A few years ago I copied Christmas topiaries from Grandinroad catalogue. I used styrofoam balls, plaster of Paris, and wood. It was an intense and long process and not one I really wanted to repeat plus it was pricey, though not nearly as much as the original. But they also had a spring version which was so happy and beautiful!
I loved the scale of these topiaries and the springtime designs. I realize that what I am going to show you is not super close to the image to the right, but it was my starting place. The other thing that informed my design was that I already had a supply of six-foot fence pickets I had gotten for free on Craigslist. As a bonus, the idea that these could be stored flat was appealing. Thus the Easter “Topiaries” were born.
2- 6’ fence pickets cut to 4’
1 easel back (one of the 2’ offcuts)
3 cleats (from the other offcut)
Nail gun and nails
14” string or wire
staple gun and staples
primer and brush
poster board pattern
paint and brushes
- Create a pattern.
- Trace half of topiary pattern on one picket.
- Cut it out with a jigsaw or bandsaw.
- Flip the pattern and repeat. (The flipping ensures that your topiary will be symmetrical.)
- Using a nail gun or screws, attach the two halves together with the cleats.
- Prime. I used a bonding and stain blocking version of Kilz and it did a great job!
- Attach the easel back to the middle cleat with a hinge.
- Use string stapled to the bottom of the easel and the topiary to keep it from sliding open too far.
- On white paper, create designs. Make them appear to curve around a surface so they will look three dimensional. I used the Grandinroad catalogue. (No shame!)
- But I also used an actual egg. I drew polka dots and took a photo. Then I printed it out to match the size of my wooden topiary eggs.
- Using carbon paper, trace your design onto the prepared surface.
- Paint. I used house paint sample pots.
- Add shading using a hatching technique or a dry brush.
- Add white highlights down the center to really make it 3-D.
- Finally, show off your work!