DIY Drop Cloth Topiary Trees

I found a few ideas on Google for DIY topiary and thought I would try to make my own for outside our front door.  

I'm thinking they might even look pretty at Christmas decorated with fairy lights.

Here is what I used:
1. A piece of wooden dowel 180cms long for $6, cut in two, from Bunnings Hardware.
2. Hubby had some scrap blocks of wood and he drilled a hole in each to secure the dowels.
3. Two terracotta pots at $13 each from Bunnings.
4. Two styrofoam balls 15cm diameters each from Lincraft at $3 each.  I would have preferred 20-25cms, but these were the largest I could find.
5. Lots of dress pins.  I'd say about 150 - 200.  I had to buy more pins for approx $5.
6. Drop cloth off cuts that I had in my stash. I cut squares 10 x 10cms.  I didn't count, but I'm guessing there were approx 150 for both balls.
7. White undercoat and top coat paint, from my paint supplies.
8. Garden pebbles free from our garden.
Total cost approx $50.  If you have some old pots on hand you could half this.

To make your trees, grab one of your 10x10cm fabric squares and fold the sides in as pictured.

Then fold the bottom corner up to meet the top one.

Place a pin in the centre of the top of the folded fabric, approx 2cms from the peak.

Push the pin fully into the ball.

Fold the fabric over to cover the pin and press down to gently crease and hold the fabric in place.

Continue adding folds of fabric until the entire ball is covered.

Now look at your ball and decide where you want to insert the dowel, then remove one pinned piece of fabric.

Now on to the stands. Cut your dowel in half and drill holes the same width in some scrap timber to create stands.  This is how they will look in your pots.

Next, paint your pots and dowels.  I used Zinsser 123 undercoat.

Then I used 2 coats of Dulux WeatherProof white paint as I thought this would provide extra protection from outside elements, and I had some spare. 

Next I put the stands in and filled the pots with rocks from our garden. I then swiped a white paint brush over the top of the rocks to give them a roughly painted appearance.

Then place your styrofoam balls on top of your dowels and push down. I had to pull some of the styrofoam out of the holes so the dowels would go in.  Make sure your ball heights are even in both pots. 

As my pots were a bit larger than my finished balls, I decided to add a burlap bow to the dowels to balance them out a bit more.  I simply made the bows from webbing, then tied them on at the back with some left over drop cloth.

And here are the finished topiaries in my entryway.  

The great thing about these topiaries is that you can change up the tops if you like by simply removing the balls and adding something else. 

I can't wait to set them up on the front porch.

x Julie 

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  1. Hi Julie,
    How cute and different are these. I love these. I agree these would be so great decorated for Christmas.

    1. Thanks Kris. Glad you got your screen fixed too! x Julie

  2. What a cute project! They look nice in your entryway. I agree they are versatile and could be easily modified/embellished for holidays too. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

    1. Thanks D! I'm picturing wooden plank Christmas trees decorated with fairy lights in those pots already! Hehe. x J

  3. These are adorable.. how unique - I love them.... they are so versatile, could be used for almost any occasion. I am going to pin these for future reference.... found you at Homework.... Cathy

    1. Thanks Cathy! I can't wait to decorate them for Christmas. :)

  4. Come visit us at
    We are having a party and it won't be the same without your creativity!
    Craft Frenzy Friday!


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