an awl / knife, fill it with glue and attach the topiary according to the recommendations of Step 4 of our Basic Instructions. Next, glue one or several leaves at the base of the crown as shown in the photo below. In our master class, the hydrangea leaf was additionally fixed in the desired position with a pin.

Fastening an artificial leaf to the base of the topiary

Fastening an artificial leaf to the base of the topiary

After that, decorate the empty area near the trunk with flowers..

Step 5. Place the topiary in some kind of fixing mixture and decorate the “soil” (see Step 5 and Step 6 of the Basic Instructions). The final touch is a bow made of a wide cotton ribbon tied on the trunk under the crown itself.

Topiary in the form of hydrangea

Below are the ideas for decorating the topiary with artificial flowers, which you can implement with the help of our master class.

Ideas for decorating topiary with artificial flowers

Ideas for decorating topiary with artificial flowers

Master class 3. Topiary from satin ribbons

Topiary made of satin ribbons will be especially appropriate on a festive table, for example, on the occasion of a child’s birthday, New Year or Valentine’s Day.

Satin ribbon topiary


  • A LOT of satin or any other ribbon of different colors;
  • Clay pot or any planter;
  • Trunk;
  • Styrofoam or floral foam ball;
  • Fixing mixture or floral foam;
  • Scissors;
  • Tailor’s pins-studs (with small caps);
  • Glue gun;
  • Materials for decorating the base of the topiary.

See also the material: DIY ribbon flowers – 6 master classes for beginners.

Step 1. Spray paint the pot and let it dry.

Step 2. Insert the stick into the ball according to Step 4 of the Basic Instructions.

Step 3. Place the wood blank in the fixing mixture (see Step 5 of the Basic Instructions) or in the floral foam.

Step 4. Cut the roll of tape into many strips 7-8 cm long. To save time, cut the tape by folding it in several layers. It is better not to mix ribbons of different colors, so that in the future it will be easier for you to distribute them evenly over the ball.

Preparing tapes

Step 5. Take one ribbon and make a loop out of it as shown in the photo below. In the place where the ends meet each other, insert a stud, and then insert it completely into the ball. Repeat these steps until the entire ball is decorated with ribbons..

Ribbon loop

Ribbon loop

Topiary decoration with satin ribbons

Step 6. As soon as the crown of the topiary is decorated, put candies, tissue paper, stones or any other decor in the pot..

The following photos show other examples of topiary decoration with ribbons..

Satin Ribbon Topiary Ideas

How to make coffee topiary