Please note that the cost of this project is VERY low. The topiary I found at a Christian Thrift Store in town for $1, the pot was in my shed, the pins were in my sewing box, and the paper was minimal. The big wow is the substantial work and love that goes into it. (I have a few tips for you - and myself next time.)
Starting with my Cricut Design Studio (but moving to the Craft Room because I was having issues), I layed out the flowers I needed. The pin used three sizes but my topiary was going to be smaller so I scaled them down to 2", 1.5", and 1". The larger and smallest were made of ivory CTMH card stock and the middle size was lagoon (teal) card stock. The ink used on the edges of the flowers and to cover the core of the card stock was also the lagoon. I cut extra center flower for the top "shelf" area of the middle foam.
I (for NOW) have the personal cutter Cricut and so used 4 sheets of 12X12 cardstock for the large and small flowers and two 12X12 sheets for the middle size. Cutting them was quick using the Craft Room. The time came with the next few steps.
NOTE: If you have rubber gloves, now would be a good time to put them on!
Using a makeup sponge (Dollar Tree), I dabbed the Lagoon CTMH ink around the edges of each flower . . . all million of them! LOL I ended up with 72 full flowers plus the extra centers so that was 216 edges to ink . . . whew. Once they were inked, I used a small spritz bottle and water to wet them (about 4 to 5 sprays each) until they curled. Then, the fun part. Each flower was pushed in in the center and then crumpled tightly. (The first few I tried I didn't crumple enough.)
The drying time will vary but I found that overnight was too long but you also don't want it damp, either, because it rips. Once they are sufficiently dry, carefully unfold them, layer them and pierce them with a pin. For my smaller version, stick pins worked well when combined with some sequins to hold the center. If/When I do a larger topiary, I will use the recommended pearl topped "boutonniere" type pins.
Working closely, start to fill in the topiary in a zigzag motion to achieve the best coverage. Again, I might tint the foam in any subsequent topiaries to minimize the foam green showing through. I will be adding floral moss to the bottom (where the white tissue is now) but I haven't been to the store lately.
Here is the final project and I think it came out great. A little funky with the "unnatural" colors but totally my style. I'm looking forward to tackling some larger versions for church . . . if they let me try!