Baby showers are such lovely occasions, and this centerpiece is just what the doctor ordered to help celebrate the upcoming arrival. It combines the beauty of carnation topiaries with the whimsy of a clothesline displaying miniature baby clothes cutouts. So, whether it's a girl or a boy, this arrangement will definitely be a bundle of joy for the mom-to-be.
Making the Topiary Clothesline Centerpiece
To create a heavy base for the topiaries, mix two parts Plaster of Paris with one part water in a large tin can. Use a wooden stick to stir the mixture until it is smooth with an even consistency.
When the Plaster of Paris has thickened slightly, place a half-inch wood dowel in the mixture so that it stands vertically. A wood dowel is typically 36", so cut the dowel with a saw to about 24". Look at the dowel from all sides to make sure it is not leaning in any direction. You will need two of these dowel/plaster bases.
Place the tin cans in decorative planters, stuffing newspapers around them to keep the cans snug.
Soak a 4" floral foam ball in water. Center it on top of the dowel and press it down so that about two inches of the dowel is inside the foam. When purchasing the floral foam ball at the crafts store, be sure to buy the floral foam made for fresh flowers, rather than the floral made for silk flowers.
Carnations are ideal for topiaries because they stay fresh and hold their shape for so long. Cut the stems of the carnations, leaving about an inch of stem, and insert it in the floral foam. Push the stem in until the flower doesn't go any further. Keep adding carnations, placing them side by side, until the floral foam is covered.
To create polka dots in the topiary, poke your finger between the carnations to find openings, and insert pom pom chrysanthemums in the floral foam. Space them out evenly all over the topiary.
While you are inserting flowers into the foam, water will be displaced and drip down the dowel. Wipe up the excess water, and when the dowel is dry, wrap some ribbon around the dowel to cover the bare wood. Use hot glue at various points to secure the ribbon to the wood.
Cover the newspapers in the planter with sheet moss. You can also use decorative rocks, or even wrapped candy, to top the planters.
Draw baby clothes shapes on card stock and cut them out. Apply alphabet stickers on the cut outs to spell out words, names, or greetings. You can also write out the letters by hand.
Tie a piece of yarn or string between the two topiaries, right beneath the floral ball. How far apart you set the topiaries will depend on your table size, or the number of your cutouts. You can also make this arrangement for other occasions like birthdays, pinning photographs of the guest of honor on the clothesline.
Plaster of Paris has fine particles that you can breath in, so wear eye and mouth protection when working with it.