Faux Topiary DIY

So listen here, man.
I’ve got the two blackest of the black thumbs there ever were, and it seems that I can even send succulents to an early demise once in my possession and care.  SUCCULENTS.  Gah!!!  Sigh.  πŸ˜ž  Since I have basically accepted my black thumb fate, I’ve turned my attention to using faux florals and greens over the years, and it’s amazing what you can recreate with some very realistic product out on the market these days!  Today I’ll show you how I created this faux topiary using inexpensive materials from my local craft store!

Supplies needed:

-premade topiary forms
-clay pots or container to hold topiary
-artificial greenery stems/bush (note: I used three bushes per topiary)
-dried moss
-wire clippers
-black thumbs (not required)

Step One:

Using your wire clippers, snip off sections of your greenery stems/bushes into varying lengths depending on the desired look of your topiary.  I wanted more of a wispy, rosemary or lemongrass look, so I clipped my greenery sprigs anywhere from 2-5 inches long.  Bend the end of the sprigs into a curve for more natural movement once placed onto the topiary form.

Step Two:

Place the topiary form into the clay pot and begin assembling the greenery.  Working from the bottom up and starting with the shorter greenery sprigs, begin inserting them into the styrofoam ball on top.  (Don’t worry if yours begins to resemble a severely balding man’s head…we’ll give your topiary a few more “hair plugs” as we move upward.  πŸ˜‰)  Stagger the placement of the sprigs around the topiary form being careful to fill in any “bald spots” as you go.  Once you reach the upper part of the form, you’ll begin to use your longer greenery sprigs in order to create that wispy, natural look at the top.  You can also use hot glue to attach smaller pieces if you’d like.  Hot glue strings make me stabby, so I just jammed them into the styrofoam with my brute strength.  

Step Three:

Once your greenery sprigs have been inserted, place a few handfuls of faux moss around the base of the topiary inside the clay pot.  This will finish off the look and also help stabilize the topiary form.  If you spy any leftover empty spots on the topiary, now’s the time to poke in a few more bits of green!  Be sure to sort of look up under the topiary…that’s where I spotted a few spots I hadn’t spotted before.  πŸ˜‰  You can also use hot glue to attach smaller pieces if you’d like.  Hot glue strings make me stabby, so I just jammed them into the styrofoam with my brute strength.  πŸ’ͺ🏻

There you have it!  A faux-yet-natural looking topiary in three steps!  It took me about an hour to assemble mine, so really, not too bad for a quick DIY project.  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  Plus, if you’re black-thumbed like me, this bad boy will last a lot longer than his real live counterparts EVER would…HA!!  πŸ˜‚

Check out a few more places I’ve put faux florals to use over on Instagram, and stop by and say howdy on Pinterest, too!


  1. Bree

    April 8th, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    So cute!

  2. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 8th, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks, Bree!

  3. Loi Thai Tone on Tone

    April 8th, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Go girl! You slayed it! I love how easy and realistic these are. And sometimes you just gotta go faux, right?
    Tone on Tone

  4. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 9th, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Loi, teach me your ways!! I’m a fast learner, promise! πŸ˜‰

  5. Michaela

    April 8th, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I love how these turned out so much! Love your DIY posts! I think it’s super fun to see other peoples ideas and how they make their own decor!

  6. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 9th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for the feedback on this, Micaela! Appreciate you taking a sec to write!

  7. Lori

    April 9th, 2017 at 12:16 am

    I love that you are not only an amazing decorator but you also DIY and have time for familyπŸ‘ΈπŸ»πŸ€— you’re puttin Martha Stewart to shame! I enjoy your Insta as well as the feeds too🌿 -Lori @thespottedfrenchie

  8. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 9th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Ha!! Loved this. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much, Lori!

  9. Laura Van Scott

    April 9th, 2017 at 1:34 am

    They ‘re beautiful & I love your sense of humor! You make me laugh, and you’re a great writer, too! β˜ΊοΈπŸŒΏπŸ‘

  10. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 9th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Well, you are so kind, Laura–thank you!! Appreciate you reading along!

  11. Kaitlyn | freshandvintageliving

    April 10th, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I love these!!! I so am adding these to my to do list!! Thanks for the great post!

  12. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 10th, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Oh yay! I wanna see when you’re done!!

  13. Sandee

    April 11th, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Stabby πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Your Killin me smalls.

  14. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 11th, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Please don’t break up with me just yet. πŸ˜¬πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚

  15. Stacie

    April 16th, 2017 at 3:26 am

    I must do this DIY ~ I’m in love!!!! And even more so because one looks malificentastic πŸ˜‰

    The Cottage On Maple

  16. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 18th, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Right?!? She’s my favorite one. πŸ˜‰

  17. Megan

    April 19th, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Do you mind sharing where your materials came from? I’ve never seen a topiary form before! And I love the stems you used. These are gorgeous!!!

  18. Erin | Cotton Stem

    April 22nd, 2017 at 2:44 am

    This all came from Hobby Lobby!

  19. Shalaina

    April 27th, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Very pretty! How much does this come out to approximately, cost wise?

  20. Carrie shay

    July 23rd, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    So excited to attempt to make these tonight with my cousin.

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