I would be lying if I said this party decoration was super simple – it does take a bit of practice, but looks incredible as a centrepiece or hung up for decoration. Today I’m going to show you how to make a topiary tree (which can double as a topiary ball if you leave the stick and base part out.) I learnt how to create these at my old job (yep, pretty awesome job!)
What you’ll need:
- 1 x topiary base
- 1 x plastic stick
- curling ribbon
- 12 x small heart latex balloons (12.5cm)
- 3 x sheets of tissue paper
- 1 x packet of double sided tape
- pair of scissors
- sticky tape
- balloon pump
The stick (most time-consuming part)
1. Take your double sided tape and place the sticky side at the top of the stick. and start wrapping it around the stick (make sure you only remove the paper on the side that is being stuck around the stick). Wind all the away to the end, leaving about 2cm tape-free (so we can stick it in the base easily) Once the stick is completely covered, peel the other side of paper off the tape. You now have a sticky stick.
2. Cut off a tiny piece of sticky tape and grab the three 2.5m curling ribbons. Hold them close so they are in a line just overlapping each other (with their shiny sides facing up) and place the tape over the three ends. Press the taped ribbons to the top of the stick and secure with another small piece of tape.
3. Hold the ribbons and twist them around the stick, pressing firmly as you go. Ensure the ribbons continue to touch each other so there are no gaps along the stick. Tape the other end of the stick to stop the ribbons from unraveling. Push the stick into the base’s hole
All about that base
1. Take the three sheets of tissue paper and lay them out. Take your first sheet of tissue paper and place it horizontally with the dull side facing up, as its shiny side will be seen when pulled up.
Take the second sheet of tissue paper and place it vertically, also with its dull side facing upwards. Take the last sheet, and position it over the other two sheets diagonally, with its shiny side facing up (as this sheet will form the centre of the base). Put the base in the middle of the three sheets of tissue paper.
2. Measure out 75 cm of each ribbon. Find the half-way point and loop all three ribbons into a tight knot.
3. Using both hands, scoop up all three sheets of tissue paper and push to the middle (where the stick is).
4. Take the knotted ribbon and slip it around the tissue paper, then tie a knot, pulling gently so the tissue paper is gathered in the middle and flicks up at the top. Twist the ribbon back around the base and tie a second knot on the opposite side, again pulling firmly, while taking care not to tear the paper.
5. Take a pair of scissors and run the tip down the dull side of each ribbon in a quick, fluid motion. The ribbons should curl in a spiral formation. If the ends are too long, cut them shorter to reach the desired length.
6. Pull the tissue paper up and shift it around until you get the look you want. It should spray out and look full.
1. Blow up a latex balloon with a hand pump. Put the end (or the neck) of the balloon over the tip of the pump and hold it in place with two fingers, pinching the latex. Push and pull the pump so air fills the balloon. The balloon should be about 10-12 cm across the widest part. Repeat this process with each latex balloon.To ensure all balloons are around the same size, count how many pumps of air it takes to fill one balloon, then use that number when filling the others.
To tie the balloon off, stretch the neck of the balloon and wrap it around two fingers, and pull the neck through the loop.
2. Take two inflated balloons and tie them together in the same way you tied one balloon. Take the necks of two balloons, twist them around one another, then make a loop and pull one through, pulling both ends tight.
3. Repeat the process with the other inflated balloons until you’ve made the twelve individual balloons into six pairs.
4. Twist two pairs of balloons together by crossing them over the top of each other where the knots meet. Fold and twist the knots around one another until the four balloons cannot be moved apart easily.
5. Twist in another pair by slotting the balloons in with the others and moving them into place, twisting the necks around one another as you go. Continue to repeat this process until all the balloons are joined through the middle. They should form a ball or cluster.
6. Tidy up the cluster by pushing and pulling balloons that may have moved out of place while the others were being added.
Bringing it all together
1. Use a thick layer of sticky tape to cover the top of the stick, so the balloons will grip onto the stick without sliding down. Slot the balloon cluster over the wooden stick. The cluster should sit around the top of the stick without the stick’s top showing.
2. Take another 1.5-2m of each ribbon and tie a knot in the centre. Curl the ribbon the same way as before with a pair of scissors.
3. Take the curled ribbons and place them over the top of the stick and secure with tape. They should hang down in spiral curls around the stick. Repeat this process two more times, until you are happy with amount of ribbon.
Your topiary tree is complete! Check out a few different versions below, and tell me what kind of celebration you’d use these for.