walnut topiary

To see more of the tablescape click here.

How to make a walnut topiary:

Gather your supplies: a pot (you need a pot that has some weight to it as the walnuts do get heavy), a dowel, Styrofoam ball, Styrofoam adhesive spray, floral foam, Spanish moss, hot glue gun, naturally wired, two rubber bands, twigs, brown spray paint, white spray paint, white craft paint, brown stain and many, many walnuts (one topiary has about 85 walnuts on it).

First paint your walnuts: I laid mine out on a drop cloth in the garage. I gave them a heavy spraying with white spray paint. After the paint dries, turn them over and spray another side. Keep doing this until the walnuts are completely covered with white paint. Now you will stain them. I poured some stain onto a folded up paper towel, let it seep in and then quickly rolled the walnut in it. Once the stain is dry you are going to spray the walnuts white again, but this time you will just mist them so the stain shows through. I'm not going to lie to you, this is a lot of work, but they are so beautiful when they are done.

Next spray paint your dowel and Styrofoam ball with the brown spray paint and allow to dry. Now spray one side of the Styrofoam ball with the adhesive spray, allow it to sit a few minutes to get tacky, then put the Spanish moss on. Do the same with the other side. The ball will look like a crazy, furry mess at this point but don't worry. Now give it a good haircut with some scissors, trimming the Spanish moss so it is a nice thin layer all around the ball. Okay, time to glue on those walnuts! Carve a hole in the bottom of the Styrofoam ball and stick your dowel in. Do not secure it yet. Place the bottom of the dowel into your pot with some floral foam. Again , we are not securing it yet, we just need it to be steady while gluing on the walnuts. Place your first walnut at the top of your ball and work your way down.
Glue the walnuts on as close together as possible, going in concentric circles. Once you hot glue a walnut on, hold it in place for about 20 seconds to let the glue set. When you get to the end if the walnuts aren't all fitting, no worries, just pull some off and take some of your spare walnuts and see what works best, a smaller one, a larger one, work with them until they fit. When one side of the ball is covered turn your ball and start working on the other side.

Making the tree trunk for the topiary: Place one rubber band at the top of your dowel and one at the bottom. Start sliding your twigs on to the dowel and the rubber bands will hold them securely. When you have as many twigs on as you like take some Naturally Wired and place a circle of it at the top, bottom and middle of your twig covered dowel. Now that the twigs are secure you can remove the rubber bands. In case you have never heard of Naturally Wired, it is a product you can find in the floral arranging section of the craft store. It is wire that is covered with brown paper so it has a twiggy look to it.

Spray paint the whole thing brown and let dry. Push little pieces of Spanish moss in gaps in between the twigs. Then simple rub on bits of white craft paint.

Place floral foam in your pot. Put your topiary in and cover the top of the floral foam with Spanish moss. Then you can decorate your topiary any way you like. I used some cascading ribbon at the bottom of mine and some silver craft berries.

The topiary is complete. It is a bit (or more!) of an effort to make, but so worth it. The topiary is a wonderful piece of decor you can have out for both the Fall and Winter seasons and have it to display for years to come.

guest post notice

Centsational Girl

I am one of the guest bloggers on Centsational Girl today! I am showing how to make walnut topiaries as part of a winter wonderland tablescape. Here's a peak.

family thanksgiving decor.

Here's how our house is decorated for Thanksgiving this year.

Photos of my two blessings. Some pumpkins I bought from a local craft fair and...

.....a cute little turkey from Michael's.

I have showed you my apothecary jar full of acorns before. I wasn't sure how to decorate the other jar.

This is what I came up with. Some nuts I have in the house. It needed something more so I added the twiggy pumpkin to the top.

This nature inspired turkey sits in front. I've had him for years and he's starting to show his age.

Sitting in our hall......

Metal baskets from the Goodwill.

Fall fruits and nuts from JoAnne's (clearance).

I also found these pumpkin picks at JoAnne's.

I already had these pots filled with floral foam and topped with Spanish moss. So I was just able to plop the picks right in. Plop the picks....say that 5 times fast!

A sweet Thanksgiving card I bought years ago. The picture is by Susan Wheeler.

The card is on my bulletin board along with this fruit of the spirit cornucopia done by my oldest son.
Grant also made this pirate turkey back in the 2nd grade (he's a fifth grader now). Here is what he wrote about Thanksgiving that year.

"On Thanksgiving usually my mom cooks a very big and good feast. Even sometimes my grandparents come over to visit. While mom cooks our very good feast, dad normally just would watch football. After our delicious feast my dad would wash the dishes. That's my Thanksgiving!"

from gray to ivory

Anybody else out there buy these candle sticks from Target when they had their Halloween stuff on clearance? I liked the gray, but it didn't really coordinate with my stuff. Make-over time!

First I gave these many coats of ivory colored craft paint. If you do this project I highly recommend spray painting them instead. But since I have a baby crawling around, it's difficult for me to get into the garage and spray paint things, so I did it by hand.

After the ivory paint dried I took some brown craft paint and used Q-tips to apply it to all the nooks and crannies. You heard me right, I said Q-tips!

Nice and aged and rustic, just how I like it!

I have to say, every time I walk past this staged area, I smile!

nursery peek

As a baby shower gift I received two of these adorable magnetic boards for the babies room. They are sold at Babies R Us. I decided to make a few changes to them so they went with the woodland theme in Levi's nursery.

The first thing I did was add this cute tree ribbon using fabric glue.

Next I made magnets using these large flat back glass discs. For making magnets I recommend getting a large size (mine are 1 1/4"). I could not find any large sized discs in any of the stores in my area and had to order them online.

I cut my pictures out of some vintage books.

If the idea of cutting up a book freaks you out, just use scrapbook paper.

Place a glass disc on your image and trace it with a pencil (I used a sharpie here as an illustration so you could see it). Then cut the circle out.

Brush Sobo glue (from the craft store) onto the flat side of the disc and place your image on top. The image will appear milky from the glue at first, but don't worry, it will dry clear.

You want to get thick, strong, magnets for this project. I also ordered these online.

Glue them on the back using a drop of the Sobo glue. Make sure you space them apart as they dry. These magnets were pulling at each other which messes up the placement of the magnet.

Here is a close up of a few of the finished magnets.

I just love the vintage woodland creatures, so cute!

Since I had extra supplies I made some magnets for myself using scrapbook paper. This project was so fun. I was tempted to keep going and going until I covered the house in magnets. Maybe I should buy a second refrigerator for the kitchen, more room for magnets!

Here are the magnet boards at home in the nursery.

So cute!

Nail heads are ugly so I hot glued a button on top to cover it up.