DIY Faux Olive Topiary

7 Materials
1 Hour

Make your own faux olive topiary inexpensively! A pair of these beauties will look gorgeous on your table or mantel.

Supplies needed

  • pair of galvanized pots (mine were about 4″ diameter at bottom and 6″ diameter at top).
  • OLIVE BRANCH STEMS (approximately 4 stems, 28″ tall)
  • a pair of STYROFOAM BALLS, 4″ diameter
  • handful of SPANISH MOSS
  • 2 sticks from the yard, approx. 28-30″ long each
  • BROWN FLORAL TAPE (try to match with your stick color. I only had green on hand, but brown would have been better)
  • masking tape, newspaper
  • handful of heavy rocks from the yard
  • hot glue gun & glue sticks, pen/pencil or screwdriver, strong scissors or garden clippers

Put rocks in pot

First you’ll want to put rocks inside your galvanized pot. This will help anchor the pot and keep it from toppling over with the weight of the stems.

Gather faux olive stems

Meanwhile, gather 2 of the 4 olive branch stems and lie them next to a stick. Adjust the placement of the stems near the stick so that they are of varying heights.

Secure stems to stick

Once you are happy with the arrangement, carefully secure the stems to the stick with masking tape at the bottom of the leaves. Ensure that the top of the stick is above the tape along with the stems

Cover stems with floral tape

Next, cover the masking tape with floral tape and remove a small stem from the arrangement. You can use strong scissors or garden clippers to do this. (NOTE - brown floral tape is better to blend in with the stick. I only had green tape on hand, which blends a bit with the leaves).

Attach small stem to stick

Attach this small stem to the top of the stick using masking tape, then floral tape, as before. At this point the stick will blend in with the arrangement.

Remove bottom of faux stems

Lastly, you will want to trim the bottom of the faux olive stems so that only the stick will be seen. To do this, use strong scissors or garden clippers to loosen the faux stem. Then bend the stem back and forth and it will break. Cover this break mark with more floral tape.

Prepare styrofoam ball

Make a hole in the center of the styrofoam ball using the pen/pencil or screwdriver. Move it around to widen the hole so that your stick will fit inside.

Place stick and ball in pot

Next, gently insert the bottom end of your stick all the way down into this hole and secure with hot glue.

Stuff the pot with some newspaper to make a cushion for your styrofoam ball. Secure the ball inside the newspaper with hot glue, making sure to arrange your stick in an ideal position.

Cover ball with moss

Lastly, tuck in the newspaper and cover the top of the foam ball & newspaper with Spanish moss (or Reindeer Moss if you prefer), securing with hot glue. Make sure the ball is stable and will not move around inside the pot.

Finish the topiary

Allow time for the glue to dry, and you are done!

Since I only had green floral tape available at home, I decided to use brown & black markers to color my tape so that it blends in with the stick. If you have the same challenge, matching paint would also work.Another idea is to wrap twine around the stick to add texture.

Display olive topiaries!

Make a pair of these olive topiaries and display them in your favorite place. They add drama to a tabletop!

If you are looking for more craft ideas, visit my  blog's DIY crafts.

You can also get   'A Year of Farmhouse Crafts' free guide!

Resources for this project:

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Susan - A Box of Twine
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Shelby 🐈 Shelby 🐈 on Oct 22, 2020

    What does the top of the stick look like? Did you leave it as a broken stick or tape something to it? I can't tell from the photos.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Oct 29, 2020

    noticed candle holders Is spanish moss fireproof?


Join the conversation

5 of 7 comments
  • Lynne Lynne on Oct 22, 2020

    this is a great idea, and lovely room

  • Em Em on Oct 22, 2021

    You can buy brown floral tape. Not noticeable like the green. I love olive branches. Will have to try this. Mine are in a terra cotta pipe on the sideboard.

    • See 1 previous
    • Susan - A Box of Twine Susan - A Box of Twine on Oct 24, 2021

      Yes! In retrospect, I wish I had used brown floral tape instead of the green that I happened to have on hand.