Valentine’s Topiary Tutorial

Happy Wednesday everyone! There’s only one day left in January and February is already upon us. 2013 is officially underway! Which means, we are just a few weeks away from Valentine’s Day. So it’s time to start putting together school Valentines and adding a little pink to your lives. I’m sure some of you are dreading the idea of having to come up with an idea and preparing thirty plus valentines for your child’s class. But don’t fret! I have done a little legwork for you. There are lots of super cute ideas floating around and the best part is – they don’t require a whole lot of effort! So let’s make your son or daughter the talk of the class…

IMG_0312Your child can generate a little buzz in their class with these super cute Bee Mine valentines from Pizzazzerie. Or you can mix up some yummy holiday trail mix for all the cuties in their class from A Spicy Perspective. The Fry Family created some great valentines to help dig up some fun for the whole class. The Brassy Apple created some photo valentines that a sure to trick your senses. You’re sure to surprise the class with these dyn-o-mite valentines from Make It Do . Finally, you’re little super hero might want to spread some love with the super suckers created by Zakka Life .

IMG_0322Now that you have some inspiration for those class valentines, it’s time to make a little something to spruce up your life! I have already started unpacking my Valentine’s decorations. After all this rain, I needed a little color added to my world. So let’s bring on the pink, red, and lace! This week we are going to create a beautiful Pink Topiary for your mantle. I love these, because they are so simple and clean. I think they are great, because unlike the garden topiaries, there’s no water required. I do not have a green thumb, so I have managed to kill every live topiary I have ever gotten. So let’s get started!

Valentines Rosette Topiary

Materials:

-6″ styrofoam ball
- terra cotta pot
- small piece of floral styrofoam
- 1 yard of Valentine’s print fabric
- 1/3 yard of solid colored fabric (pink, red, or white)
- wooden dowel
- pink ribbon
- 1 piece of tissue paper (pink, red, or white)
- acrylic paint (pink, red, or white)
- paint brush
- hot glue gun

We will begin by painting our pots and the wooden dowel. Then we can set them aside to dry while we work on our topiary. You will probably have to apply several coats to your terra cotta pot, because that hideous orange is pretty dark. When you have painted both your pot and your dowel to your desired shade, set them aside to dry. Now onto the fun part! We are going to create your topiary.

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Next, cut your fabric into 1 1/2 inch strips that are 45 inches long. Then cut your strips in half, so they are each 22 inches long. Heat up your glue gun and get your styrofoam ball.

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Now I am going to teach you how to make fabric rosettes.

Take a strip of fabric. At one end, fold the corner down to create a point. Then fold the tip inward towards the raw edge. Next, fold the topside of the fabric in toward the triangle you’ve just created to form a small bud. Finally, begin twisting your fabric into a ringlet around the bud you’ve just formed. Keep twisting until you’ve reached the other end of your strip.

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Apply a healthy amount of glue to the surface of your styrofoam ball, where you want to stick your rosette. Tuck the end of your fabric underneath the edge of your rosette. Press it down and hold for a few seconds to help it stay in place.

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Now is the time to determine what type of pattern you’d like to make. I chose to surround my solid pink rosettes with printed ones. But do what you like, because it’s your project. Continue making rosettes until you have completely covered the entire surface of your styrofoam ball.

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Next we’re going to cut our floral styrofoam and insert it into our pots. I like to apply a little hot glue to help hold it in place. But it’s not necessary.

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Decide how high you would like your topiary to stand, and cut your wooden dowel. Make sure you account for the parts of the dowel that will be inserted into both your pot and your ball. First push one end of the dowel into the bottom of your styrofoam ball. Then insert the other end into the center of your pot. Slide the dowel all the way to the bottom of the pot, so it’s more stable.

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Next fold up your tissue paper like an accordion. Then cut it into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. When you’re finished, ruffle them up so they look like raffia. Cover the top of your floral styrofoam with a healthy amount of hot glue. Cover the styrofoam with the strips of tissue paper. Press them down firmly, so they will stay in place. Trim any crazy fly aways, so it looks neat.

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Finally, take your ribbon and tie a bow around the wooden dowel. Cut off the excess ribbon.

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And we are finished! Clear a place for your beautiful new Valentine’s Topiary, because it should be on display for all to see. I hope you have enjoyed this project. It’s one of my favorites!

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Check back in a couple of weeks for a whole new project. And in the meantime, I will have many more Valentine’s Day projects for you on my Adventures in Motherhood Blog. So check them out!

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Happy Crafting!

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