2 Styrofoam craft balls, in equal or graduating sizes (3 and 4-inch balls)*
Candle stick, planter or other base
Styrofoam or floral sponge block
½-inch diameter wooden dowel measured to your desired overall height
1-2 12-oz. bags Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries
Dark red craft paint (suitable for painting Styrofoam)
Green craft paint
Greenery, if desired
(* or use ready-made topiary forms, available at craft stores)
Assemble the topiary form by pushing one end of a wooden dowel all the way through the larger foam ball, leaving a 1 to 2-inch tail below the sphere. Attach the smaller foam ball to the other end of the dowel, pushing ½ way through sphere (that will be the top). Paint Styrofoam balls with red paint, and if desired, paint dowel green. Set aside to dry. Note: painting the Styrofoam ensures that any spaces between the cranberries will be less noticeable.
Break wooden toothpicks in half. Begin assembling the topiary by inserting one end of toothpick into cranberry. Press other end of toothpick into foam form, placing berries as closely together as possible. Continue until all areas of the foam are covered with cranberries. Note: completing a section of berries close together is easier than continuing a single row all the way around the sphere.
To make a stand, secure the protruding end of the dowel to a heavy candle stick using candle putty. Or fill a heavy planter base with floral foam, trimming foam to desired shape. Cover foam with greenery or moss, and insert the protruding end of the dowel into the foam to secure.
Topiary will last approximately one week. Discard once berries begin to soften. To extend the life of your centerpiece, you can spray with an even coating of shellac.
Variation: Create Cranberry Balls by completely covering Styrofoam balls with cranberries, following instructions for Topiary. Place completed balls on candle sticks or small vases.