Saturday, February 13, 2021

Spiral Topiaries, A Trash To Treasure

Hi, Friends, 
How are you? Is it cold where you are? It's way below normal here and I'm already over it. 
I'm acclimated to the south so this northern type weather is not a keeper. My friends up north don't feel sorry for me, I bet. 

A few weeks ago, I was driving into our neighborhood and spied a lamp sitting by the curb. I thought it was too good to be thrown in the trash, so I swung back around and picked it up. If it couldn't be updated, I'd donate it to my thrift store. They would love it and it'd be saved from the landfill. As I pulled into my driveway, the local mission truck drove by. "Oops, I may have just stolen from the mission." Later, I came out of the house and the owner of the lamp was visiting across the street.
"I think I may have just stolen your lamp." I said. 
 He said that he noticed that the lamp was gone and he couldn't believe someone stole from the mission. He had a ladder stolen out of his garage the day before so he was lamenting how low humanity had gotten.  
I explained my propensity for trash rescues, we had a good chuckle but I made a point to tell him that I didn't steal his ladder! Haha.  
To be fair, however, the lamp was in the spot where the trash should go. 
To make it right, my husband ended up making a nice little cash donation to the mission. 
 I could have gotten a nice, new lamp when all was said and done. 

It hasn't put me off dumpster diving, however. 
We've taken to stalking the trash in the nice neighborhood just to the east of us. 
  I was driving through last week and spied two spiral topiaries. 

The urns were damaged. 
The lights were rusty. 
The greens were brittle.
Someone was sitting by the garage. I waved, I said "Thanks!" and hoped I hadn't stolen from the mission again.  

The leaves literally fell off with a light brushing. 

The boxwood sprigs had been glued and then stuck into burlap. 
Initially, I thought the burlap could be saved but it all ended up coming off of the spiral. 

Now to save the urns. 
My "go to" stuff for fixing anything like this is caulk. I squirted caulk into every chip and ding. 
It can be shaped and it dries solid. I let it dry for a few days before painting. 
Once the spirals were stripped and the urns were fixed, these sat for a few days while I decided what to do. 

I had a boxwood garland from Hobby Lobby so I started playing around with that but some burlap needed to go back on before any greenery. 

Burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby ended up working great. 
It was a little fiddly but it only took a few minutes to figure out the best way to wrap and glue. 
Green chalk paint helped disguise the burlap.

I went early one morning to Hobby Lobby to look at some other garland selections. The Green Boxwood Garland has been my favorite for a few years. It ended up being the best choice for these topiaries. 
It took several days to get this done. I'd drape, glue and look at it. 
 It took some tweaking and clipping to get the boxwood to look as natural as a faux garland can look. 
The boxwood has same length stem all along the length but that looked weird at the top of the topiary where sprigs would naturally be shorter. It took about 24 hours to muster up the courage to clip the sprigs near the top but I liked where this was going. I finished the first one. Once it was done, it sat on the table right next to the second so that I could compare the two and ensure that the second looked like the first. 

The urns were painted with gray Amy Howard chalk paint. Black paint mixed with some of the gray was dabbed on as the second coat. 

I added a sweet little nest to the base of one. Faux lavender from Walmart was tucked into the nest. 

The garlands were on sale so they were $12.49 each. 
The burlap was $8.99 a roll. It was not on sale but I only needed one roll.  
I had the paint, caulk, moss and the nest. 

New spiral topiaries at Hobby Lobby are $129.00 each. Of course they are half off every other week but what a savings.  

I think they are a great trash to treasure rescue. 
What do you think?
Thanks for stopping by and stay warm. 


  1. My sister and I were in KY last week for a death in the family and we got a little chilly. We hightailed it out of there before the ice storm. I am used to FL 75degrees and she is used to OR 50's. Somebody left the darn door open to Canada again!!!

  2. Katie, these topiaries are really gorgeous, you did a beautiful job recreating them! funny stories about stealing from the mission. Really they needed to tag them and give all wanna-be thieves a heads up! haha. stay warm down there. We're at zero with snow. yikes.