Monday, January 31, 2011

Pattern Tissue Paper Topiary Tree

I have been loving all the topiary trees that I've seen around blog land. I wanted to do something a little different, so I made mine with pattern tissue paper. Something I learned about pattern tissue paper is they are not the same color, so if you make two  -  you might want to check on the shades. I had a bag of patterns that I was going to give to the second hand store. My trash is becoming my treasure. I love how these turned out. My hubby turned up his nose a little because he said he could see the black pattern lines. To me, that is what gives them character. I love them!

Here is how I made them.....

First, I cut out my pattern in circles. This is time consuming so I did it while I watched the news. I tried cutting them the size of a large cupcake liner, but I also used smaller ones. I pretty much tried to utilize the whole pattern with little waste. Keep in mind that some patterns come with more tissue paper than others, so you might need more than one pattern for a topiary tree. One of my topiary trees used two smaller patterns.  I made sure the next pattern I used was a larger pattern and so I only needed one. 

My experience with topiary trees is they only last so long and the dust collects and they don't look good anymore. I saw this fiskars globe at a discount store and thought I would give it a try instead of a styrofoam ball as it would be versatile in allowing me to change the tree once in a while.

This globe proved to be a little bit of a challenge. It didn't come with instructions, but I know it is used for fresh flower topiaries. I am thinking you are supposed to add floral foam in the middle. I didn't have that at home and I wanted to get going on my project so I experimented. I added some pattern paper to the inside, and I jammed the dowel in one of the openings that was a bit snug. I had to add more pattern paper through the holes to get the dowel to stay in the position that I wanted, and I wedged some pattern paper around the dowel at the bottom to secure it. 

Adding the tissue paper was fun and fast. With a styrofoam ball, the gluing seems to take forever (can you tell I am impatient?) Place the tissue around a blunt object (I used the end of a paint brush) and stick it in the globe, far enough so that it is secure. I did have some come out on me, but once it is all filled they hold themselves in. Please keep in mind that this method is for temporary decor with the idea of changing it up often. If you are going to keep the topiary around long enough that you have to dust it, I suggest the gluing on a styrofoam ball method. 

Once I had the globe half done, I put it in the pot. I have used foam, plaster of paris and dirt with rocks. Plaster of paris works the best, but that is pretty much the end of the possibilities for that pot. 

When the topiary was filled, it was uneven here and there. I loved the next part.....

I took a wooden skewer and poked the tissue paper in until the globe looked even.
This was a fun project, and I learned a lot about pattern paper. I am going to look for more projects to make with it. Here are the topiary trees on my mantel...

Click HERE to go to my mantel post. 
Thanks for looking!

I have linked up to a trash to treasure linky party.
Go check it out!



  1. Sue.....these are wonderful and I love all the pictures you took while making these!! Not sure I would have the patience, you certainly do!

  2. Brilliant idea! How clever to use the pattern paper... Probably something a lot of people have on hand and no where to store.

  3. Sorry but have to totally disagree with your hubby! Great -- another thing to add that I want to make! I'm doing a lot of off-white and black in my living/dining room and I have tons of old sewing patterns that I think I'll use for this -- Thanks!

  4. What a clever twist. I love the idea of not burning my fingers with a glue gun, lol. I know that our dollar store has similar globes, 2 for $1. I love me some cheap so I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is very cool, so great you can make Topiary Trees with Tissue materials, I have tried it at home, thank you, this article so help me :)