topiary decorating ideas

How to Make a Boxwood Ball Topiary

DIY topiary trees were the perfect addition to our front porch because they are versatile for any season.  Here is a budget-friendly tutorial to make your own and topiary decorating ideas!

Similar boxwood topiary trees sell online for a small fortune, but I learned how to make my own faux boxwood topiaries that are more durable, just as life-like, and a fraction of the cost. 

If you like the look of DIY Outdoor Topiary Trees without the high price tag, here I show you how to make topiary trees out of boxwood balls.

This is a great tutorial for you if you:

  • like the look of front porch topiary trees but not the cost
  • need some front door decor that is versatile for any season
  • want to make a topiary centerpiece or small indoor topiaries
  • are interested in making DIY topiary trees for weddings

 

Artificial Topiary Trees for Front Porch Decor

topiary decorating ideas

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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. 

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.

How to Make an Artificial Boxwood Topiary

One of my favorite ways to decorate for Spring is with boxwood balls and topiaries.  As you can tell from my Boxwood Decor Pinterest board, boxwood is one of my favorites.  The bright green gives such a crisp contrast against spring flowers and even Christmas decor.  Boxwood is perfect to use throughout the year as they complement every season’s décor.  

diy topiary trees

But my favorite boxwood décor would have to be the two DIY topiary trees on my front porch that I included in my post 8 Easy Steps to Affordable Curb Appeal.  These topiaries were such an easy DIY project and they make such an inviting statement without looking artificial.

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.

 

How to Make a Topiary Ball Tree – Supplies Needed:

  • Faux Greenery Balls or Boxwood balls – one 10″ (CLICK HERE) and two 9″(CLICK HERE)  These are the cheapest I can find and have worked really well for my own topiary trees.
  • Long Branches – I got mine from my backyard. – If you don’t have access to long branches, use a few skinny dow rods.  Don’t use one fat one – use three or 4 little ones and it will look more realistic!  🙂
  • ¾ inch dowel rod
  • Brown Floral Wire – like this.
  • Stain – I used a sample-sized can of Behr’s semi-transparent deck stain Sable from Home Depot.
  • 2 Decorative Pots or Urns – This set is a great deal!
  • Metal Craft Bucket – Small enough to fit in the pot/urn upside down.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby but you can also find them at the dollar store.
  • Hammer and large nail
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Scissors
  • 1″ Paint Brush

 

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How to Make Your Own Artificial Topiary – The Process


 Step 1: How to Make a DIY Large Outdoor Topiary

The first step is to prep the boxwood balls.  For this tutorial we are making pre-made topiary balls because they are easier and really realistic looking.  Also, by the time you got the supplies to make three large boxwood balls, you would pay more than just buying them pre-made.

Topiary Proportions: What size topiary balls are best?

Find the right size of boxwood balls.  I used one 10″ and two 9″ but the beauty of this project is that you can make your topiary tree as large or small as you want. The dried boxwood is very expensive and not the best option for outside – it also smells funny!  You can find several faux options online that look very realistic.

diy topiary trees

Step 2: Pick a Base for your DIY Outdoor Faux Topiary

Pick out a decorative pot or urn.  Ideally, you will want one that is heavy so that it is not easily blown over.  However, plastic urns are cheaper but you can always put a little sand in the bottom to make it heavier.

Step 3: Stems for your DIY Artificial Outdoor Topiary

Find some very long straight branches and a ¾” dowel rod.  Boxwood topiary trees don’t have one long trunk but several smaller stems together.  Combined, the dowel rod and sticksl 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 cut the larger dowel rod to about 48 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 metal pot, just the main dowel rod.

diy topiary trees

I then fastened several branches to the dowel rod with brown floral 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 picture below is a side-view of the stained stem.

diy topiary trees

Step 4: Stain the Stem

Once you have your dowel rods or branches tied together, it is now time to stain.  I used a sample can of Behr Semi-Transparent Deck Stain for about $3.  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.

diy topiary trees

Step 5:  How to Make a Topiary Frame

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.  The glue will expand around the edges of the pot and that’s normal.  You won’t be able to see that anyway.

diy topiary trees

Step 6: Add a Hole for the Trunk of your DIY Topiary Trees

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 so the stem/trunk stays straight.

diy topiary trees

 

Step 7: Glue the Topiary Trunk to the Base

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.

diy topiary trees

Step 8: Cutting Holes in the Faux Greenery Balls to Make a DIY Large Topiary Tree

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

diy topiary trees

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.)

diy topiary trees

Just stick the rest of the boxwood balls on your topiary trees and you are done!!!

DON’T FORGET TO TAKE A PICTURE!

Now that you are done, I’d love to see how it turned out! ❤️  Post your DIY topiary tree pic here!

diy topiary trees
topiary decorating ideas
topiary decorating ideas

 

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Topiary Decorating Ideas

 

DIY Christmas Topiary Ideas

As 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.  This Christmas I plan on adding some little LED lights to mine!  To see the full post go to: Christmas Front Porch Ideas on a Budget

 

DIY Easter Topiary Tree

The fresh look of boxwood leaves lends well to Spring too!  The topiaries can easily be paired with a beautiful hydrangea wreath and floral layered doormat.

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. 

diy topiary trees

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.

RENOVATED THINKING: “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.  Just as spring comes every year so do consistently have his peace and comfort.

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.

 Every DIY or Home Decor post with spiritual encouragement has a Renovated Thinking section.  You can see more of those posts by clicking here and can subscribe to the weekly newsletter by clicking here.

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Want to see more outdoor decor ideas from Renovated Faith?  CLICK HERE.

You might also like my DIY Windmill Wall Decor here.

diy topiary trees

 

DIY Topiary Trees – Related Posts:

How to Landscape Your Front Porch on a Budget

How to Make Layered Doormats

Easy Peasy Lemon Wreath

Spring Hydrangea Wreath Tutorial

More Front Porch Decor

Speaking of versatile decor, you can also download my free doormat stencils.  They allow you to make your own coir mat with any personalized saying or you can use any of the premade stencils available for download.

make layered doormats

The tutorial also includes how to make a fabric rug so you can layer your doormats.  The rug has an interchangeable cover that you can easily swap out for any season.  This is so much more cost-effective than getting separate sets of rugs for each season or holiday.  You can see the tutorial and download the templates here:

DIY Doormat Tutorial: Layered Doormats for Any Season

fingerprint wreath wall art

If you like the look of boxwood, check out my fingerprint wreath wall art – it’s so easy and such a fun family activity! Click here – Easy Fingerprint Wreath Wall Art

Topiary Decorating Ideas – FAQ’s:

Can I Make DIY Topiary Trees for Weddings? 

This tutorial is a great option for wedding decor.  They look great along the aisle or at a venue entrance near the sign-in table.  These trees would also make a great reception centerpiece if they were made on a smaller scale.

Can I Make a DIY Topiary Centerpiece with this tutorial?

You can easily make your own DIY topiary centerpiece or home decor by using these instructions.  Just down-size all the supplies.  You can get smaller topiary balls at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and also Target.

How Does a DIY Porch Topiary Hold Up to Weather?

I have had my topiaries on my front porch for three years!  They have held up really well to the hot Texas sun and regular showers.  About once a year I set them in the grass and hose them off.  That’s really the only thing I’ve done to clean them up and they still look great and SO much less effort than the real deal!

topiary decorating ideas

DIY Topiary Trees – Final Thoughts:

I’ve gotten SO many compliments on my topiary trees.   Boxwood is such a classic and timeless look.  I love that I didn’t have to spend a fortune on these and they look so much more realistic than many of the ones I see online.   Boxwood topiaries are great because they work for year-round, Spring, and Christmas decor.   The versatility makes them a super-easy staple in my front door decor!

Be sure to save this pin so you can comment on it later with your before and after pics! Pin it here:

topiary decorating ideas

What are your thoughts, my friend?  Do you think the makeover was worth it?    I love to hear your thoughts and questions!  Scroll down to leave a comment and I WILL reply! ❤️

Blessings,

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Youtube: How to Make a Topiary


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DIY Artificial Outdoor Topiary Tutorial

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21 Comments

  1. Hi there !
    I just want you to know how BLESSED I am to read your blog and learn new things ! God has truly blessed you with talent and insight !! I can feel your relationship is sweet with6our wonderful Saviour ! It makes it even more meaningful to me because I went to High School with your father-in-law, Jerry and of course your Uncle Terry in Dallas….your great Aunt Bev Schrag-Robinson was ahead of me. Derrill has been a dear friend of ours for 40+ years……it’s a small world, eh??

    I pray God will richly reward you as you serve Him and continue to bless us with your deep insight! I’m a big follower of the teachings of Nancy Lee DeMoss Wohlgemuth, Beth Moore and Alicia Morgan….you are right up there among godley women to be admired and admonished to stay the course….you’ll be in my prayers and I’ll look forward to each new entry !! I’m going to try the topiary and the bird’s nest under glass !! I LOVE to decorate with branches, birds and nests

    God Bless you.
    Say Hi to your Dad for me….he would remember me as Dolly Classen back then ?
    ________________________________

    1. Hi Dolly! I can’t thank you enough for your words of encouragement! It IS such a small world! I am so thankful for your prayers. My heartbeat for this blog is that women will be drawn to a fun project and come away with encouragement in their walk with the Lord. Again, I’m really humbled and encouraged by your sweet words and they came at a time I really needed them. Can’t thank you enough Dolly! How can I pray for you?

  2. Karin, I love boxwood, and your DIY topiaries are amazing! Thank you for another great project and an encouraging word to go with it! Can’t wait to find out about your giveaway!! <3 Misty

    1. Thank you Misty! I love boxwood too as you can tell. I’m excited about the giveaway myself! I got three of the tiered trays on clearance – I’m not really sure why. So, I thought a giveaway would be a fun way to share the other two I am not using! Thanks again Misty!!!

        1. Hey Misty! I loved seeing your visit to Magnolia! I’m realizing the key to visiting Magnolia is not to go on a weekend. I love your front porch and your blog is gorgeous. Keep up the good work!

  3. Karin!!! I love your site, and of course I love this project! This looks so simple, right up my lane. Making my own at a lower cost, rather than buying is ALWAYS my preference. Your encouragement along with your DIY is brilliant! I just love it all!

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words Jen! I have so much fun figuring out how to make my own low-cost version of home decor items – maybe a little too much fun! My mission for the blog is that someone is drawn to the blog by a fun project but hopefully goes away with some encouragement in their relationship with the Lord! Thank you again!

    1. I don’t but I should! All I did was take an 18″ grapevine wreath and hot glue Hydrangea flowers to it. I got them at Michaels and cut the stems to a few inches with a wire cutter. Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions!

  4. Hi ! loved your tutorial I’m definitely going to make this! I’m having some trouble picking out the right size for the pot and I was wondering how many inches is the one that you used for yours??

  5. Karin, This is my 1st time commenting on a tutorial from pinterest,however with that being said Your gift of craftiness,and easy to follow description of your creations is like I said “A GIFT! ” I need some professional craftiness input! I have a 5 ft 4 in. 3 ball boxwood on my front porch next to my door. The birds have plucked her bald! Not a leaf,or stem left! The balls are made of looks like small twigs in a round shape. There’s no styrofoam. How do I fix my tree?! LOL!

  6. Hello Karin, I read your post about making a Boxwood Ball TOPIARY, and I loved it. I’d like to know whether or not I can use the TOPIARY Trees both for interior decoration?

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post Matt. Yes, you can absolutely use them indoors. Just follow the same instructions or scale down the supplies for smaller topiaries. Thanks again!

  7. Hey! I love the topiary project!! I saw this months ago and had to order the boxwood balls from amazon because Joanne’s didn’t have them in stock anymore. They took forever getting to me because of Covid but I have them now. They were not packaged in a box and didn’t come put together, so needless to say, the boxwood balls are half spheres that are smooshed a little. Any suggestions on how to make them stay round? I will use green floral wire to put them together to make a whole sphere, but I am going to have to play with them to make them fully round. I’m kind of disappointed in the product delivery, but I am so excited to have these on my front porch once I put them together! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

    1. So sorry to hear they were in halves and squished. Could you put something in the middle to try to fill in the empty space, like maybe try to stuff newspaper as tightly as possible and leave it for a while. Let me know how it turns out!

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