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Gift Ideas: How to Make a Candy Topiary

Updated on April 14, 2014

What is a Candy Topiary?

Topiary is the art of training and trimming trees or shrubs with decorative shapes according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. So, topiary trees are usually green. Not my topiary, its full of delectable chocolate. I have trained my trees to shape themselves into a yummy shaped treat!

You can make a friend, family member, or anyone a sweet gift of chocolate. Birthdays, Valentine's, Mother's Day or any holiday can be the perfect time to share your topiary creation.

I have had a co-worker, best friend, and sister all have birthdays in the last few weeks, and that can get expensive. I usually have a difficult time picking out a gift too. I decided this year, they were all getting a topiary.

I will show you how to make a candy topiary. It will look like a miniature tree rounded into a sphere and planted in a flower pot.

Get Started

When making a candy topiary, you have to decide what is the receiver's favorite chocolate. The first topiary I made, I used kisses because they come in all kinds of flavors. They have caramel, cherry cordial, dark and milk chocolate. The list goes on and on. You could make anyone happy with all of those flavors.

For the topiary we will make here, I used Hershey's Bliss squares. They are flat on the bottom and rounded on the top. They make the topiary's surface sleek and smooth. I chose milk chocolate and caramel because I knew my sister liked those flavors, and the wrappers are colored purple and a bronze-like shade that looked great together.

You will need some items to make the topiary. They are as follows:

-glue gun and extra glue sticks

-smoothfoam sphere 4"

-ribbon 16-18" and twist tie

-spray paint

-dowel rod 12"

-chocolate candy

-flower pot

-hard foam for inside pot


Prepare the Sphere, Rod, and Foam

Take your dowel rod and punch it into the smoothfoam ball. A smoothfoam ball is just like a styrofoam ball, but its surface is like it says, smooth.

Next, use spray paint to cover the surface of the ball and rod. I used some paint my husband had in his garage collection. He happened to have purple which matched one of my candies. You can use any fast drying spray paint. The best paint to use will be one that covers the surface and will hide the white of the foam.

You can leave the bottom two inches of the rod unpainted because it will be unseen. Place the bottom of the rod into a short vase to dry, careful not to allow the painted portion of the rod touch the vase. Or if you have a lot of foam, cut a square of it out and stick the rod into the foam to stand erect to dry.

While that is drying, take any household knife and cut your hard foam into a shape that will fit snugly into your flower pot. I had to cut mine round to fit into the flower pot. I chose an owl pot because he was cute, and I knew my sister would like him to use for a future project after the candy was gone.

I used two layers of foam because the pot was deep, and the foam was too short. You want the foam to come to the lip, so it will seem like soil in the pot.

Tip: Be very careful using a knife to cut the foam. The foam can move on you, and you could slip and cut yourself. A scroll-saw can also be used to make the cutting easier.

Next Steps Shown with Unpainted Sphere

Putting Together the Pieces

While I was waiting for my paint to dry, I made pictures of the next steps. That is why the sphere is white. I also did this to allow you to see how the foam shows through the candy pieces if you do not paint the sphere. The paint really makes the project neater, and pulls the look together for a sleek appearance.

As you can see in the photos, I placed the hard foam into the flower pot, then punched the rod into the foam. Note that I glued the two pieces of foam layers together in the pot, and glued the bottom piece to the pot (not shown). This will make a solid base for the topiary. The candy can be heavy on the sphere, and tip sideways in the pot if you do not have a firm foundation.

Now that I have a hole punched into the foam of the pot, I remove the sphere and rod in order to glue on the candy. You can glue the candy on while the topiary is in the pot as well, but I think it makes it easier to start with laying it down on a table.

I will start at the top of the sphere, then work my way down and around. I try to make lines of candy on the surface. It can be difficult if you have square pieces on a round top because eventually you are going to have to manipulate in different arrangements to fill the entire surface.

You may have to turn a candy in a different direction in order to fill a triangular spot. That is okay. It will hardly be noticed.

Tip: Don't put too much glue on each candy, as the hot glue will slightly melt the bottom of the candy. A little melting will be okay, and a small amount of glue is sufficient to hold it in place.

Finish with the Glue

After getting a lot of the chocolates on the top of the sphere, I moved it back to the pot. I covered the rod with hot glue, and placed it back in the hole I already made in the foam. I continued to place candies on until there was no more room. The candies are spaced nicely in rows, and there is little of the foam showing.

For the soil, I place candies onto the foam in the flower pot. You could also use artificial Spanish moss or curling ribbon to act as a soil. I figure the more candy on the project the better, so I opt for candy soil.

The final step is to place the ribbon right underneath the sphere. I use the twist tie to attach the bow I made to the rod, and glue it in place as well.

Making a Bow

Use Ribbon to Add a Bow

Use between 16-18 inches of ribbon to make a bow for the topiary. In the video I used about 12 inches for a smaller project. A project this large needs a larger bow, so I recommend using a longer ribbon as shown in the photos.

Try to find a ribbon that will look nice with the flower pot. I have a blue-green owl flower pot and a cream-gold dotted ribbon. The ribbon is neutral so I was able to use it on other projects.

How to Make a Bow


4.50/ 2 pack
Dowel rod
1.99/ 10pack
1.99/ 9ft
Flower Pot
9.00/ 2 pots
Hard Foam
2.29/ 12" block

It's a Reasonable Price

As you can see by my table, the cost of this project is low. it doesn't cost a lot of money, and many of the items bought can be used for another project.

The thought and time you put into the project will bring smiles and thanks! As you can see below, the project is a beautiful gift for giving!

Finished Project

Tell Me What You Think

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    • Krmission profile image

      Kristy 3 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you Faith Reaper. I bet the chocolate candy birthday cake did take a lot of chocolate! Great idea! Thanks for stopping to read!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, how creative! I love topiaries, but chocolate/candy topiaries are even better, for obvious reasons. Your instructions are great and wonderful photos too. Once I made my sister-in-law a birthday cake made out of her favorite candies, kind of the same idea. It did take a lot of chocolate.

      Up and more, tweeting and pinning


    • Krmission profile image

      Kristy 3 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you FlourishAnyway!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      That is a cute idea! nice instructions and step-by-steps, too.