This Mother's Day custom portrait topiary thanks mom for all the hard work she puts into growing beautiful children. Cut out silhouettes of mom and kids capture a little of their personalities.
To create your topiaries you will need card stock or stiff paper in dark grey and multiple shades of green. You'll also need scissors and a leaf shaped craft punch, which will make the project go quicker. In addition you will need stiff but bendable wire, wire cutters, small planters, pebbles and glue.
Cutting the Leaves
To begin you'll need a series of leaf shapes. You will probably need at least 60 for each topiary you want to make, depending on their size. You can cut the leaves out with scissors or punch them out with a craft puncher. We suggest using between 3 and 10 shades of green for your leaves, depending on the look you are going for. Once all your leaves are cut, fold them in half lengthwise.
The First Leaves
Begin by gluing three leaves on one end of the wire. Glue them to each other and to the wire. This part is much easier if you use a fast drying glue, but any kind of glue will work if you have time.
Shaping the Topiary
Create a circular shape with the wire, trimming it once you have the size you want. Create a "U" shape at the bottom center that you can use to "plant" your topiary. Continue adding leaves, working down the wire towards the "U." Cover both sides of the wire with paper leaves, leaving the "U" bare. Be sure to overlap the leaves, gluing them to the wire and to each other as you go.
Planting your Topiary
Once the glue is dry, fill one of your planters with pebbles. Push the "U" into the pebbles to hold your topiary in place. If the weight of the pebbles isn't enough to secure your topiary, add a few drops of glue to hold everything in place.
Now you'll need to cut out the silhouettes to place in the center of your topiary. Take photos of Mom and the kids from the side and print them out. Cut out just their heads and trace the outline of each head twice on dark grey paper so you have two identical silhouettes of each person. Cut them out and glue them together with a dowel or piece of wire sandwiched in between the two pieces.
Add the Silhouette
Once the silhouettes are dry, "plant" them in the center of the topiary by pushing the wire or dowel down into the center of your planter. If the pebbles aren't heavy enough to hold the weight, add a few drops of glue here as well. Make sure your silhouette sits at about the center of the topiary circle.
Once your silhouette and leaves are arranged and all the glue is dry, it's ready for display! You can use leaves in a variety of shapes and colors for a highly organic and playful look. Try mixing different curved and pointy leaves together for a woodland feel.
You can create a slightly different feel by using only pointed leaves. Try mixing short pointed leaves and long pointed leaves to give a touch of variety to this arrangement that captures each child's unique personality.
Make mom's topiary stand out by using leaves that are all the same size and shape. Rounded leaves create a slightly whimsical feel in this topiary. You can also try creating a much wider "U" shape when you are creating your leaves, so that they spring out near the edges of the planter instead of the center.
Arrange your portrait topiaries on the mantle piece, side table or use them for a Mother's Day dinner centerpiece. These little silhouettes are a modern twist on a classic gift that will look beautiful long after Mother's Day.