How To Make a Topiary

How To Make a Topiary

How-to-make-a-topiary

I love a good project…..a topiary project.

Actually….I love making a good topiary project and telling you all about it.

If you lived next door…..I would be knocking right now….holding  my coat hanger topiary and a pitcher of sweet tea.

Especially if you were grilling hamburgers.

how-to-make-topiaries

It’s not the talking about the project and the pictures and the showing and the telling you all about it that is challenging for me.

It’s the step-by-step instructions.

Yikes.

You see….I’m not really that good at them.

*sigh*

I want to be.

Truly.

If we had a giant blog yearbook and we could all vote on superlatives, I would want to be voted “Most Likely To Write a Step-By-Step Post.”

You see…..I have pin board after pin board of carefully detailed projects.  Each step photographed, numbered and explained down to the most minute detail by people who know so much more about step-by-step-project writing than I could ever hope to learn if I blogged for the next 500 years.

And when I pull up those projects on the pin boards and start to re-create them….my mind starts wandering…..my eyes glaze over and I drift off for a  moment to give a silent salute to the brilliant individual responsible for the Picmonkey collage.

I just want jump from the before to the after….with only a nod to the in-between.

And I end up next door eating hamburgers and drinking sweet tea.  :)

make-a-topiary

How to Make a Topiary From a Coat Hanger

Step-by-Step

(from before to after with a valiant attempt at a lot of in-betweens)

how-to-make-a-topiary-tree

Step 1:  Find some wire coat hangers.

And some ivy.

Straighten out the curved end of the coat hanger to a point (this is the end you will put into the dirt).

topiaries

Step 2:  Take coat hanger and stretch the ends into a diamond.

Re-form the diamond into a circle.

Or as close to a circle as you can get.

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect….the ivy will hide all the edges.

BTW….if this were a perfect world….this would be a brown coat hanger.

A real step-by-step person would have thought of that detail before taking all the pictures.

Repeat step 2 to make two circles.

making-a-topiary

Step 3:  Wrap green florist twine around the base of the two circles.

Wrap tightly until they are fastened together.

create-a-topiary

Step 4:  Twist circles and fasten

Twist the two coat hanger circles until they form a sphere.

Fasten at the top with florist wire.

topiary

Step 5:  Remove all questionable leaves (as shown in the perfect step-by-step photo).

Put ivy in an urn or other similar container.

Make sure the container is cute.

Unwritten step-by-step rule #146:   Not-cute containers are not allowed in coat hanger topiary projects.

Step 6:   Insert coat hanger into ivy.

Step 7:  Wrap tendrils of ivy around both coat hangers.  Keep wrapping until coat hangers are covered.

Creating-topiaries

Whew.

That was a little exhausting.

All that step-by-stepping.

I think it was worth it.

Maybe now……

…..my topiary and I will make the yearbook. :)

PS  Here’s a great tip to keep your ivy extra healthy and growing!

PPS  Sharing this idea over at Kim’s today!

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Comments

  1. Your topiary would most definitely make my yearbook! And, I would cook hamburgers every day if there was a chance you would show up at my door, with some of your amazing projects. This is one I will definitely attempt. I wish there was a way you could share your humor genes via blogland too. I am still smiling this morning.

  2. I may have to try this one! You make it look so easy. I will give you a mention on my Kentucky Living blog. Sheila

  3. Love this, Karianne! I did this years ago and you make me want to do one again! I haven’t had any luck with real indoor plants lately, but maybe if I start out small {and with one} I can get my plant mojo back. : )

  4. Totally trying this project — GREAT tutorial, Kari!! Quick question — the baskets on top of your hutch… diys?? Inquiring minds want to know how you achieved that weathered gray finish?
    xo Heidi

  5. I just love topiaries, and yours is beautiful. I have tried this in the past but I think my ivy was too skimpy. You have inspired me to try again. I’m with you. I start reading a tutorial and eventually just move on to the finished item. Short attention span on my part, super creativity on yours. You rock!

  6. Love it! Very cute idea…and I’m with you…if only I could be Jeannie on I Dream of Jeannie and close my eyes, blink, nod my head and POOF…project done! Ah well…back to our lowly human capabilities! You do rock the yearbook though – and with much more humor than those boring step-by-step experts!

  7. I had to laugh, my mind glazes over at directions too. Love the ivy topiary. I have tried several times over the years to get one to work inside and they have all died. I have enough ivy in my yard to cover a small country and I am kind of know for my green thumb (outside), but I can’t get any to grow inside…oh well….come over for tea and I’ll grill hamburgers.

  8. I never thought to do this with any live plants. So simple, but so much more interesting than a plain old plant in a pot!! Excellent tutorial:)

  9. Well, it is morning, but I will grill hamburgers if that is what you want. How about I top the burgers with a fried egg?

    I love ivy – and ivy topiaries – and you.

  10. I love how easy you make this look! I might give it a try. I also am wondering about those great baskets on top of your hutch. Did you already do a tutorial about those? I would love to know! Have a happy day!

  11. I love this, and your directions make it seem doable! I’m going to try this

  12. I would make one myself but that’s too much work for a plant that will be dead within weeks. Yours is lovely!

    :) Linda

  13. I’ve tried to do this one before…didn’t turn out as nice as yours. So I was thinking…I’ll have the hamburgers ready…you bring the topiary! I don’t like reading all those instructions either! ;)

  14. KariAnne you definitely make the yearbook! You and your projects always ROCK!

  15. I love this topiary ….would love to try my hand at it….thanks for the GREAT, YEAR BOOK WORTHY instructions. Perfect !!

  16. I have always wanted to make a real ivy topiary! These are great directions, I am so hoping to see you in that yearbook. Btw, my fave step was “make sure the container is cute”, love to read your posts!

    xo, Tanya

  17. Now I just need a step-by-step on how to keep ivy (or any other plant) alive. I.kill.plants. The PPS (Plant Protective Services) need to file my address in their files under “most likely to abuse by neglect”. It’s really sad. I’ve resorted to plastic plants and flowers, the same way some might be better with dolls instead of real children. Not exactly as cute and perky, but they look good in photos….which would be important in this day of visual media, no?

    I’m kinda incredulous that I typed all that out loud. Stellar morning, here in NE Indiana.

    Great tute, btw, done exactly the way my squirrel brain can comprehend.

  18. Love it…love stuff with re-purposed materials too. Coat hanger, Mommy Dearest aside, is a very useful piece of equipment we have just hanging around!
    xo,
    Kelly

  19. I SO agree with everyone, this is as cute and simple as can be:) You make my mornings smile while I sit here with my cup of real coffee:) Also, wondering about the baskets, did we miss something??

  20. OK….I’ll have to try this! Live indoor plants usually don’t like me but it’s been years since I’ve tried something like this and I think it’s time to try again! Now, I have to find some wire hangers as I banned them a few years ago! HA!!! Have a great day!~~Angela

  21. Beautiful job and great tutorial…….you can come to NJ and I will make you a hamburger and we can make the topiary together….that would be a fun time. Have a great day!

    Cynthia

  22. Brilliant :o ) And if you don’t have the time or energy to paint the coat hangers brown, you can always wrap them with green floral tape. Works like a charm!
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful project!

  23. Love this project…but love looking at all your white dishes even more!! We have sister compotes…the one dead center in the the middle of your hutch. Maybe it’s not a compote, but either which way, I have the twin! I was in Savannah over the weekend, pulling spanish moss from trees and spraying them with hairspray so I wouldnt have a car full of red bugs when I got home…I was thinking, “this is a Karianne moment”…I knew you would have fun with some good spanish moss!! I’ve had fun with my garbage bag full of goodness!

  24. can you believe I’ve never made a topiary?
    pinned it for the summer. :)

  25. So beautiful- I’m so inspired.

  26. That was a great tutorial Karianne! Might just try this soon. You made it look so easy to do.

  27. Oh how easy you make it sound. I’ll start sharing your how to dos , who knows one day all of us bloggers can come up with a plan!

  28. That is funny, because as soon as I saw your white hangers I was thinking “where did she get those?” In my perfect world, the hangers would be white! So there you have it. I love your blog and your style and your house and everything about you, phew, that sounded like a crush! Oh well!

  29. This is a great idea, Karianne…and I just happen to have two ivy plants sitting on the table in front of me, just waiting for a little topiaryizing (a Linda word)! Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. This is great! My kind of crafty! :)

    Remember the 80′s comedy, “Newhart”with Bob Newhart? He was a how-to writer, and the running joke was how boring his books were. You do know why, don’t you? Nary a mention of earrings, red lipstick, OR sweet tea! You’re MY favorite how-to writer!

    Enjoy the sunshine !!

  31. I think a topiary would make a luvly Mother’s day gift, no? Thanks for the idea.
    By the way, you can show up at my door anytime… with or without the topiary. But if you had one, I have the perfect place… we would sit and giggle and sip sweet tea and enjoy the day….
    Hugs, Gee

  32. One comment. That’s what my email said. But when I clicked to leave my comment…there were already so very many comments that it took me five minutes to reach the comment box. Whew! That was a lot of work. Now, what was it I wanted to say?
    Oh. Yeah. I remember. Not really…but I have another thought. I love tutorials! When other people write them. ;) And why is it that every time I post a project I need to write the tutorial? I’m inflicting punishment on myself. Maybe I need some sort of blog therapy. Hmmm.
    Oh…I actually do remember. I thought you used a white coat hanger because you wanted it to go with the milk glass. Another option….pick up some of that green floral tape at Wally’s shop and wrap it around the wire so that it looks like the vine and kind of helps the vine stick a wee bit too. Of course…that would take an hour to do….white looks great. Besides, we can both do another tutorial-less project in an hour. Yes?

  33. What a beautiful topiary and totally CUTE tutorial!! I would so have to use faux ivy as my thumbs are NOT green but it doesn’t stop me from loving them!! We are grilling hamburgers for dinner, will set an extra place…just sayin!!

  34. Excellent tutorial :) I have trouble with this too. The theme of my blog is more like, “look, I made it, okay?” Well done, ma’am!

  35. Ahhh…what a NIFTY THRIFTY idea…LUV it!!!

    Blessings,
    Linda

  36. AWSOME idea i am trying this when i get home……. you are so creative

  37. Love your topiary! You always make me smile!

  38. I have the EXACT same pot/urn sitting on my desk! Not-cute containers aren’t allowed no my desk either.

  39. Just so beautiful……………..

  40. Love your topiary. She looks very elegant. I also loved the part about the burgers. You make me laugh. Thank you for that. smiles~k.

  41. Great idea which came at such an opportune time. I’m looking at those cheapy wire hangers that we collect from the dry cleaners. Now I have a project to do something with them! And like a couple of others have noted, try to figure out how to keep the dang ivy alive long enough to cover the wire. Out of all my plants, ivy has the toughest time hanging on. Faux is starting to have its advantages. ~ Dawn

  42. I have three comments. #1. I was Yearbook Editor (we even won prized awards against the big big city yearbooks so that makes me almost pro) and I’d definitely work your topiary into a page maybe between the frosh and soph sections?? Or on Prom page??#2 I got a twinge of nostalgia…you see as a teacher for open house I always had the kids use a rounded coat hanger and cover with tissue etc to make lady bugs so I’ve stretched a few hangers in my day…sigh…hard to get past colorful ladybug image dangling down from the ceiling with their colors of any choice and stickers of spots with antennae of pipe cleaners. You’d have wanted to make one if you saw it….#3. I read ALL directions first, so I read how brown hangers would look better and I see the pretty white milk glass container and I’m convinced white hanger looks really good!!!
    I think it’s a pretty idea.

  43. LOVE this tutorial. I’ve never made my own topiary but totally want too!

  44. I just bought ivy from Ikea and I have an old small topiary form I bought at a yard sale YEARS ago, hiding somewhere in my garage. I just haven’t found the perfect cute container…but I’ll keep looking and then I will have the perfect cute topiary!
    P.S. I agree, tutorials can be exhausting!

  45. Your topiary is really pretty! I like to make topiary’s too but haven’t made one with a real live plant. I am inspired to try. Is Ivy the best plant to use for this project? I need something hardy that can survive if I forget to water it for a few days.

  46. I love it, it looks amazing. I just made one using a twig wreath. I think the coat hanger idea is fabulous. I would love for you to link this to my Inspire ME party that is ongoing. Hugs, Marty
    http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/05/163rd-inspire-me-tuesday.html

  47. Hi there! I also like your topiary.
    I wanted to ask the color of your paint on your walls and upper hutch?
    It looks gray/green up top, but perhaps where the light hits it directly, a blue/gray?
    Would you share?
    Thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] PS  If you want to know how to make a topiary….here’s a post where I used a coat hanger to create one! [...]