I am not a very good step-by-step project person.

I want to be.

From the top of my head to the very tips of my Ripley’s Believe it or Not toes.

And if we had a giant blog yearbook and we could all vote on superlatives, I would want to be voted “Most Likely To Write a Step-By-Step Post.”

But I know that honor will always remain a distant dream.


You see, I have pin board after pin board of carefully detailed projects.  Each step photographed, numbered and explained down to the most minute detail by people who know so much more about step-by-step-project writing than I could ever hope to learn if I blogged for the next 500 years.  And when I pull up those projects on the pin boards and start to re-create them….my mind starts wandering, my eyes glaze over and I drift off for a  moment to give a silent salute to the brilliant individual responsible for Christina Aguilar’s new make-over.

I can’t help it.  I get overwhelmed because all of those steps feel like I’m at the base of the great wall of China and I’m 8,851.8 km away from ever reaching the top.

So I look at the “before” and study the “after.”

And hope against hope that somehow I figure out the all of the “in between.”



But not today.

Today we are concentrating on all of those pesky “in betweens.”

Today I am turning over a new leaf (pun absolutely, positively intended) and writing a step-by-step tutorial just for you.


How to Make a Topiary From a Coat Hanger

(I think we are off to a great start with such a clever title 🙂 )


 Step 1:  Find some wire coat hangers.  Straighten out the curved end to a point (this is the end you will put into the dirt).



Step 2:  Take coat hanger and stretch the ends into a diamond.



Step 3:  Re-form the diamond into a circle.



Step 4:  Purchase ivy from local home improvement store and remove all questionable leaves (as shown in the perfect step-by-step photo).



Here’s the tag with the description of the ivy.



Step 6:  Put ivy in an urn or other similar container.

Make sure the container is cute.

Unwritten step-by-step rule #146:   Not-cute containers are not allowed in coat hanger topiary projects.


Step 7:   Insert coat hanger into ivy.



Step 8:  Wrap tendrils of ivy around coat hanger.  Keep wrapping until coat hanger is covered.



Step 9:   Stand back and admire your topiary…..

…..then take this moment to discuss the latest episode of Mad Men with the ivy. 🙂


PS  What about you…..are you a step-by-stepper?








Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Look how talented you are. That was quite an undertaking following those step by step instructions. Now pat yourself on the back for a job well done. lol. Looks great and good luck with it. I had one and it did not do well. Don’t have a very green thumb, I guess.

  2. That seemed pretty good to me…….
    Blessings, Lorraine

  3. NO WIRE HANGERS – haven’t you seen Mommy Dearest?!

    As soon as our dry cleaning comes back, those hangers are tossed – guess I’ll have to rescue a few so I can have a cute topiary too. And now the stress of finding a perfectly cute planter too.

    Who knew gardening was so stressful?!

  4. Step by step is overrated… People that have no imagination must rely on step by step instructions. People with Tingers and Monkey obsessions are exempt.

  5. When I saw the title today I thought we were going to have a discussion about “NKOTB”! I’ve seen those ivy topiaries and I’ve got 500 years worth of pins myself….glad to see someone’s getting their bucket list done!


  6. sweet! tfs, karianne! love the urn, too!

  7. It turned out great!
    I am so far from a step by step. Well, I can step by step it to other people but never follow them myself. I hardly ever read all the directions to anything and have regretted it many times, yet, I don’t change. Acceptance of the things we cannot change 🙂

  8. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not just called…they could not believe you did a “step by step” turning that wire hanger into a round topiary with your toes…with lipstick on!

  9. Have to try this…thank you!

  10. Cute topiary and very cute container. I think maybe even people with self-diagnosed adult ADD (like me) could follow these step by step instructions. Just have to find a wire hanger and cute container and say a prayer that a something I’ve planted doesn’t die. Thanks for the detailed instructions! Happy Monday.

  11. Not a “step by step” blogger.

    Nor a “Mad Men” person.

    It’s one thing to be an individual;
    but it’s another thing to be an individual
    at the cost of the people around you.

    ~Jack Grisham

  12. You’ve done a perfect how-to when we all want to go out and make one, even knowing we (I) will let the poor unsuspecting ivy wither and die before I remember to water. I love the urn, pretty color. You always make me smile, Karianne. 🙂 <– see?

  13. Beautiful work Karianne! I loved the tute, but darling, if you pull off all of the leaves on your ivy plant it won’t make much of a topiary, will it?? I don’t get that part… and just when did Christina get a makeover???!!!! Holy, I’m under that rock again!

  14. Beautiful and great step by steps! Now I need advice on how to keep ivy alive. I’ve killed so many of these it’s not even funny!

  15. Lovely my friend! I can handle the hanger but keeping the greenery alive is my challenge. I love your urn.

  16. That looks beautiful, Karianne! I love the urn! I did an ivy topiary many, many years ago with a coat hanger. I had wanted one but couldn’t afford to “splurge” on one at the time, so I just made my own. It did very well for many years and then I don’t know what happened. Mine was just in a terracotta pot and saucer, but I really loved the way it looked. Nicely done!

  17. I could follow, so that says something! Go forth and multiply. Your tutorials that is.


  18. Hi Karianne, Your topiary looks beautiful. Thanks for your step-by-step tutorial. I can’t tell by the pictures the size of the urn (gorgeous) the ivy plant looks huge.
    Joyous Wishes, Linda

  19. I try to take judicious pics while crafting or DIYing. More often than not, though, I have to post the disclaimer of “I forgot to take a pic of this step, but you get the idea.” Your topiary looks terrific! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hey sweet lady! I was just wondering why I hadn’t been getting updates from you- I resubscribed when you switched over to wordpress awhile back. But no updates? I looked through my reader and you blog didn’t show up? So I did it again today…and I can see your blog listed. I hope it stays that way! 😉 I thought you may like to know of the technical difficulties.
    xo Becca

  21. wow!!!! color me impressed! the one with the licorice thumb! ; ) i am in love with the project but i shall spare the ivy a tortured life of me watering it — caring for it and ultimately killing it — i shall gaze at your green thumb in action!!! : ) sending tons of hugs!!!!

  22. You write a mean step by step! I followed ya all the way until the Mad Men part….I’m afraid I’m out of the loop on that one. Instead, I shall discuss ‘how to get a baby to sleep the night’, or ‘how not to be starving when attempting to lose all that baby weight’….good topics like that =)

  23. I had forgotten about making these a few years ago. Thanks so much for the reminder! I think I will give this a go. Yours is beautiful.

  24. You sound like me. I am not a step-by-stepper, and I have zero patience with projects because I just cannot wait for the final product! But this is just lovely, and I think I can manage it… I’d better pin it!! 😉

  25. Oh my goodness…..I LOVE IT!!!!

  26. Beautiful work! I just might have to make one like this for my friend’s birthday. She’s much better with keeping plants alive than I am, and has a beautiful new house to turn into a home.

  27. Looks wonderful. Great tut 😉 I think I can follow it! If not, I’ll come steal yours so it’s a win-win for me!!

  28. Even Joan Crawford could find a use for wire hangers using this excellent and entertaining tutorial!

    I’m tempted to try myself, but that just wouldn’t be fair to those innocent ivy plants …



  29. How did you know this project is exactly what I needed to make? Thanks so much for sharing! And yes I struggle with the step by step, and I too am a beginning and ending studier. Glad to know that I am not alone!!

  30. I am so impressed with the step-by-step, and the project. Look at you whipping out a tutorial. Totally pinning it. 🙂

  31. I love reading your random thoughts… don’t EVER become one of those step-by-step people! They are rather boring!

    Pillowpalooza?!? What is this?!?

    I’m on a pillow-making-streak (well, I’ve made one and a half this week), and I want to participate!!!

  32. and, oh my goodness, you could hang your W you had on your wreath from the middle of your circle. Fun!

  33. That was so simple. I’ve seen stuff like this and always thought it was extremely difficult to do. Great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing.

  34. So pretty. When I grow up I hope to be clever, too. I’m just wondering when it is going to happen for me.

  35. karianne,
    i give you an a+++++ for ivy topiary tutorials (say that three times fast!). looks great in that urn. love it.

  36. very clever my cool and clever friend!! tutorials are kind of a B**ch to post, right??? 😉

  37. Gorgeous job, and a very CUTE container! I think you deserve an A+ for this step by step!


  38. I think you did a great job with the tutorial. I’m normally in the before/after category on my tutorials and then i can’t understand why people have questions. It’s clear as mud isn’t it? BTW, I just watched the Mad Men episode today (recorded from last night). I have to say it’s not my favorite episode and I’m finding this year a little boring. The movie theater scene was interesting though. And where’s Betty? They had that one pudgy Betty episode and nothing since.

  39. I’m not much of a green thumb person but with your tut I think I can do this. What a beautiful ivy plant.

  40. This was the BEST and most entertaining step-by-step! Going to have to make one too!

  41. This is simply awesome Karianne! I love the look and what a great tut too. I may be able to do this. That is if I did not kill my ivy already..which I did:) Except for my outdoor planters, all is gone.

  42. I suck at step by step instructions why I don’t know but I do no matter how hard I try to write down step by step instructions I fail and when it comes to following them I also somehow fail why because I think I know what I am doing and don’t need instructions and that usually means a fail too…………so why do I bother because I do…………….

  43. I try to be a step by stepper, but sometimes (often) fall short. But this one I think I can handle. 🙂 Gorgeous.
    xo Heidi

  44. Soooo- cute! This is my kind of step by step! Great idea! I love your topiary! A+

  45. That’s so simple and cute! I absolutely love that idea! I’ll have to try it with some of our planters in the yard!

  46. I seriously thought of NKOTB when I read your post and now I can’t get that song out of my mind. I love topiaries! And I love ivy! I’m a topiary freak so this is the perfect tutorial for me. I even already have a container that looks exactly like yours and the wire hangers. How come I never think of things like this? LOVE IT! Angie 🙂

  47. Beautiful! I need to make some, now I can 🙂

  48. Well done!

    Looks great!

  49. Karianne, You did an awesome job. I am totally going to try this. Great tutorial!

  50. Now I have two reasons to stop by here. #1- to see your fabulous creations. #2- to see what funny comment Gwen is going to leave you. I do love your blog!

  51. You’re the rockstar..


  52. This is great!!! I have an ivy with LOOOONG tendrils so tomorrow I will do this!!!! Thanks for the step by step. I came over from WUW. XO, Pinky

  53. Great tutorial and great idea. Thanks.

  54. Great job with the step by step….Although I always find it hard to get hangers to bend to the desired shape…you must have a gift.
    Thanks for the guidance…

  55. This is such a great tutorial. I have ivy growing all over my yard. Thank you for sharing. I will definitely give this a try.

  56. Hi, Kari

    I just love this idea. Its great.


  57. I love it, although I am a hopeless killer of plants. I know what The Nester says, but I’m not bought in. I might give the design a go with some fake ivy though.

  58. I think you did a great job of this step-by-step tutorial, Karianne, & your ivy topiary is lovely.

  59. What a wonderful idea Karianne! I do love your topiary and I’ve got this linked to my DIY topiaries post too today, for inspiration!