Spring can’t come fast enough as far as Jo and I are concerned, and we look for any excuse to bring the bright, fresh colors of Spring into our homes. We recently did just that with a charming potted topiary that’s bursting with fresh flowers. We even “planted” the topiary in a pot full of grass seedlings.
This topiary is a delightful way to decorate the house. It also makes a wonderful centerpiece for an Easter party if you nestle a few Easter eggs in the grass!
Prepare the base components
Before you can decorate your lovely topiary, you need to build it. Start with a medium-sized flower pot that you’ve filled with potting soil and planted with grass seed. Let it sit for a week or two until the bright green grass begins to sprout. If you’re in a hurry, try looking for small pots of live wheat grass for sale in grocery or home improvement stores. You can just pop the plant out of the container and plop it into place in your flower pot.
For the Styrofoam balls that make up the topiary, you’ll need one that is 6 inches in diameter and one that is 8 inches in diameter. Now get some short pieces of tree branches from the yard and use them to create the “trunk”. Use one piece to connect the top ball to the bottom one, and another piece to connect the bottom ball to the flower pot. Make sure the sticks are long enough to poke into the Styrofoam far enough to hold it securely.
This is also a good time to decorate the flower pot. Cut a long strip of your fabric and hem the edges. Wrap the band around the flower pot and secure with a pin (or use hot glue for a permanent bond).
Cut the fabric pieces
Now it’s time to cover the Styrofoam with your pretty fabric. In order to cover a round ball with flat fabric, you’ll need to do some clever sewing. To make it easier for you, we’ve created patterns to use for cutting out the fabric. Use our 8 inch pattern to cut 7 pieces of fabric for the 8 inch ball. Use our 6 inch pattern to cut 6 pieces of fabric for the 6 inch ball.
Sew the buttonholes
If you’re going to stick flowers in this topiary, they’ll need somewhere to go! You’ll accomplish this by dotting the fabric with cute buttonholes. Use your sewing machine to sew several buttonholes on each piece of fabric. To help with placement, look back at our patterns. For the 8″ pattern pieces, mark half of them with the “A” buttonholes (A1, A2, and A3), and half of them with the “B” buttonholes (B1 and B2). Do the same for the 6″ pattern pieces, marking half of them with the “A” and half with the “B” buttonholes.
Sew the covers together
Take the 7 pieces of fabric for the 8″ ball and sew them, right sides together, along both long sides, leaving a 3/8″ seam allowance. Be sure to alternate your “A” and “B” buttonhole pieces as you go. Sew all the seams together except the last one. You should have something resembling an inside-out ball now.
Flip the fabric right side out and slip it carefully over the 8″ ball. Use a needle and thread to sew the remaining seam closed with a slip stitch.
Repeat this process for the 6″ ball. When both balls are covered, place them back on the sticks in your topiary. Now you’re ready to decorate them with flowers!
Insert the flowers
Trim each of your daisies so that the stem is about 2 inches long, and attach each one to a wired wood pick. Wrap the wire around the flower, holding it in place. The pick will keep your flowers straight and strong, and allow you to push them into the Styrofoam with ease.
Even with the picks on the flowers, you want to make it as easy as possible to insert the flowers without breaking them. Styrofoam can be a bit tough, so we’re going to give each hole a head start. At every buttonholes in your fabric, insert the handle of a small paint brush into the Styrofoam, and make a nice space for the flower to go. Then just put one flower into each one buttonhole.
The finished results
The finished topiary is adorable and would look great anywhere in the home. The daisies will last a day or two, so if you’re doing this for a party, wait to assemble it until a few hours before guests are arriving for maximum freshness.
Other uses and ideas
You can change the fabric cover on your topiary to suit any season or occasion. And there are so many possibilities besides daisies for filling the buttonholes! Here are some other fun ideas:
- all those flowers your kids love to pick for you all summer long
- fresh herbs from the garden
- silk flowers (for a longer lasting decoration)
- little bows tied from ribbons
- holly or pine at Christmas time