Originally, I was going to feature my Patriotic Ruffled Topiaries today, and then I saw Ashley’s 4th of July Star Topiaries on her blog Simply Designing. What a fun paper craft, and, Ashley’s topiaries are beautifully finished. Since we’re all about the freedom of choice in the U.S.A., I decided to post them both, and you can choose if you want to craft with paper or fabric for your patriotic décor.
First up are Ashley’s 4th of July Star Topiaries. As Ashley says, these are super simple, though it does take some time to punch out all of the paper stars. (It’s a good project for TV night.) When selecting her papers, Ashley chose paper that had a matte finish on one side and a shimmery finish on the other, giving her stars added dimension. Feel free to mix and match your papers and finishes, too.
Here’s what you need to make Ashley’s 4th of July Star Topiaries:
(Note: materials listed are for one topiary)
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam: one 5″ and one 4” balls
- Acrylic craft paint: red & blue (optional)
- 12” x 12” scrapbook paper, 3 – 4 sheets
- Pearl head pins
- Paper shred
- Tin container, terra cotta pot, or other container
- Tools: Foam brush or stiff paintbrush; wood picks; star paper punch; dowel rod; low temperature glue gun & glue sticks
To make Ashley’s 4th of July Star Topiaries:
1. Paint the 5” ball to match the paper (optional). Insert a wood pick into foam ball to use as a handle. Paint ball using stiff bristle brush or foam brush. Let dry.
2. Punch stars from paper. Thread two stars onto pearl head pins, fanning them so all 10 points show. Consider mixing and matching the papers used in each star. Ashley paired one matte star and one shimmery star on each pin.
3. Pin stars onto ball of STYROFOAM Brand Foam, overlapping as you go. Continue till ball is covered.
4. Insert wooden dowel into bottom of ball, using glue to hold it in place.
5. Glue 4” foam ball into container; if necessary, roll it on a flat surface and compress it till it fits. Insert wooden dowel into container and secure with glue. Top with paper shred to cover foam ball.
6. Display and enjoy!
Thank you, Ashley, for sharing your tutorial. And check out her fun blog with great crafts, recipes, and home decorating advice (Ashley is an interior designer).
If you’d rather craft with fabric, our Patriotic Ruffled Topiaries are a quick & easy way to decorate for July 4th. When designing these topiaries, I went with favorite, all-American fabrics – denim, calico and bandanas. Denim and bandanas are as all-American as hotdogs and ballpark mustard, don’t you think?
To make a Patriotic Ruffled Topiary, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 12” x 5” cone
- Assorted fabrics or craft bandanas, 1/8 yd increments or less
- Ribbon, 5/8” x 5” length
- Scrapbook paper, small scrap
- Wooden floral pick
- Tools: scissors OR rotary cutter and mat; sewing machine; straight pins; pencil; low temperature glue gun & glue sticks; paint (optional)
To make your Patriotic Ruffled Topiary:
1. Determine how you would like to layer your fabrics on the cone. Cut fabric into strips as follows: 4” x 36” (bottom fabric); 4” x 28”; 4” x 22”; 4” x 16”; and 4” x 8” (top fabric). You can vary the length of your strips depending on whether or not you like a lot of ruffling. I used the measurements provided for the Bandana Topiary, which is more “flouncy.” The strips I cut for the Denim & Calico Topiary were a few inches shorter. It’s your choice.
2. Using a basting stitch, stitch ½” from the edge along each strip. To ruffle, gently pull the bobbin thread at the end of the strip (it’s easiest to gather a ruffle when pulling the bobbin thread where you ended stitching vs. the beinning). Continue to carefully pull and ruffle the fabric till your strip will fit around the cone. Do not force it, as the thread will break.
3. Pin the ruffled layers around the cone, adjusting the height of each layer till you’re pleased with the arrangement. Use a pencil to draw a line around the cone for each layer. Glue ruffled layers in place.
4. Glue ribbon around top, covering stitching.
5. Fold scrapbook paper in half and cut out a pennant shape. Sandwich wood pick in the center and glue pennant together. (Optional: paint the pick to coordinate before assembling the pennant.) Insert pennant into top of cone.
6. Cut small circle of fabric to cover the top of cone. Cut small slit in circle to fit around the pennant pick. Glue in place.
Two different topiaries and two different techniques. Both topiaries will help to make your July 4th celebration extra special. Do you have special plans for the upcoming holiday? Tell us about them!