Arts, crafts, and all that jazz

Elephant Topiary Instructions

For my Chai in Chennai themed brunch, I made an elephant topiary that was the main centerpiece for the event.  The best features about this particular topiary is that it is long-lasting and durable.

Elephant Topiary Centerpiece for a South Indian Chennai themed brunch

Elephant Topiary Centerpiece for a South Indian Chennai themed brunch

Below are the detailed steps on how to make the elephant topiary centerpiece.

  1. Purchase a topiary form such as this one.  It comes in a variety of sizes.  I used the medium sized one since I wanted a larger centerpiece decoration.
  2. Cover the topiary in tape or mod-podged paper.  I used a wide width masking tape.  It is my go-to tool for a lot of my projects.  I liked the fact that the masking tape covers easily has a matte finish that easily adheres onto hot glue.
  3. Cover the entire surface of the topiary, as mentioned in Step 2 above.
  4. Use hot glue to adhere preserved moss onto the topiary.  I used a preserved reindeer moss in a spring green color, purchased here.  I have to warn you that this will be your most time-consuming step.
How to make an elephant topiary

How to make an elephant topiary

I made a decorative box to place on top of the elephant’s back.  Below are the instructions.

  1. Find an appropriate sized box and a pretty fabric.  In this instance, I used an empty candleholder box and Indian brocade fabric.
  2. Use double-stick tape or glue dots to adhere the fabric snugly onto the box
  3. When covering the box, make sure the fabric at the corners is neatly folded.
  4. Select a pretty ribbon to add around the center of the box.
  5. Adhere the ribbon with double-stick tape or glue dots.
  6. Adhere a silk flower to the top of the box.
Instructions for wrapping a box in fabric and ribbon to set atop the elephant topiary

Instructions for wrapping a box in fabric and ribbon to set atop the elephant topiary

My favorite part of this project was adding the finishing touches to the elephant! Below are the steps for accessorizing the topiary:

  1. Select a pretty fabric and ribbon that will be draped onto the body of the elephant.  Adhere the ribbon onto the fabric using a fabric glue or glue dots.
  2. Add a coordinating ribbon to the feet of the elephant
  3. Give the elephant an elaborately decorated tail using a tassel or flowers.  In this instance, I joined two stems of artificial orchids to create the tail.
  4. Embellish the front of the elephant.  I used a tiered necklace from my jewelry box.  This particular one was originally purchased from Anthropologie.
How to embellish an elephant topiary centerpiece

How to embellish an elephant topiary centerpiece

There you have it! After a few hours and perhaps burned fingertips from the hot glue gun, you have an elaborately decorated elephant topiary.  Although, my hubby prefers to call it a Chia Pet! Nonetheless, it was a nice way to add a pop of color to the party.