DIY Topiary Trees with Tiered Boxwood

What is it about spring that makes everything seem right in the world?  Dull hues of winter are quickly replaced by bright blooms and new green growth.  No matter the length of my to-do list, this season always gives me a sense of refreshment and renewal. 

birds nest

Whether it is the sight of beautiful flowers, the sound of baby birds or the cool breeze, I have decided that spring is without a doubt my favorite season.  I love to reflect this season in our home to bring inside the same fresh feeling of newness and restoration

entry way

One of my favorite ways to decorate for Spring is with boxwood balls and topiaries.  The bright green gives such a crisp contrast against spring flowers.  Boxwood is perfect to use throughout the year as they complement every season’s décor.  

small boxwoods

dining table

My favorite boxwood décor would have to be the two topiaries on my front porch that I included in my post 10 Steps to Affordable Curb Appeal.  They were such an easy DIY project and they make such an inviting statement.

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I made them at a fraction of the cost of those sold in stores and was able to make them exactly the size I wanted.  I have gotten many compliments on these topiaries and they have held up well over the past two years, even in the hot Texas sun.

finished topiary

What You Will Need:

  • Faux Boxwood balls
  • Long Branches
  • ¾ inch dowel rod
  • Wire
  • Stain
  • Decorative Pot or Urn
  • Aluminum pot – Small enough to fit in the pot/urn upside down
  • Hammer and large nail
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Scissors
  • Brush

Step 1:  Go online to find some faux boxwood balls.  The dried boxwood is very expensive and not the best option for outside.  You can find several faux options online that look very realistic.  I purchased mine at Joann’s.com when they had a 40% off sale.  I have also seem them at Hobby Lobby and consumercrafts.com.

To make a topiary that is configured like mine, you will need two 8-inch balls and one 10-inch ball but really any sizes will do.  This your opportunity to customize your topiaries to the size and style you want!

faux boxwood balls

Step 2:  Pick out a decorative pot or urn.  Ideally, you will want one that is heavy so that it is not easily blown over.

Step 3:  Find some very long straight branches and a ¾” dowel rod.  Combined together they will look just like a real boxwood stem.  If you can’t find branches, you can also use ¼ inch dowel rods at found at Home Depot.  I used branch trimmers to the larger dowel rod to …inches.  You can cut your branches about 8 inches shorter than the dowel rod.  You don’t want the branches to extend down into the aluminum pot, just the main dowel rod.

stem

I then fastened several of branches to the dowel rod with wire to make a large “stem”.  This is way more realistic looking than using one big dowel rod.  I tied wire around the stem branches underneath where each ball would go so the wire won’t be visible when it is all together.  The below picture is a side-view of the stained stem.

stem upclose.jpg

 

Step 4 :  Once you have your dowel rods or branches tied together, it is now time to stain.  I used a sample can ($2.30) of Behr’s semi-transparent deck stain in chocolate, because it is what I had on hand.  You could really use any stain or gel stain.  Ideally, you want to paint the stain on and let it be kind of streaky.  I let that dry for a couple of days.

bucket

Step 5 :  In the meantime, take your aluminum bucket and put it upside down in your decorative pot.  Use gorilla glue to glue the edges in the pot and let it dry 24 hours.

gluing bucket

Step 6 :  After the stain has dried, it’s time to make a hole for the trunk of the topiary.  I used a large nail and hammer and kept hammering holes until I had one big hole just the size of the set of sticks.  You want it to be a tight fit.

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Step 7 :  When the hole is the right size, squeeze some gorilla glue into the hole so it goes to the bottom of your pot or urn.  Stick in the trunk and make sure it is straight.  Let that dry 24 hours.  The gorilla glue expands and will hold everything in place.

glue is dried 

Step 8:  Take your boxwood balls and cut some of the net-like interior, just enough so the balls can fit tightly on the step

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One of my topiary balls was sliding down the step, so I wired some of that interior netting to the sticks.  (You’ll find most of these faux boxwood balls are hollow with an interior plastic netting that all the leaves attach to.)

You are done!

twin topiaries

Like I mentioned, boxwood topiaries are great to have around the house because they work for all seasons.  I love that they are the one decoration in the house I never have to change out.

DIY topiaries

Spring reminds me of new life but also consistency.  God tells us in Revelation 21:5 that He will make all things new one day.  Until then, we have spring’s reminder of the renewal and restoration that comes from only Him.

As God’s all about making things new, He offers us rejuvenation from life’s hardships and worries today.  Just as God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, He personally cares about your every care and concern.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7  Although seasons of life change and our lives never seem to calm down, His love never changes.  He is our true constant, the one thing we can cling to as a calm in the midst of a storm. 

What do you feel is weighing you down?  Where are you in need of renewal and a fresh start?  Know that He cares for you more than you can possibly fathom and He waits for you to bear all your worries and fears.

 

Join us for Renovated Faith’s first giveaway!

Renovated Faith is giving away TWO of these three tiered trays – one for you and one for a friend!  Check back to see how to enter!

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‘Til Next Time,

 

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The Blessing of “No”: Why God Never Laughs At Our Plans (Free Printable)

Have you waited for your plans to come unfold only to have them fall apart?  Have you mapped out the blueprint to your life but can’t seem to make it a reality?  You may have heard the joke, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.  But in reality, as difficult as it is to let go of our expectations, God’s “no” is so often what we need most.

God's blueprint

One spring day, my dad was going through my grandparents’ old things.  In the trash pile, I saw some old rolled-up blueprints.  I unrolled them to find a picture of a house that was never built and a dream that had never been realized.

My grandparents lived in New Jersey and had grand plans to build the very home sketched on those worn, brittle pages.

However, God had a different plan. 

Establishes Steps - Renovated Faith

An opportunity to start their own photography business arose in Houston and the house they had dreamed of was never built.   Knowing the move from New Jersey to Texas would be a difficult one, they almost changed their minds at the last possible minute.  However, the moving van was just around the corner and so were the plans that the Lord had laid before them.

What would have happened if the dream of that house was realized?  What would have come about if they had stayed in New Jersey and adhered to their plan?  For one thing, my parents may have never met and I would have never been born.  They had to make a sacrifice to follow the right plan and my life was one result of many.

blueprint closeup

In the same way, God had to tell His only son “no”.  While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before Judas’ betrayal, Jesus prayed out to His Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

God knew that Christ’s death on the cross would force His only Son to bear merciless pain but the outcome would be far worth His suffering.  As a result of Christ’s death on the cross, a sacrifice was made allowing anyone access to eternal life by having faith in Him.

In every situation, the source for God’s “no” is His love for us.  There are several things we can learn from this example in Gethsemane:

  1. God understands that change is hard for us. It was not sinful that Christ asked for the cup to be taken from Him.   Therefore, it is not a sin to ask for a break from suffering, but like Christ, we should be submissive to God’s plans overall.
  2. God knows suffering is…well, suffering. He realizes pain is difficult and He doesn’t expect us to like it.  It’s a sacrifice for a reason.  No grit, no pearl.
  3. Our plans don’t make God laugh. God doesn’t take joy in our suffering.  Can you imagine the anguish God felt when He had to watch His Son die on the cross?  God changes our plans because He knows sometimes difficulties are necessary for us to experience His best.
  4. God’s no is ALWAYS worth it. Christ experienced the depths of human anguish on a level we will fortunately never fully experience.  But in the end, He appeared before the disciples, his fishing buddies, and showed them the scars on his hands, with joy in His heart and the gleam of heaven in His eye.  Because of His sacrifice, we can experience that same joy in His Presence.

We’ve all been there.  Each of us had experienced times when God had said no to our dreams – when he has closed a door that we always envisioned walking through.  So often I have kicked and screamed when these times have come, pouting all the way as God ushers me to plan B.  But in reality, I eventually realize that His plans were Plan A all along, that He knew what was best, in spite of what I thought was best for me.

When I look at the blueprint, now framed in our office, I am thankful for God’s “no’s”  Whether it was the boy I shouldn’t have been dating, the career I would have been miserable in or the house that wasn’t meant to be, He knew His plans were best and loved me enough to redirect me from what I thought I wanted most.

no grit no pearl
To download this printable, check out my post DIY Faux Painted Signs (Free Scripture Printables)

Where are you stuck right now?  Do you feel like God is putting up a roadblock to some area or your life?  Here are three possible reasons for God’s “no” in your life right now.

  1. Disobedience – God tells us “no” when we are not obedient to Him and His Word. Fortunately the Lord is faithful to those who return to Him.  God disciplines those He loves as a father disciplines His child in order to protect them.  Defiantly seeking things not of Him is like sticking your hand in snake den. Eventually you will get bitten and the results will be painful, if not deadly.
  2. Just Wait” – So often a “no” is really God’s way of telling us to wait either because we aren’t ready for what’s ahead or the circumstances aren’t in place yet. Be patient to see what God has in store – it’s worth the wait!
  3. NO = “My plans are better” – God only changes our plan because His path is better than what we desire. “Better” doesn’t necessarily mean “easier” but His Design will always be worthwhile.

Establishes Steps

“The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs His steps” (Proverbs 16:9).  There is nothing this world can offer greater than having the creator of the Universe lead you every step of the way.  I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  Even in the hardest of times, we can have contentment knowing that He is our protector.

What about YOU???   What blueprints aren’t going into the construction phase?  What doors is God closing?  Pray to God about what you are experiencing and thank Him for what plans He is working on behind the scenes.

blueprints

I hope you were encouraged by my post this week!  If you would like to receive weekly updates from Renovated Faith in your inbox, click HERE.

‘Til Next Time

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