13 February 2011

Tissue Paper Topiary Tutorial

Whew! Say that five times fast! Tissue Paper Topiary Tutorial... So I was the decorating gal for a recent Silent Auction event on-post, tight budget, so I made a few of the items... including the above topiaries! They're kinda an "in thing" right now, so I decided to try my hand at them :)

Our colors/theme was black & white damask & chandeliers with a pop of red. Although our family doesn't celebrate the holiday {everyday is "love day" in our home!} these would be great decor for a Valentine's Day theme too. So here's a {hopefully} pretty easy tutorial if you want to give them a go too!

Tissue Paper Topiary Tutorial

foam ball
wooden dowel
tissue paper {a lot}
hot glue gun {and lots of glue sticks!}
strands of beads
straight pins

{Step 1} Cut out roughly a bajillion tissue paper circles... I cut them out as I went along, so I wouldn't have too many left over, so I honestly don't know how many there ended up being. I took three sheets of tissue paper, folded them into quarters {so folded in half, and then in half again} and then cut out the circles. I played around with sizes when I first started, and settled on circles that were about 2.5-3" in diameter.

{Step 2} Take three circles, hold them at the center, then crinkle them {see above, bottom left corner of the photo}. This will be the center layer of your flower. Then take another three circles, hold them in the center, and kind of fold them around the "flower center layer" {see below}. The outer layer kind of naturally folds itself. It's not an exact science either, some of my flower outside layers were more "crinkled" than "folded," I just let them do their thing.

{Step 3} Add a nice big dollop of hot glue to the back center of your flower {where you were holding the flower}, push onto your foam ball, and hold for 10-20 seconds. You want to give the glue enough time to seep through all the layers of hot glue so that the flower center stays too. A few of my flower centers fell out- I just added a small dollop of glue to them and stuck them back onto their flower!

{Step 4} Repeat steps 1-3 until foam ball is covered :) I didn't like the look of the plain white {you can see I added in a few red flowers too!} so I took an ink pad and just ran it over my topiary ball. It inked up the edges of the flowers and gave it a nice two-tone look!

{Step 5} Paint a wood dowel and insert it into the vase. Then fill vase with marbles first then add in sand. This gave a very sturdy support base. I added some nice damask ribbon to top it off! You could also use foam for a support base, but since I used clear vases, I wanted something that looked nice and also would support.

{Step 6} These beads came pre-strung on fishing line. I tied the end of each line to a stick pin and then stuck the pin into the base of the topiary. My stick pins had little balls on the end, so it kept the line from falling off. If you use a regular stick pin {sans balls} then just add a tiny dollop of hot glue to secure the line to the pin after you're done tying.

{Step 7} Stand back and admire you're work :) You're done! I hope that wasn't too confusing... I'm a visual person, so I think the photos are more helpful than my word descriptions! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me and hopefully I can describe it better for you :)

.: linking up at :.


  1. Its so so sweet and elegant!!! Love the tutorial!! TFS!

  2. Looks great. I'm your newewst follower!

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Valentine's Day!


  3. Those topiaries are gorgeous, Shauna! The black ink and pops of red tissue are great touches!

  4. Gorgeous! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!


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