Eye-catching, mood-enhancing centerpieces for events and just-the-right decorations for your dining room table or mantle can sometimes be difficult to find.

And, finding something custom-made with the colors you need can also be tricky. This is how I ended up making ribbon topiaries many years ago.

As the marketing director at my place of employment, I was responsible for our community events and activities. We always looked for ways to decorate that were unique.

Having seen ribbon topiaries online and on Pinterest, I decided to try to make some for the event. They were so popular, I had friends asking me to make them for other events and their homes.

Then I started making ribbon ornaments, trees and then badge reels and jewelry, which were items I loved to make when I was younger.

Eventually, I did what thousands of crafters before me have done: I became a part of the Etsy online crafting and selling world. This is how The Polka-Dot Pineapple was born. That’s the Etsy site where many of my own creations are available for sale.

Today, though, I’m sharing the directions and tips so you can make the same kind of ribbon topiaries that started my small business. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

And whether you’re looking for custom crafts or have your own to sell, be sure to check out the EtsyWV Facebook page and the upcoming Winter Virtual Market info. The Virtual Market will take place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 13 on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/groups/etsywvvirtualmarket.

Shoppers can view items for sale by over 100 West Virginia creators and makers from throughout the state.

Supplies needed

  • 1 large foam ball (4-6 inch depending on the size you wish to make)
  • 1 small foam ball (the same size as the top of the flower pot)
  • Spools of ribbon (multiple colors, sizes and textures)
  • Dressmaker pins (I prefer 1 ¼-inch pins)
  • Crinkle paper (for use in gift bags and boxes)
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Flower pot (ceramic or metal work best)
  • Dowel rod (
  • inch to ½ inch work best)

Tools Needed

  • Hot glue gun
  • Small saw
  • Small level


  1. Cut ribbon from spools into 3- to 3 ½-inch pieces. Leave at least one spool uncut in order to use for the stem of the topiary.
  2. Roll ribbon into circles and thread pin through from the inside of the circle to the outside.
  3. Without placing the same ribbon near each other on the topiary, push the ribbon pins into the larger foam ball.
  4. Repeat this until all but a small section (the size of the dowel rod circumference) is covered with ribbon. Keep the ribbon close together so the foam is not showing anywhere on the topiary.
  5. Find the empty area on the larger foam ball and push the uncovered dowel rod into the ball (about halfway through the ball). Remove the dowel rod and set foam ball aside.
  6. Cut the smaller foam ball in half and place one half snuggly in the flower pot. Push the uncovered dowel rod into the ball until it has hit the bottom of the pot. Remove the dowel rod from the foam ball.
  7. Cut the dowel rod with your saw or blade to the desired height (bear in mind that you are placing it halfway into the foam ball and in the bottom of the pot, which will add some height).
  8. Place hot glue along the length of the dowel rod in small lines and wrap the uncut spool of ribbon around the rod without cutting it. Continue up until length of the dowel until completely covered. Make sure to overlap the ribbon some to ensure the dowel rod is not showing.
  9. Cut the ribbon spool at the end when the dowel rod is covered.
  10. Place hot glue in the hole in the smaller foam ball inside the flower pot. Insert the covered dowel rod into the hole and position it straight up and down. Apply hot glue around the dowel rod to secure it into place. Use your level to ensure the foam ball and dowel are straight. Apply hot glue around the inside of the flower pot and foam ball to secure it into place.
  11. Glue crinkle paper to the foam ball and sides of the flower pot until the foam is completely covered.

Apply small amount of glue to the top of the dowel rod and place the ribbon ball on top, ensuring it is pressed completely halfway through the ball before glue cools.

EtsyWV supports West Virginia artisans, crafters, creators and vintage sellers through resources, networking, shop/location matchmaking and market/pop-up events and activities. Members do not have to have an online Etsy shop but do have to make the items they sell or sell approved vintage items. For more information on EtsyWV, go to https://etsywv.com or email [email protected] To shop the Winter Virtual Market taking place through December 13, go to facebook.com/etsywvvirtualmarket.

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