How to Make a Faux Topiary

Learn how to make an easy, fresh, and modern faux DIY topiary using artificial greens from the craft store. In this post, you’ll learn the basics of creating a faux topiary, from choosing the right artificial greenery to putting the finishing touches on it that will make the faux topiary look real.

If you’ve ever longed to bring a touch of a formal garden into your home, boxwood topiaries are the perfect solution. This budget-friendly one is easy to make and doesn’t require any special skills or a lot of time to create.

Kitchen Counter Decorating ideas

I wrote about making this faux topiary in my first few years of blogging.  I have updated the post with new photos so that you can see that the faux DIY topiary I made can last for many years.

I have also made my own paper flowers as well to decorate my home. I also enjoy styling artificial flowers and faux plants and shared how to mix faux flowers and real branches to make a colorful impact in a room.

How to make a fake topiary that looks real. Two DIY topiaries on sideboard with mirror behind them.
Faux topiary trees

Above you can see two of the faux topiaries I made back in 2011. That is one of the best things about using faux florals and greenery. If you take care of them, they will last forever.

How to Make a Topiary with Craft Store Artificial Plants

The greenery bouquet I used to make this easy DIY topiary is light and wispy looking. When looking for greenery to use, try to find faux greenery that has the same look. You can find artificial greens to use to make your DIY topiary at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

How to make fake topiary using artificial plants.

If you can’t find greenery like I used, this faux boxwood will work also.

When making this style of topiary, there was no need to use a faux greenery ball. Instead, the greenery itself and the individual stems form a loose ball shape that will make the topiary look more realistic.

supplies needed:

  • Thin and straight tree branch – I found mine in my yard. You can also stain a dowel rod if you can’t find a real branch to use.
  • Block of Styrofoam or a floral foam oasis
  • Small flower pot or planter
  • Faux greenery – purchase at a craft store
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Wire cutter
  • Scissors
  • Florist’s wire and green floral tape
  • Moss or soil

Time needed: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Make a DIY Topiary Tutorial

  1. Cut Tree Branch


    Cut tree branch to height desired. Mine is 20-inches high. I also cut the buds off the branch.

    How to cut branch for making a fake topiary.

  2. Place Foam Block in Planter


    Place a foam or an oasis block securely in a small planter and cover with damp sheet moss or soil.

    How-to-make-a-fake-topiary stand straight.

  3. Separate and Cut Stems


    Cut each stem away from the greenery bouquet with wire cutters.

    How-to-make-a-topiary-with fake greenery.
    How to cut fake greenery to shape into a topiary.

  4. Snip Top Pieces


    On each stem of the greenery, remove the top piece of greenery. It should come right off.

    How-to-cut and shape fake plants into a globe shaped topiary.

  5. Bend Wire Stem


    Bend the wire on the top of a stem. This will create a “stop” and keep the greenery from coming off the stem in the next step.

    How-to-make-a-topiary-bend-

  6. Push The Greenery Up


    Using your fingers – push all the branches on each stem up to the stop.

    how-to-make-a-topiary-push-
    How-to-make-a-faux or fake topiary

  7. Create a Main Stem


    Pick one stem to be your main stem, then one by one wrap the other stems around the main one two times and cut the excess off.

    How-to-make-a-topiary using florals from the craft store

  8. Form into a Ball Shape


    Using your hands, shape the greenery into a loose shape to resemble topiary balls. It will end up looking like this.

    How-to-make-a-topiary--knot

  9. Assemble the DIY Topiary


    Use florist’s wire to attach stem to branch. Use a bit of hot glue if needed.

    How-to-make-a-topiary-wire-

  10. Hide the Twisted Wire


    To hide the twisted wire fill in the bottom of the ball shape by placing a dab of hot glue on the ends of snippet of greenery and pushing the glued end into the bottom of the round ball shape.

    how-to-make-a-topiary-fill-
    how-to-make-a-topiary-glue-
    how-to-make-a-topiary-fille

  11. Add Florist Wire

    Tie one or two more pieces of florist’s wire along the branch to secure the stem. Optional – cover wire by wrapping florist’s tape around the wire.
    How-to-make-a-topiary-tie-o
    how-to-make-a-topiary-match

  12. Trim to Shape

    Shape the top of the topiary into a rounder shape using scissors just as you would if you were trimming or pruning the real thing that grew out of shape.

    How-to-make-a-fake-topiary-

Now I have a natural looking topiary tree for my kitchen that doesn’t need watering and that even I can’t kill.

How to make a fake topiary that looks real for your kitchen counter

It would be nice if I could make my tabletop size DIY topiary tree smell like fresh herbs, but it does look real, don’t you think?

Helpful Tips

To make your DIY topiary look more realistic for your home decor, make sure to add these touches.

  • Add a Stem: If you look at real ball head topiaries you see that they have a connecting stem that goes along the branch and down into the pot. To do this, I had to piece parts of my greenery along the branch. I secured it with some more florist’s wire and florist tape. This stem secured to the branch with wire is another way to make the topiary look like it came from a florist.
  • Use Real Dirt: Instead of placing the branch into foam to secure in the planter and cover with moss. Use soil from your yard to cover the foam.

More Decorating With Faux Plant Ideas

DIY topiary on a kitchen counter by the sink. Text overlay on image says make a realistic faux topiary.

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55 Comments

  1. Hi! This looks amazing and doable! Do you have tops for how to fill an animal topiary frame with faux greenery? Thanks.

  2. I love this! It would be a fun weekend craft that would only take a short while to complete. Thanks!

  3. Rita Light says:

    Love this!
    I’m doing one tomorrow 🥰Thankyou

  4. Great ideas. I love u

    Thank’s
    Megi

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Megi – :-) Thanks for reading my blog.

  5. Try making some homemade potpourri, with your favorite herbs, put it in a old spray bottle and give it a spritz from time to time.

  6. Jackie Williams says:

    I figured it was worth a shot
    Thank you anyway

  7. Norma Rolader says:

    Oh wow I love the ideas of faux flowers Thank you and God bless

  8. I so want to make this, but I’ve checked Michaels, JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby in my area, for the right kind of greenery and what they sell now are plastic stems that do not have the wire center. Has anyone had luck finding similar greenery online?

    1. Check Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree!

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Thanks Gina – I will! Both stores have a surprising amount of faux florals.

  9. Hey Diane, thanks for linking to your faux topiary in your kitchen makeover post (which is stunning, by the way!) I love faux and really fancy a topiary, so this tutorial is brill! Thank you! Sue x

  10. Lauren Foster says:

    That looks nice! Your blog is so inspiring. Keep writing the stuff like that. I will use this for decoration.

  11. Great post!! I am pinning this, and also making this today!!! Now I can throw away the decorator catalogs I have been saving for when I was ready to “bite the bullet” and pay for one of these!

  12. great tutorial! I will be trying this out

  13. Hi, I want to subscribe for this blog to take hottest updates, therefore where can
    i do it please assist.

  14. Love this!!! and About missing the scent…… Around Christmas Bath n Body works sells some greenery air fresher sprays that smell very good. I purchased one that was an winter pine and I used it near my faux Christmas tree. But a lot of bushes now days have that pine scent.

  15. Best part is you save a lot and don’t have to trim them anymore :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. I prefer to call them “faux” flowers and not “fake”. I worked for several years in the “faux” flower industry. I worked for a company called Distinctive Designs, Inc. They have won many awards for their work. Another company, also in Alabama, known as NDI, Natural Decorations Inc. is accomplished in the design field as well. They too have won many awards. Check out either website. Especially, http://www.ndi.com. You will be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful and realistic the “fake” flowers are. While you are there, go ahead and be amazed at the other things from nature that they bring to life. I will be the first to admit their florals (stems or arranged) are not cheap. Far, far from it. But I guess what I’m saying is: there are choices out there other than the real thing. And the “fake” flower business is alive and well. Another suggestion along with Michaels is Hobby Lobby. I find better prices and more realistic look there. Also they have 1/2 price about every other week. Happy planting………..!

  17. Saw this on Pinterest, Diane. Love it! Thanks for sharing.
    Best,
    Gloria

  18. I found your tutorial by googling “artificial topiary” – or something like that – after I had dejectedly decided that an outdoor box topiary would be out of our price range. We’re thinking of prepping to sell. Our front door needs *something* to make it look nice, and I’ve always wanted to put a plant nearby.

    Your blog is so inspiring & encouraging!

    1. Thanks Steph – Best of luck with your house sale.

  19. This is amazing.It looks like a real one !

  20. I love that. It looks like you used fake asparagus fern, which is one of my favs. I have earmarked a page in Ballard’s catalog with very similar topiaries-thanks for showing me how to save some money!

  21. They really do look real! Wish I would have seen them a couple weeks earlier. I was searching for some “real” looking ones, couldn’t find what I wanted, ended up making 2 from coffee filters, I like them, but I like yours better, oh well maybe after Chirstmas I’ll change them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. i absolutely love this…..now i just have to find the supplies in canberra where craft suppliers are few and far between……. but i will have one damn it!!!!
    thanks for the great tutorial.
    cheryl xox.

  23. This is brilliant and I’m going to give it a try. Wish me luck! ;)

    1. Hi Megan-

      Here is a wish of Good Luck – although I don’t think you will need it as the topiary is not hard to make.

  24. Well, Diane, I did more than bookmark it- I blogged it! Just too clever NOT to share! Thanks again.

    1. Hi Bettsi-
      Thanks so much. I wish I did have a green thumb, but making this is the second best way to at least look like I do.

  25. That looks amazing! Very adorable. I’m bookmarking this. Thanks!

  26. Diane, this is fantastic! I think I even remember seeing these stems last time I was at Michael’s. You did a wonderful job enhancing these and they really do look real. I’m not opposed to faux either as long as they are good looking- thanks so much for sharing this at Transformations and Treasures!

  27. This is inspiring. I have a black thumb and while I love the look of plants in my home…I kill them within days. This are gorgeous and I just may try some to add a little green love in my house!

  28. What a cute tutorial! Love it!

  29. That looks sensational! It’s good to see that people aren’t scared of using “fake” foliage because sometimes we just can’t access or afford fresh flowers every week! Great post.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

  30. just darling! you’d never know that was fake! thank you for the visit! i know exactly what you mean about the Lithua?what? I cracked that’s happened to me my whole life. My friend’s father went there and he said the countryside is just beautiful!! enjoy the weekend! susan

  31. Trisha@ The Sweet Survival says:

    This is awesome. It looks just like the real thing!

  32. Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage says:

    It looks really great! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!

  33. Miss Kitty says:

    I absolutley LOVE this idea! I am using more and more “fake flowers” in my home because now-a-days so many of them look so real. Sometimes I strip off the greenery off a fake flower (if it doesn’t look real) and use real greenery to further fool the eye. Here is a mantle I just did that way
    http://misskopykat.blogspot.com/2011/03/march-mantle.html

  34. I love it! I need to make me one.

  35. The topiary is so cute! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I definitely want to try this.

    Have a great day.
    Pam

  36. What a GREAT idea…thanks so much for sharing!

  37. Now that’s thinking outside the box. Wow!!! They turned out great.

    Blessings,
    Shelley

  38. Carol-Anne: Use the Good Dishes! says:

    I use the faux flowers and greenery as well, but find that only the expensive stuff really looks good.

    A good trick I use, both in my home and when staging houses, is to use fakes that would actually be in season . I then just put them away and change them out as the seasons change.

  39. Kara@elements-interiors.net says:

    LOVE THIS! Come on ova’ and link up to my Linky Party! xoxokara

    *ENTER LINKY PAR-TAY Here! *

    Im CRAAAAAAAAAAAZY about your blog! So glad I found you! Im following…Come over and share this BEAUTY!

  40. I don’t have a green thumb either. I don’t know what camp I am in about using fake flowers…but the topiaries turned out amazing!!
    I used to sell topiaries with mini dried rose buds in the 90’s…do you remember that look? Talk about dated! Anyway, this idea is lovely and I think I might have to give it a go.
    thanks for the inspiration!
    xo
    Ashlyn

    1. Hi Ashlyn-

      I remember them well. I made a bunch for table settings for my sister’s baby shower – with satin ribbon!! That seems like so long ago.

  41. Connie Bishop says:

    Topiaries are never out of style with me but you’re right some of the older ones just looked like a green ball on a stick. Yours are so perfectly airy and fresh. You’ve given them a new and exciting life.

    1. Hi Connie-
      Ha Ha – yes that is exactly what my old ones looked like – a green ball on a stick. -very funny.

  42. Wow, it came out great! How creative! I’m really loving topiaries at the moment too.

  43. Great idea! I love the springtime freshness and it looks much more modern in comparison to the old ivy topiaries that were so popular years ago.