Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Five Dollar Challenge & My Easter Topiary {Tutorial}...again!

A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by The Five Dollar Challenge by Living with Lindsay to create something to decorate for Spring using as little money as possible. I made a trip, my first, to a local Dollar Tree store, and as I went inside I really had no clue as to what I would make. I browsed the aisles one at a time and sort of just let my inspiration come to me as I looked at all of the items the store had to offer. When I saw the beautiful Robin's egg blue bowls I knew that they would be the perfect base for a sweet little Easter topiary. So, I snatched it up and then went on the hunt to find some other supplies to make a topiary. My goal when I went in the store was to spend as little as possible on my craft, so I also kept in mind what supplies I had on hand at home.

I bought this beautiful blue bowl and the "eggs" for my topiary are simply bubble gum eggs! Bowl = $1, Eggs = $1, so $2 total so far.

I bought the floral foam, the styrofoam balls, a second blue give a second topiary as a gift to my aunt...and I also needed some more gum to complete my second topiary (another $4) and that's all I had to pay out-of-pocket at the store for my project. $6 total for two topiaries isn't bad! (And, btw, my aunt {LoVeD} getting her sweet little Spring surprise from me! It was fun to be able to give one away!)

I found some unused pencils that I had at home and pulled out some ribbon from my ribbon stash to wrap around the pencils.

After sticking the pencil into the foam ball, I removed it briefly and squirted some hot glue in the hole before reinserting the pencil.

Once the glue hardened around the pencil I began wrapping my ribbon around the pencil. Hot gluing it at the top to keep it in place.

Here are my two wrapped pencils. Ready for the next step...

...I grabbed some Spanish moss that I already had in my craft supplies and simply hot glued some around the foam ball. This made a perfect "nesting" area for the bubble gum eggs!

After the foam ball was adequately covered with the moss I started hot gluing on my eggs. I just started at the very top and went down from there. I didn't pack them extremely tight that way you could see some of the moss poking through. It took 4 dozen gum eggs per topiary...or, $1 worth of gum!

After my eggs were glued all around the topiary form, I trimmed the floral foam and hot glued it to the bottom of the bowl.

I also hot glued the left over foam and wedged them into the corners to add stability. I made a hole and inserted some more hot glue and then stuck in the topiary and held it 'til the glue hardened.

Once the topiary was in place I covered the floral foam with a bit of moss...

...and here is my finished Easter Topiary. I tied a sweet little bow beneath it to add an extra touch! Not bad for just 3 dollars, is it?!! I really love it, and love that I was "forced", haha, to be extra creative to come up with it! It is probably my favorite craft that I have made this year!

I think that it is the perfect addition to My {Sweet} Spring Mantel, don't you?!!

*I originally posted this tutorial a few days ago, but changed it up just a tad for today's challenge!*

I am linking this little sweetie up to The $5 Challenge at:


  1. Oh it is darling! :) And makes such a sweet gift!! Great job with the challenge!


  2. So cute! The bubble gum colors are perfect!

  3. What a great project! You are a clever and crafty girl. Happy Spring!

  4. that is so cute! How did you keep from chewing the bubble gum? :)
    your mantel looks great.

  5. How cute is that! I put everything you got back down last weekend when I was at Dollar Tree. I though the foam balls were too small for my intended project. Love the idea of using a pencil! I didn't think of that and used a stick on a topiary project I did last night.

  6. What a cute idea, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to make one of these...I would be nibbling on all the bubble gum!

  7. Thanks for the sweet comments you left on my blog. Sweet like your topiary.
    I enjoyed scrolling through a few of your blog pages and will be adding you to my favorites since I enjoyed it so much. Plus, I always love seeing new babies. It'll be worth the wait.

    Happy Spring from another daughter of the King.

  8. Aw, so cute! (And I love seeing you mantel again. :)

  9. I love this! So creative and adorable!! Judi

  10. I just found your blog from the $5 challenge...just love this project -- I might have to copy it!

  11. Oh, I love your sweet spring mantel. :-)