Learn my fake flower decorating tips and tricks behind creating realistic flower arrangements.
This time of year when we are eager for the departure of winter, adding colorful fresh flowers around our homes is one way to welcome spring into our lives. Ed knows this and for Christmas he always gives me a gift card that is only to be used to buy fresh flowers throughout the year, nothing else. It comes in very handy.
I love fresh flowers and try to use them most of the time, but sometimes it is just not possible.
When I can’t find what I am looking for in my yard or from the grocery store and I am desiring the visual joy of the color pops that flowers provide in my house, I don’t mind using fake flowers.
Not just any fake flowers though, I am very picky about the ones I buy and thought for today’s post I would share my fake flower decorating tips with you that can really make the difference when it comes to making them look as realistic as possible.
This time last year, I painted a vase with craft paint to place behind my sofa. In it I put fake forsythia. I loved it, the vase and the flowers looked fresh and vibrant in my living room. When summer came the forsythia went into a bag and into storage.
Fast forward to this week where I am tweaking the decor around my house for spring. I brought the vase and forsythia out of storage, except I decided I didn’t want to use the stems in the same way as I did last year. This is one of my tips on how to make fake flowers look real.
Don’t Use Fake Flowers in the Same Way Year After Year
Change it up. Place your faux stems in a different vase or container. Move them from room to room so you get lots of mileage out of your purchase. I use the same forsythia branches every year, but placed them into a basket to help brighten up the firebox instead of the vase.
See the hydrangeas in the glass bottles on the mantel? When I first decorated the mantel for spring, I placed real flowers in the bottles. They have since died…
…so I went to my fake flower storage stash and plucked out a few fake purple hydrangeas that I used to have on top of a cabinet in the kitchen of my previous house.
Fake flowers when you take care of them can last a very long time.
Fake Flower Decorating Tips
TIP #1: To help space the forsythia in the larger container, I placed a few bunched-up plastic grocery bags into the basket and around the stems so they would fall evenly around the basket.
TIP #2: Real flowers, their stems and leaves are not perfect. Fake flowers look better when they are not perfectly arranged or placed perfectly symmetrical.
TIP #3: RESEARCH FRESH FLOWERS – Before you can buy good-looking fake flowers you need to know what real ones look like. Visit a florist or look at images of real flowers online. Be sure to check out the leaves. Each flower has its own leaf shape, veining and texture. Makers of fake flowers are getting better about making the leaves and stems look real.
Look for the best colors and most realistic looking flowers. If you search and are choosey you will be surprised at just how nice many at the craft store look… Even the dollar store, sometimes has a few types of fake florals that look good.
TIP #4: CUT YOUR FLOWERS APART – Just because fake flowers are sometimes sold in a bunch doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. Separate the bouquet/bunch into individual stems. All it takes is a few snips using an inexpensive pair of wire cutters and you’ve got a bunch of individual flower stems to arrange in no time. Don’t use scissors as you will ruin the blades.
Once cut, you can arrange and place the flowers just as you would fresh flowers. If using a glass vase this in even more important since you don’t want to see the stems being held together as a bush through the glass.
TIP #5: BEND THE STEMS – A real flower does not stand perfectly straight on it’s stem, they softly droop to the sides of a vase. So using your hands, bend the wire stems a bit so they will stand more like a real flower.
TIP #6: ADD WATER TO THE VASE – When using glass vases to display fake flowers, make sure to add water to the vase. This tip alone will make fake florals look more realistic. If metal ends of stems are visible, cut them off with wire cutters and then place in water. If the metal can’t be cut off, apply clear nail polish over the metal and let dry, then place in water. This will keep rust marks from forming on the glass.
TIP #7: GO MONOCHROMATIC – One thing I don’t like about grocery store flowers is that many are sold in mixed bouquets. I prefer to decorate with flowers that are all one color and type. Find one fake flower in the color you like and fill the vase or container with them.
TIP #8: ALLOW A FEW BUDS OR PETALS TO DROP – Natural things never stays the same, real flowers shed, so let your fake flowers shed a few blossoms or buds on the table.
TIP #9: BUY ODD NUMBERS – When arranging flowers real or fake, use odd numbers of stems or branches. Odd numbers just look better. Buy enough to fill the vase. I always buy more than I think I will need and am always glad I did. If I get too many, I can always return them. You can’t do this with real flowers.
TIP #10: The reason these tulips look realistic is that their stems are thick and really resembles that of a real tulip. Many fake flowers come on thin wire stems and have cookie cutter dark green foliage. These petals have texture to them an the leaves have realistic looking veins which helps give a more realistic feel. Plus the color looks more translucent and not one solid opaque yellow color.
TIP #11: USE FLOWERS THAT ARE IN SEASON – An old-school rule about decorating with fake flowers was that you should only use fake flowers that are in season so they seem more realistic. I agree with this, but don’t let it influence my decision if I see pretty pink tulips in the middle of winter for sale at the grocery store. Nowadays you can buy any season of flower any time of year at the grocery store or florist.
TIP #12: STORE IN PLASTIC BAGS – To keep fake flowers from getting dusty, give them a shake from time to time. I have even run them under water and allowed them to dry upright in a vase. To store them, place in containers with large plastic garbage bags over the blooms. This way they stay clean, but won’t get crushed.
The next time you bring a bunch of fake flowers home from the store or get them out from storage, they are all always going to require a little fluffing and bending of the stems. Doing a little tweaking will have them looking realistic in no time. And best of all, unlike real flowers, fake flowers will last for a long time so your purchase will be well worth it.
TIP #13: Use % OFF COUPONS – When buying fake flowers from the craft store, I always wait until they are on sale or I have a 40% – 50% off coupon. I can get double the amount.
Want to make DIY fake flowers. I made these with tissue paper.
In the fall, I used a mass of fake fall flowers in a basket on my mantel.
I love tulips and think I am going to splurge on these Purple Tulips. They are a bit pricey, but I know I will be able to use them for many years to come making the purchase worth it.
The only thing fake flowers will never have is that fresh flower smell. I make up for this by diffusing essential oils throughout the house. :-)
Fake Flower Resources:
Peonies – I bought mine at Crate and Barrel a few years ago. They no longer sell them, but have similar ones: Pale Pink Peonies
Yellow Tulips – Michaels
Other places I have found realistic fake flowers: Kirkland’s, Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.