Plant living plants in the moss of the topiary.

How to Cover an Animal Topiary With Moss

by Jessica Westover

An animal-shaped topiary adds an element of personality to its surroundings, whether made for display in a garden, on a patio or porch, or as part of your home's interior decor. When creating an animal-shaped topiary, a metal or wire frame acts as a base and outline for the project. Frames come in a range of animal shapes, including but not limited to horses, birds, bears, rabbits, turtles and elephants. Whether you intend to plant the frame with living plants or simply hide it with moss, the entire frame requires filling to provide a stability and fullness to the piece.

Fill a large plastic tub or 5-gallon bucket half full of water. Place the sphagnum peat moss into the tub, pushing it down under the water's surface.

Let the moss soak for one to eight hours, until it becomes completely moistened. Add water to the tub or bucket as needed during the soaking process to keep all the moss fully submerged.

Place the animal topiary frame on a flat work surface. Pull a handful of moss from the bucket, squeezing it briefly to release excess moisture. Stuff the moss through one of the frame's openings near the bottom.

Repeat the packing process to fill the interior of the frame with moss, working from the bottom up. Rotate the frame and add moss through all sides to ensure an even stuffing. Pack the moss as tightly as possible, filling the topiary until the moss bulges out of the openings and covers the wire of the frame.

Find the loose end on a roll of fishing line. Tie the end in a knot around the bottom of the wire frame. Wrap the fishing line around the frame in a spiral pattern, spacing each spiral 3/4 to 1 inch apart. Wrap the fishing line around the entire frame. Tie the fishing line to the top of the metal frame. Cut the line off with a pair of scissors, leaving a 1-inch long tail. Tuck the tail behind the frame, into the moss.

Items you will need

  • Large plastic tub or 5-gallon bucket
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors


  • Spray the moss with a spray bottle or garden hose if it begins to dry before you finish stuffing the frame.
  • Allow longer pieces of moss to hang outside the frame and represent hair or fur.
  • Plant starts of foliage plants into the moss to create a living topiary.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images