Setting the Scene with Topiary Centerpieces

Tabletop decorations do much towards setting the scene of any celebration, including a baby shower. The most noticed and talked about tabletop décor is the topiary centerpiece.

A topiary centerpiece is simply an arrangement that mimics the shape of a little tree and it can be one that is naturally grown, made by a florist, or one that contains no flowers and greenery at all. They can come in different shapes and sizes, but most usually look like an oversized lollipop, with a large dowel topped by a decorated sphere.

As a baby shower is usually planned on much shorter notice than a wedding or a birthday party, a baby shower topiary centerpiece is normally one that is contrived rather than grown. It's very simple to make one, actually, once you have gathered together all the materials you need.

A simple topiary consists of a clay pot, something to act as a weight (usually stones and a styrofoam block), a dowel, a foam shape, and materials to cover the foam.

To illustrate, let's put together a more common round topiary centerpiece for a baby shower in a fairy theme. Paint the clay pot in a silver color to complement your chosen color scheme of lavender, baby blue, and silver. Decorate the rim of the pot with tiny silver, lavender, and gold beads. You could create an encrusted pave effect by painting the rim with white glue and pressing it into the beads when the glue is tacky.

Next, weigh down the pot with pebbles and press a large block of styrofoam into the top to hold it down and provide a base for the dowel. It's better to cut the foam a little bit bigger than the pot and push it in for a tight fit. Bleach the dowel white by wiping it with a thinned white paint. Once the base coat is dry, brush it lightly with silver paint or give it one spray coat of silver paint. Once it dries, push it into the styrofoam. You can reinforce it by coating the bottom of the dowel with white glue before pushing it in.

Next, take a styrofoam sphere and give it a light spray coat of leaf green. Cut baby blue and lavender artificial roses to a 1 ½” stem. Use a toothpick to make a guide hole and stick the flowers in, spreading the colors equally. Next, stick in some of the leaves in between the flowers. Add a few baby's breath sprayed silver in any of the gaps. Finish off the topiary centerpiece with a large bow of silver organza wired ribbon tied right under the sphere and more flowers and leaves or a plain cover of sphagnum moss to hide the styrofoam at the base.

You can use these same instructions and just vary the shapes to come up with the ef
fect you want. Aside from spheres, there are eggs, cones, and hearts you can decorate. And you can use any type of base you want, even a basket or vase, as long as they are not transparent or translucent to hide your “fixings.”

Anything can be used to cover the form. One main rule is to to paint the base one of the colors used for the décor so the white foam won't be so noticeable. Fresh, dried, or artificial flowers, greenery, and fruits can be used, as can large beads (use dressmaker's pins to hold them in), assorted bows, and even candies or toys can make a beautiful and imaginative topiary centerpiece for your next baby shower.