Hey guys! Today on the blog, I wanted to share a super easy project to make your own olive topiaries for under $20.
Before, I dive right into the details of the DIY project, I wanted to share more of why I wanted olive topiaries in the first place. If you've been following along for every long, you know I love all things French. Did you know the olive tree is considered to be sacred throughout Provence? It has been immortalised by Cezanne and Van Gogh, praised and celebrated by Mistral and Giono and is one of the most typical elements of the Provençal landscape and culture.
Patience is required to cultivate this symbol of peace, wisdom and perseverance (it can withstand anything or almost anything, it can grow in arid soil, and is vulnerable only to extreme freezing conditions).
Ever since visiting Provence 5 years ago, I've wanted to have some olive elements in our home. Recently, I have had my eye on a pair of olive topiaries from Ballard Designs (shop here), but together they were going to cost $138. I don't know about you, but my husband would kill me if I spent that kind of money on topiaries. So, I had to get creative if I wanted to have these in my home.
Once I had all my supplies, I started my project by separating my olive stems. For the larger topiary, I used 3 stems and for the smaller one, I used two. I then trimmed the ends off of the smaller topiary to make it a little shorter.
Next, I wrapped each bundle with brown floral tape so that the stems would resemble a branch.
I used a 6" terra cotta pot for the larger topiary and began with painting it antique cream by Jeanne d'Arc Living (JDL). I LOVE using JDL chalk paint because I can paint indoors and there is no smell!
As you can see, I did not paint uniform - I was messy and left paint thicker in various places to give an illusion of an aged pot in the end.
I used a 4" terra cotta pot for the smaller topiary and painted in the same manner.
Once dry, I covered both pots with one coat of french grey by Jeanne d'Arc Living. This allowed part of the antique cream layer to show through.
I finished the pots with a light coat of brown wax to age.
Once the pots were painted (this entire process maybe took 15 minutes), I was ready to place my floral styrofoam and insert my olive stems.
Each pot had a hole at the bottom that the stem fit in to secure.
I finished by covering my styrofoam with dried moss I had from another project.
Overall, I am THRILLED with how this project came out! It was better than expected and I saved over $100 :)
I can't wait to see your DIY olive topiaries - be sure to tag me at Maison de Mings on Instagram or Facebook so I can see them!
I'll list the supply list below for reference.
Thanks so much for stopping by and supporting this dream of mine.
Please note - most of these items I already had in my craft room. Part of the DIY process is to challenge yourself to use items you already have :)
- 5 Olive Branches - I found mine at Hobby Lobby online waited until they were 50% off with free shipping (my nearest store is over an hour away). Regular price $6.99 per stem. Shop here.
- 2 Terra Cotta Clay Pots - I had my husband pick up these for me in two different sizes. I went with the 4" and 6". Shop here.
- Floral Stem Wrapping Tape - You can get this anywhere. It was $2.99 at Hobby Lobby (use your 40% off coupon)! Shop here.
- Jeanne d'Arc Living Chalk Paint & Wax - I already had this on hand and used sample size cans of Antique Cream and French Grey. You could use any chalk paint. As you can see in my Instagram stories, I used brown wax by Jeanne d'Arc Living to age my pots.
- Paint brush
- Wire cutter
- Floral styrofoam
- Dried moss