For 19 years, Walt Disney World’s Epcot has hosted the International Flower and Garden Festival. Having opened March 7th and running through May 20th of this year, the annual celebration of spring is in full bloom, gracing the Park with an artists’ palette of blossoms, leaves and petals. In all, there are thirty million blooms, 240 floating mini-gardens on two ponds, 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables, 30 flower towers of impatiens and a tapestry of sweeping floral beds. The Festival is renowned for its vast array of topiaries and features 75 intricate displays this year!
Thinking about all those topiaries got me in a creative mood. I must confess, though, plants don’t like me. When I garden, I look specifically for labels like “drought tolerant,” “hardy,” and “thrives when ignored.” (What? They don’t sell those where you live?) So I hopped over to Pinterest for some crafty inspiration, and here is what I came up with: The Minnie Mouse Easter Topiary. It’s quite simple, inexpensive, fun to assemble and really cute to display! It’s a great, albeit messy, project to enlist the kids’ help, and you’ll end up with a holiday centerpiece everyone will love.
You will need:
1 – 6” Styrofoam craft ball
2 – 4” Styrofoam craft balls
1 block craft Styrofoam that can be cut to fit in planter
2 – 1” wide craft sticks (or 4 popsicle sticks)
1 – 24” wooden stake (18” works better if you can find one; otherwise, you’ll want to trim this one shorter)
Red with white polka dot grow-grain ribbon
Box of wooden toothpicks
2-3 14oz. bags of gumdrops candies
2-3 bags plastic Easter grass
1 paper clip
1 small planter, decorative bucket or other container
Elmer’s or other brand craft spray adhesive
Paint, stickers, beads or other trimmings (Optional for decorating planter)
What to do:
- Protect your work surface with newspaper or plastic cloth.
- Determine whether or not to trim your stake. I cut mine with a tree trimmer, because it was too thick to break. You’ll want to have about 12 inches between the top of your planter and the bottom of the topiary.
- Insert stake securely into the larger Styrofoam ball.
- Wrap polka dot ribbon around stake, starting at bottom and working up to the base of the ball. Cut and secure with tape.
- Spray adhesive on ball and attach Easter grass. Work with small sections at a time. You want it to have the appearance of a moss-covered surface. It will be sloppy, but we’ll trim later.
- Wash the sticky off your hands. Then, fit Styrofoam block into planter and secure base of stake into it. Let grass-covered ball stand and dry while you work on ears.
- Take one of the smaller balls. Break a whole bunch of toothpicks in half and insert them into the ball. Cover the ball with toothpick spikes, spacing them apart about the size of your gumdrop candies. Do not cover the area that will be flush against the “head” portion.
- Stick gumdrops onto toothpick spikes, being sure to cover entire surface of ball. You may need to rearrange some toothpicks or insert more as you go along. Set aside.
- Repeat Steps 7 & 8 for other ear and set it aside.
- Grass-covered head should be dry enough to manage. If it is too shaggy for your liking, give it a little trim with scissors.
- Determine location for ears on “head.” Insert craft/popsicle sticks halfway into head and then secure each ear into position by pushing them down onto the exposed half of the popsicle sticks. (NOTE: Gumdrops make the ears heavy, so you may need an extra stick or two for reinforcement!)
- Cut about a 12” length of the polka dot ribbon and fashion it into a bow. Straighten out a paper clip and use it to secure the bow onto Minnie’s head by her ear.
- If you desire, decorate your planter. Surround base of stake with more Easter grass to cover foam block. Top the grass with other Easter candies or small decorations.
I intended to make a complementary Mickey Mouse topiary but didn’t have time. I had planned to wrap a red and yellow ribbon around the stake, tie a black ribbon bow at the base of the head, and glue two big white buttons on the front of his red planter. Make your own Minnie or Mickey topiary today. It’s sure to be a hit at your holiday party!Share